HORSES were taken away from land in Great Harwood over concerns for their welfare.

The RSPCA said they were advised by vets to take the animals away after a number of visits to their field this week.

More than a dozen animals were examined by vets at the site in Clinkham Road, near Edge End on Thursday afternoon.

The RSPCA then made the decision to remove six of the horses. They will remain in RSPCA care while an investigation is ongoing.

One local walker, who contacted the Lancashire Telegraph, said: “The RSPCA were there early last week and it was good to see them because some of the horses were in a right state.

“I’m glad to hear they’ve taken some of them away because one was skin and bone.”

Another local resident said: “People walking past have been worried for some time. They don’t seem very happy and there’s not enough grass in the field to graze on.”

RSPCA officers, World Horse Welfare, and members of HAPPA, the Horse and Pony Protection Association, were at the site checking the health of the animals and feeding them hay.

After examinations were finished, vets advised that six of the horses should be removed.

Briercliffe-based HAPPA confirmed they had played an active role in helping to check on the horse’s welfare. A spokeswoman said they had spoken with vets and the RSPCA to assess what was required.

An RSPCA spokeswoman said: “The horses were seized by police on veterinary advice because of concerns for their welfare and placed in RSPCA care whilst our investigation takes place.

"No further information is available at this time."