HORSE and pony owners across the Lothians have been warned to remain vigilant after a second report of mane and tail hacking in the space of a week.
In the latest incident, horse owner Jennifer Rae discovered the mane and forelock had been hacked off her gypsy cob, Jay, while he was in his field in Bonaly on Monday night.
Scottish SPCA chiefs said the bizarre incident may have been an “act of sabotage” by a jealous horse owner, or even someone involved in Satanic practices.
Senior Inspector Stuart Murray, who attended the incident, said: “There are a number of reasons why this horse’s mane and forelock may have been cut off.
“This may well be an act of sabotage by another owner to stop this particular horse competing in events.
“It could also be a sign that someone intended to steal this animal, as thieves will often cut or plait the manes of the horses or ponies so when they return with transport their target is easily identified.
“Incidents such as this have also been suggested to be linked with Satanic practices.”
On Saturday, the Evening News told how a seven-year-old girl was left devastated after the pony she planned to ride in a grooming competition at the Royal Highland Show had its forelock chopped off.
Jodie Scotland-Turner was in training to ride the three-year-old called Morris at a series of events this year, including the showpiece at Ingliston in June.
But the youngster will no longer be able to enter Morris in the contests after part of his mane was severed during an attack in Pumpherston, West Lothian, last Monday.
Jennifer, 24, a care worker who lives in Granton, said the incident had thrown Jay’s chances of competing in the showing season into doubt.
She said: “He’s normally a really canny horse but as soon as I entered the field on Monday night, he swung his back end out and kicked at me before running off.
“He’s been very jumpy ever since. I just can’t understand why anyone would do this.
“We were planning to compete in the showing season, but that is in doubt now because cob classes are strict and your horse should either be all natural or completely hogged [shaved]. If I do this, it will take two or three years to grow back.”
The incidents prompted the Scottish SPCA to issue a warning for owners to be vigilant.
Anyone who sees anything suspicious is asked to contact the SSPCA on 03000 999 999 or police on 0131-311 3131.
Cat survives 20-foot fall
AN adventurous West Lothian cat has been reunited with his owner after surviving a 20-foot drop.
The Scottish SPCA was called to rescue the black-and-white male cat after office workers in Mid Street, Bathgate, spotted him stuck in a basement at the rear of the property on Tuesday afternoon.
There was no access into the basement other than via a 20ft drop from street level.
Animal rescue officer, Connie O’Neill, used a ladder to climb down to rescue the terrified young cat.
He was recovering at the Scottish SPCA’s Edinburgh and Lothians Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre when his owner, Janey Adamson, read the story on the charity’s Facebook page and got in touch to reclaim him.