The RSPCA is appealing for information after a vet removed an old Fanta drink can from inside a horse. Two parts of the degraded aluminium can were manually removed by a vet who carried out an internal examination after being contacted by the horse’s current owners because they were concerned about her uterine problems.

The foreign object appeared to have been lodged in the Shire mare “for some time” and the charity is trying to establish what happened during the time she was being kept at a yard in the Biddulph area of North Staffordshire around two years ago.

The horse has been rehomed from the yard and her previous owners are not under any suspicion, said the RSPCA, but the mare may have been “interfered with by an unknown person” while she was staying at a yard they were using at the time. The can was stamped with a date mark of April 30, 2020.

The can found embedded in the mare

Anyone who has or had connections to a yard in the ST8 postcode area  or the horses stabled there between 2020 and 2022 is being asked if they recall any suspicious activity during that time.

The horse is expected to make a full recovery from her health issues.

“The Fanta can had broken down inside the horse and skin tissue had grown around it,” said RSPCA Inspector Pamela Bird, who was notified of the case by the vet who removed the can. “It is quite horrific to think the poor creature had this embedded deep inside her for so long and the equine vet was shocked to find it.

“The horse has been rehomed, but two years ago she was stabled in the Biddulph area. She was suffering from health problems then, but the owners couldn’t find out what was causing them.

The date stamp on the can

“There is no suggestion of neglect on their part, but it looks like this foreign object could have been inserted at that time without their knowledge by an unknown person. We are trying to establish how this happened. There may be someone who has heard of something similar happening in the North Staffordshire/Stoke-on-Trent area and specifically in the ST8 postcode area.”

The incident comes as the RSPCA has launched its Cancel Out Cruelty fund-raising campaign which aims to raise funds to help its frontline rescue teams continue to save animals from cruelty.

“This incident really highlights why we need to Cancel out Cruelty to animals and bring abusers to justice,” added the inspector, who has informed Staffordshire Police about the incident.

Anyone with any information about the mare is asked to contact the RSPCA on the charity’s appeal line number 0300 123 8018.

To find out more about the Cancel out Cruelty campaign, click here.

Subscribe and save up to 49%

Find out what’s inside the latest issue of Your Horse

Get the latest issue