Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Now MP blasts council over Mardyke horses

THURROCK MP, Jackie Doyle-Price has joined in on the war of words over the state of horses in the Mardyke Valley.

Animal welfare campaigners were concerned that the animals were being exposed to ill-health as they were standing in water, a situation, exacerbated by the recent heavy rain.

The council position was that they had been reassured by the landowner that the horses had been moved to dry land. The council acknowledged that the land needs to be “more intensively managed.”

Chief Exective, Graham Farrant entered the fray and told campaigners that he “Visited on December 31st and there were no horses visible on the site from the Ship Lane end. I know that Ian also visited earlier and saw three horses on dry land at the top end of our land, but no others.

“Driving past the site yesterday (Jan 2nd) I did not see any horses on our land”.

Mr Farrant’s e-mail did not go down well with the campaigners who sent a long list of sightings of horses.


Now, Thurrock MP, Jackie Doyle-Price has also slammed the council and accused them of doing nothing.

In a letter to Thurrock Council, Ms Doyle-Price said: “Whilst you are quite right that the welfare of animals is the responsibility of the owner, anyone who turns a blind eye to suffering is complicit in the offence. This is why so many reports are being made about the welfare of these horses to so many agencies by well intentioned members of the public.

“And whilst it is true that as a local authority the powers in the animal welfare act are discretionary, the fact is that Thurrock council is the landlord here. There has been poor management of this site on a number of levels. As we all know, those horses should not be there in the first place. So for Thurrock council to simply shrug shoulders because it is all too tiresome and difficult is really not on.

“Can I ask you to think again about whether Thurrock Council is doing enough to secure the welfare of these animals?

To top it off, the animal welfare campaigners have opened up further debates and questioned whether the council, on a number of counts, are in breach of the £600,000 heritage lottery grant they were given several years ago.


  1. Thurrock council are not able to look after their residents, I am sure Jackie they don’t give a dame about these poor horses, the lazy louts. How is it that Polly parot has not taken this up with the leader of the gang!! Or how about the three lazy belhus councilors doing something about it, it is their patch, I guess not, too much brain work involved.

  2. Not trying to defend anyone but is it not the horse owners responsibility to make sure the horses are safe?

  3. The local Cllr Lynn Carr is the person who has done all the hard work so far, which has helped to raise the awareness of this issue along with help from Sue Allery the chairman of Essex Horse & Pony Protection society. I just wanted to point out that there is a Cllr working on this but I do agree with the comment about the cllr’s, as Cllr Carr is an Ockendon Cllr and the only Cllr doing something, she does have the guts to do something about a huge problem of fraud and an animal welfare issue in Aveley. Come on you Aveley Cllr’s get a back bone and act NOW!!! The story is also covered off on Thurrock gazette’s page there are over 30 comments and they are all saying to Thurrock council to do something rather than accept the money from the lottery and allow illegal sub letting and animal cruelty to go on using the tax payers money too. Come on and get behind this, we are stronger in numbers than any council office, comment and share so this issue will not go away until those horses have a decent quality of life. I am disgusted that they can use MY money to allow this to go on. It is illegal, but who is able to make them accountable? Is it you Jackie Doyle-Price as our MP? Is it the police? I am aware that the welfare of horses has been spoken of in the houses of parliament so is this not what they meant, horses that have served us as humans for years being abused? I wonder what they would make of illegal sub letting? Jackie, can you take this issue to the houses of parliament? When are you next there? I think someone at TBC needs to be sacked as they have known about this for ages and with all this going on they are still not doing anything, we have to make them. I spoke to the RSPCA today about these ponies and they told me that 2 have died in the last 6 months there, one was from pure neglect and the other died from being stuck in the mud. How can you eat and drink if your feet are stuck? The reason no one was charged with cruelty was because none of the ponies there are micro chipped or have passports so as they couldn’t prove ownership there was no more that could be done. They also told me that there is no enforcement when horses are found to not have passports, which has been a LEGAL requirement for years now. WHY????? These ponies are neglected and are stuck in the mud, two have already died SO TBC DO SOMETHING ABOUT REMOVING THOSE INNOCENT HORSES………..NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Are the horse owners local Gypsies and Travellers by any chance? Someone on another thread mentioned these horses were destined for the horse meat trade. Perhaps that poster would like to provide evidence and elaborate who exactly owns these horses.

    Perhaps The Conservative Group on Thurrock Council would like to issue a statement on what they would do if they controlled the Council – considering they did nothing between 2004 and 2010 when they ran the council – they could even make it one of their election pledges for 2014.

  5. Ed
    do you really think making this political will help the situation.
    if you want to point score play scrabble grow up

  6. MIDDX17 – See all the posts on Thurrock Gazette of yesterday which will explain more about why Council are being asked to act.

  7. It’s a pity JDP doesn’t think ,people who have to use food banks deserve writing in to the council and highlighting their plight

  8. Thurrock Council oh Thurrock Council. What a shower? Pleas from everyone who gives a fig falls on deaf ears. Thurrock Council now indicating that they are going to hand over the management of the Mardykes to an environmental group as they don’t have the time (or brains!) to do this. Ask yourselves this. Thurrock Council hand it over to some poor unsuspecting environment group and they will then be faced with the issue of the horses welfare. Thurrock Council’s CEO Graham Farrant and his side kick, Ian Rydings are going for a cop out here! Not only are they content to see these animals continue to suffer despite what all normal, caring, compassionate and sensible people are saying, but Thurrock Council also had an audit carried out last year concerning a company called Horse Help Limited – a greenyard operated by Mrs Claire Aldridge, the Chairman of the British Horse Society no less. Extortionate fees i.e. tax payers money, was paid to Mrs Aldridge over a number of years, and I mean extortionate! Thurrock Council paid out ridiculous sums of monies on livery, collection fees and the like and totally and utterley wasted tax payers money. Worst still, they never kept proper records of where the stray horses ended up or what become of them. This goes to show how heartless they are. Heartless as well as totally incompetent. The CEO should be monitoring these issues. That is why he is paid a ridiculous sum of money. He has failed in these two matters alone. What else don’t we know about? In the meantime, overworked welfare centers spend countless hours being called out to deal with incidents that are, at the end of the day, the making of these useless employees of Thurrock Council. Sack them and get someone in who can do the job properly.

  9. I would like to congratulate Ms Doyle-Price for speaking out in support of the ever increasing number of concerned people who are desperate to bring an end to the miserable living conditions these poor horses are being forced to endure.It would take a very callous and uncaring person indeed to turn their back on the plight of these pathetic animals.
    Thurrock Council, in particular the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Graham Farrant and council officer Ian Rydings seem content to bide their time trying to come to some agreement with the obviously uncaring owners whilst the horses, many covered in burrs and filth, try to avoid the sea of water to forage for any meagre snippings of grass they can find.
    This council has a moral duty to act in defence of these animals and to bring an end to this terrible suffering now.


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