Horse owner near Leamington urges walkers to respect livestock to avoid 'killing with kindness'
She is concerned about people feeding the horses as well as dogs not being on leads and children's safety
A horse owner who stables her horses just outside Leamington is urging walkers to respect livestock to avoid them 'killing with kindness'.
Kate Smith said she has seen an increase in worrying behaviour during the lockdowns which has left her concerned for her horses.
She said: "The farm has a public path through it, we often find walkers walk off the path, walking onto paddocks with the horses, the main part of the farm and where the stables are.
"It is a working farm so there is also farm machinery about.
"People are seen touching the horses,which normally wouldn't be a big issue but with the coronavirus being about common sense would say not to.
"Also if made upset the horses could bite and kick.
"The main problem is that people are feeding the horses despite having many signs up not to - it's a myth that all horses can have carrots and apples.
"Carrots have been found in a paddock still in the plastic too.
"For some the sugar in them can be too high.
"There are a number of condition they can suffer with including equine metabolic syndrome, Colic, Laminitis and digestive upset due to grain over load such excessive fruit and snacks. The list goes on."
As well as concerns about people feeding and touching horses, Kate says she is also worried about dogs being off leads and children being too close to livestock.
She said: "I have witness children running along side horses in the paddock as the parents watch on. They are beautiful animals but are flight animals and unpredictable - all they have to do is kick out and get over excited and your child can get hurt or worst
"Walkers with dogs have also been seen walking through with dogs off the lead.
"I personally have seen the dogs running into the paddocks and around horses legs and to put it bluntly if the horse kicks your dog, it will probably die and it won't be anyone's fault but the owners'.
"Also its a worry for farmers this time of year with dogs off the lead as it's lambing season and you hear in the news every year of dog attacks on ewes and lambs.
"So my message to the public would be please come and enjoy the countryside but please consider the people who are working,living and have animals there.
"Keep you dogs on a lead near livestock, please don't feed horses or other animals without the owners consent - your kindness may actual kill."