Another stray horse has been killed in a road accident in York, as City of York Council works up delayed proposals to tackle the problem of tethered horses.Yes, unbelievable as it may be, it’s still dragging on and on and on…
The incident is the fourth known collision so far this year involving vehicles and horses which have been tethered on verges or nearby land and then escaped and strayed into the road.No-one, of course, is recording the near misses! And why the delay?
The Press reported in August that City of York Council was proposing to bid for cash from the Government’s £12 million Traveller Pitch Fund to help pay for an expansion of York travellers’ sites, which would also lead to action to tackle the horse problem.Ah. Yes. Well, clearly, more travellers will help the situation. Somehow.
Steve Waddington, assistant director for housing and community safety, said yesterday: “It is always distressing to hear of an incident between a horse and car and we are sorry to hear of another.
“It should be remembered that the issue of tethered horses is one that affects many local authorities and we are developing a policy which builds on lessons learned from other councils and tailoring our approach to this city’s needs.”Blah, blah, blah. And while you dither, people are at risk.
He said the policy would be presented to members this year and said he hoped the Government money bid for could provide some grazing land.Since when has the answer to people doing illegal things been to give them free access to the legal thing? Are we going to provide shoplifters with council-owned supermarkets? Joyriders with access to council vehicles?
Independent councillor Mark Warters said the latest incident deepened his concerns about the time it was taking to resolve the issue.Well, really, Mark, when there are far more headline-grabbing issues to worry about? You won’t go far with that sort of sensible attitude…
But what puzzles me** about this whole affair is why the famously-caring RSPCA hasn’t leaped into the fray? They aren't so reticent in other, genuinely accidental, issues:
Grandmother Claire Pritchard from Mandale Road, West Howe, said: "I think generally the RSPCA do a great job but they will persecute and harass you if they think you have done wrong.
"I couldn't believe they prosecuted me. When their guy came to take a statement from me I was shocked at the way he spoke to me."I can’t believe they prosecuted you, and not the owners of these horses, either. Maybe they are short of staff?
"The RSPCA have visited me twice since the court case to check my other animals."Hmmm, clearly not, then…
The RSPCA has defended its decision to prosecute, saying the case was a warning to other people. Inspector Graham Hammond said: “She had the use of the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals which is a free service but chose not to use it.
“This cat needlessly died because she administered a substance that is poisonous to cats.”And horses are needlessly dying up in York. What are you doing about that?
And if the answer’s ‘Nothing’, why not?
* may be sarcasm
** yep, almost certainly sarcasm