I am writing to you because I have just returned to London, having stayed for a week at our house near Quinta do Lago.
I am shocked and horrified at the way the Portuguese Authorities are doing NOTHING to stop the sadistic abuse and starvation of the gypsy horses.
I witnessed three horses in a field by the road just after the roundabout from Almancil to Apolónia supermarket. They were tethered by their necks in the blazing hot sun, with no water or food. A grey horse was just skin on a skeleton of bones and dying!
I own eleven horses of my own in England, where this treatment would never be allowed. If the horses are no longer of use to these people then they should be humanely destroyed, not left to die in such a cruel way.
I contacted an animal shelter to ask if they could help. They told me that another person they knew, who was just as shocked as me, was taking water daily to these horses, as the gypsies were only giving them a little amount of water every three days. And they tried to call the relevant department that takes care of cruelty cases and they would do nothing about it.
A 10 year old boy witnessed them beating a horse near to death and he rang an animal shelter crying for them to help the horse. Still NOTHING was done. Portugal needs all the tourists they can get at the moment. Do you think visitors want to see this kind of cruelty when they go on their holidays? At least the people who are responsible for animal welfare should do something to help stop this kind of behaviour. That is what they are paid to do.
Sadly I do not live there full time or I would be able to help stop this torture. Horses have no voice to complain. But believe me, the Algarve will be complaining a lot when tourists no longer want to visit, because NO ONE GIVES A DAMN.
I hope you print this letter in your paper to bring this dreadful portrayal of the way animals are treated to light!