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Demand for action after firework ‘causes horse’s death’

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 02, 2014

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THE devastated owner of a horse which died after being spooked by fireworks has demanded justice.

Kirsty Youart’s nine-year-old mare Gracie was found seriously injured in Overseal on Monday morning after a firework set off the previous night caused panic among the six horses residing in a field nearby.

Nothing could be done to save the stricken animal, which was later put down.

Witnesses in Overseal described hearing a loud bang that ‘shook windows’ near the field, off Valley Road – louder than that of a regular firework would be expected to make, they said, leading to suspicions the device could have surpassed the 120-decibel limit permitted in the UK.

Miss Youart said she had never had any problems with the animals on Bonfire Night, when fireworks would normally be heard.

Aside from her loss, Miss Youart has also been left with hefty vet bills, with another of her horses having been seriously injured.

The two animals are thought to have collided during their panic.

The 24-year-old has already had to part with £360 to have Gracie put down and for its body to be collected, and said she was reluctant to claim on insurance for fear of rising premiums.

Miss Youart said: “I discovered that it was a big, loud firework. Apparently whoever did it has done it numerous times.

“Everybody said it sounded like a bomb had gone off and it shook the windows. It was definitely not a normal firework. I want something done about it.”

She said she had been told by the RSPCA that there were grounds to prosecute the person responsible, but that the charity would not be able to take action as the act would not be classed as animal cruelty. She is also currently dealing with the police.

People living in the area said they had heard the fireworks being set off on a regular basis lately.

Miss Youart said: “They shouldn’t be setting off huge display fireworks in their back garden. On Bonfire Night I have always checked on the horses and they have never been spooked or bolted.

“I’m very angry. I rescued this mare, did everything to save her and she was healthy.

“She was like my baby.”

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