ANIMAL rights campaigners came together yesterday to protest against council plans to seize horses from a Gwent common.

Around 11 protestors were at Tredegar yesterday after Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent councils announced that 50 horses and ponies on Manmoel Common would be seized if an owner does not come forward.

One campaigner described the turnout as “poor”.

A spokesman for the group who did not want to be named said: “I don’t like people hurting animals.

“It was a poor turnout for the protest this morning as we were hoping to have 20 people, but the aim was to try and prevent the council from seizing them.

“We believed today was the final day as the council gave us seven days until they seized them- but nobody turned up.

“We were waiting from around 9.45am until 12.30pm.

“The horses are not in poor health-they should be re-homed.

“It is going to cost them more money to cull the horses.

“There is no reason to kill them as they are in good health.”

The spokesman added that campaigners plan to keep protesting

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.

A Caerphilly council spokeswoman would neither confirm or deny whether the animals will be destroyed if the owners or new homes cannot be found.

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.