FOUR horses have been recovered by police after being found wandering around a town.

The horses, which were illegally grazing on public land, were removed from the Henson Close area of Bishop Auckland yesterday.

This latest rescue takes the total number of horses seized in the last three months to more than 35.

Inspector Andy Reeves, of Bishop Auckland Neighbourhood Police Team, said: “The issue of horses straying in and around highways has certainly been a problem in the area.

"We are now seeing demand for this type of incident reducing.

“This type of action will continue as long as this type of activity is ongoing and we are actively pursuing the prosecution of offenders.”

Durham Police said the animals will be safely and securely rehomed outside of the region following veterinary checks, unless claimed by the owner.

The operation was carried out in partnership with Durham County Council.

Ian Hoult, neighbourhood protection manager for the authority, said: “Stray horses not only pose a danger to themselves but to the general public, especially if they wander onto roads in front of traffic.

“We would urge anyone who keeps horses to ensure they are properly looked after and kept in a safe and secure location.

"We would also appeal to anyone who sees stray horses to report them to the relevant authority, either us if they are on public land or the police if they are on roads or highways.”

  • Anyone with information about the owner of the horses should contact Insp Reeves on 101.
  • Stray horses should be reported to Durham County Council.
  • If they stray onto a public road or a highway contact the police on 101.