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The owner of greedy horse painted it with 'do not feed me' to protect her animal after a passer-by put him in danger.
Johanna Lesley Bayliss-Fuller was forced to go to the extreme lengths after returning to her horse, Donkey, to find that fence posts had been removed from his enclosure in Dedham, on Friday evening.
Donkey was left to roam, with the still live electric fence left on the ground by, what Johanna believes was a concerned passer-by.
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She said that the person may have been concerned by the lack of grass in the horse's field, but explained why these conditions are necessary to keep him alive.
"The horse in question has laminitis and he had a small bout of it about six weeks ago now and that's why he was in this patch with not too much grass, as eating too much of it would make him flare up again," she said.
Laminitis is a condition affecting one in ten horses or ponies every year and can cause permanent damage to the hooves.
It affects tissue called sensitive laminae which are found in the horse’s hoof and in extreme cases the pedal bone can rotate and drop through the sole of the hoof.
In such cases, euthanasia is likely to be the only treatment option to end the horse’s suffering.
Over the last few years, Johanna says she has seen an increase in the number of people walking in the area and has become worried about the amount of extra food her horses have been given by passers-by, with their individual conditions often being worsened by over-eating.
To clear up any confusion she wrote the words 'do not feed me' on the side of Donkey using sheep marker spray.
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