Walkers warned over feeding horses near Edinburgh path as they may die - and it will be 'your fault'

The stark message includes, ‘We do not post Mars bars through your letter box to your kids/dogs’.
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A horse owner in Edinburgh has made a bold plea to passers-by not to feed their animals in case they get ill and ‘need to be shot dead’ – which would be ‘your fault’.

The signs have appeared in the south west of the Capital, on land near to Baberton, on the popular public right of way known as Donkey Lane which runs to Currie.

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The signs have appeared on land in the south west of the city. Picture: JPIMediaThe signs have appeared on land in the south west of the city. Picture: JPIMedia
The signs have appeared on land in the south west of the city. Picture: JPIMedia
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Lockdown walkers are understood to have been giving the two animals treats, including carrots, apples and bread.

But the horses’ owner has hit back stressing ‘you do not have permission’, with clear signage now in place around the field where they graze.

“We do not post Mars bars thru (sic) your letter box to your kids/dogs, so don’t feed the horses,” one sign reads.

“You do not have permission and apples, carrots, bread make them ill – even just one little bit.

"If (they) get ill they will be shot dead - your fault". Picture: JPIMedia"If (they) get ill they will be shot dead - your fault". Picture: JPIMedia
"If (they) get ill they will be shot dead - your fault". Picture: JPIMedia

“Respect their right to live safely.”

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Another sign explains the horses are ‘older and diabetic’ and are on ‘daily medication’.

It adds: “Apples/carrots turn to sugar in their stomach poisoning them. If (they) get ill they will be shot dead – your fault.”

The Scottish SPCA has clear guidelines on feeding horses who do not belong to individuals, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.

Its guidelines stress that feeding horses ‘the wrong thing’ can cause illnesses such as laminitis, equine metabolic syndrome and colic.

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The charity’s Hold Your Horses campaign also stresses that during the pandemic touching gates and patting horses could transfer coronavirus to others, who ‘will no longer be able to care for their animals’.

A walker out on Donkey Lane last night told the Evening News: “This path has understandably been very popular during the lockdown and the horses have become something of an attraction, particularly for kids in the area.

“I had no idea the extent of damage apples and carrots could do to them, so whoever put the signs up is making an important point.

“They’re pretty blunt though, especially the bit about the horses maybe having to be killed. I suppose that’s what is needed to stop people feeding them though.”