THE owners of 50 wild horses roaming a common have a week to come forward or the animals will be seized.

The Argus reported last year how dozens of ponies and horses had been dumped on Manmoel Common, between the Ebbw and Sirhowy Valleys, and Cefn Golau Common, between Rhymney and Tredegar, and were either left for dead or suffering from severe malnutrition.

Campaigners rallied round to feed the animals, which they feared in some cases had been abandoned because of the depressed horse market and the horse meat scandal.

Now Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent councils have announced that 50 horses and ponies on Manmoel will be seized if an owner does not come forward. A Caerphilly council spokeswoman would neither confirm or deny whether the animals will be destroyed if theowners or new homes cannot be found.

Blaenau Gwent councillor Kevin Brown, member for Brynmawr ward said: “These horses are part of the Welsh landscape. It’s such a big place, I can’t see why they have made this ultimatum. I can’t stand there and do nothing about it, even if I have to protest on the mountains.”

In a statement the authorities said they had been working with charities and other groups to address welfare issues with the horses.

They had been asked to step in by the landowner, they said, citing powers under the new Control of Horses Act 2014 and the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Residents with any information about the owners should call 01495 235251.