A LEADING animal welfare charity and local government bodies have said they will continue to monitor the situation after two horses died in a field in Alton in one week.

Concern has been voiced about the growing number of coloured horses, some mares in foal, that have appeared in the meadow on the B3349 New Odiham Road since late September and which now number around 20.

Several people have contacted the RSPCA to express concern over the lack of grass in the field, which backs onto the Greenfields estate.

And Alton Town Council clerk Leah Coney has confirmed that while the horses are not grazing town council-owned land, but an adjacent field, she has been liaising with the RSPCA, East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) animal welfare officers, the police and the owner of the horses, and will continue to monitor the situation.

An EHDC spokesman said that animal welfare officers had visited the site but that the horses were grazing private land, with the agreement of the site owner. They do have grass and water and are being fed hay, the spokesman said.

While two horses have died in the field, the cause of death is not yet fully known but it is thought the owner of the horses has organised a post-mortem on the horse that died in the early hours of last Monday morning. The first horse is believed to have died within the previous seven days.

An RSPCA spokesperson said: “We are aware of concerns around horses in a field on the New Odiham Road, Alton. We are monitoring the situation and working with the owner to resolve some issues.”

n It has been confirmed that the horses do not belong to Welsh horse dealer Tom Price, who was jailed for 26 weeks and banned from keeping horses for five years in July 2013 after being found guilty of 57 counts of animal cruelty.

Mr Price kept some of his Welsh gypsy horses in fields along the New Odiham Road in Alton.