Monday, May 20, 2024

Horse Sanctuary slams council over horses on the Mardyke problem

THE REMUS Memorial Horse Sanctuary has condemned Thurrock Council for not taking immediate action to remove the horses on the Mardyke.

With the recent floods and more flooding possible the land on the Mardyke is constantly under water with horses wading through the water.

Sanctuary founder, Sue Burton said: “Horses have died in the past on this land as have cattle and the Sanctuary believes that if any more horses die on this land due to the blatant lack of action by Thurrock Council then the RSPCA should prosecute them because as land owners they are responsible and have shown wilful negligence.

The Sanctuary is calling on Thurrock Council to;-

“Call an immediate meeting with the landowner, horse owners, RSPCA, all other welfare groups, Environment Agency and any other agency with an interest in this land.

“Remove all the horses from the land with immediate effect until a plan has been devised for moving forward with the grazing of this land by animals. In the winter it is unsuitable for animals due to the flooding. In the summer the land is usually covered by ragwort which is poisonous to horses and other livestock.

“We have seen many tragic scenes on this land over the last 30 years. Thurrock Council have responsibilities and they are choosing to turn a blind eye and drag their feet on this issue. It has to stop now and they have to accept responsibility or be held responsible for their lack of action for these horses”

“With the recent flooding many of these horses have been wading in the water and are at risk if left on this land.”

Thurrock Council has not responded to a number of questions at time of publication.


  1. These meetings have already taken place with the various agencies, both back in April 2013 and again in December 2013. The tenant was not present. Perhaps he was uninvited? The LEGAL tenant is not the owner of the horses on the Mardykes. The LEGAL tenant is Mr Tony Robinson, a farmer of cattle. The owners of the horses are ILLEGAL SUB-TENANTS. Thurrock Council know this. If Mr Robinson was present at any of the meetings, then it would be made clear to all and sundry that he is illegally sub-letting the land. Thurrock Council, as agents for the tax payers in the Borough, should have been more responsible in the first place as to who they entered into an agreement with. This is what happens when the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing. What a mess they have got themselves into this time.

  2. Thurrock Council, Tenants/sub Tenants[legal or illegal}, and the RSPCA stop the blame game and treat this matter for what it really is i.e. neglect resulting in blatant cruelty. These horses are exposed to the elements 24 hours of every day, imagine standing in freezing water with nowhere else to go. The horses have no choice as to where they are put and are subjected to life threatening conditions by callous owners who have no regard for the welfare of these animals.
    The CEO of Thurrock Council, Graham Farrant, along with the Leader of the Council, John Kent, the Tenant and the owners of the horses, should spend a day or two living on the Mardyke and experience the misery and suffering inflicted on these poor creatures.
    As for the RSPCA, remind yourselves of what your title conveys to the thousands of people who donate money in the expectation that you will do “what it says on the tin” and PREVENT cruelty to animals.
    Robust action is required this day..

  3. Agree with you Peter Perrin. Was making the point that Thurrock are being more than economical with the truth. Yes please, put those people down there to live for a while and see how they like it. Feed them stale loaves of bread because you can’t be bothered feeding your horses properly! They’re going for meat at the end of the day – tragic tragic tragic.

  4. Yes Ive seen these poor horses many times and there is no sign that anyone looks after them, and it is the case that the Mardyke is rarely not in flood.
    I’m not sure what the drainage/river level/ flood prevention policy is regarding the Mardyke and Thames, perhaps someone who knows can help? The sluice gate at Purfleet prevents it from being tidal so this means the flooding is all fresh water, but how does this system help drain the Mardyke Valley?
    The Mardyke Way riverside walk was built only a few years ago with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, but there are too many days when even this footpath is under water, a waste of effective public money.
    Whilst accepting no authority on earth is responsible for excess rain, this river does flood excessively and too often for its size.
    There seems to be too many agencies with some sort of say in this matter, it is time for actions and prosecutions of bodies that will not act.

  5. Beresponsible – how do you now that these horses are being raised for meat? Perhaps you would elaborate and explain who actually owns these horses?


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