AUTHORITIES have continued to share their concern following the sad discovery of a dead horse in the River Stour a few weeks ago but there appears to be no resolution in sight.

The grim discovery was made around four weeks ago and concerned members of the public have approached councils, agencies and local councillors for help to get the animal removed from the water close to the Wordsley Waterfall.

Wordsley and Kingswinford councillors Kerry Lewis and Shaz Saleem told the News they have both been in touch with the relevant authorities to try to find out what can be done after hearing about the situation.

However, South Staffordshire Council, the Environment Agency and the Canal & River Trust have all said there’s little to nothing they can do to resolve the matter.

The Canal & River Trust told the News the trust was aware of the “sad story about the horse” and sorry to hear the matter has not been resolved but a spokesperson added: “As the River Stour isn’t one of the waterways we look after so there isn’t much we can do to help. As a charity we have limited resources and funds so can only act if this is something affecting one of our canals or rivers.

“The responsibility to remove the animal lays with either the owner of the land or the owner of the animal so it’s down to them to have the horse removed.”

The Environment Agency said it too had been made aware of the situation but said: “While we share the local community’s concern, the Environment Agency is unable to remove dead animals or birds from private land as the responsibility lies with the owner of either the land or deceased animal.

“We are able to respond to such incidents only if the watercourse becomes blocked and poses a risk of flooding. We encourage either the land or horse owner to come forward and to remove it.”

Meanwhile, South Staffordshire Council has said it has been working to find a solution but today the authority conceded it would be too risky to attempt to remove the deceased animal.

A spokesperson for the council said: “South Staffordshire Council appreciates the sight of the carcass is unpleasant and despite the council not having a legal or statutory duty to remove the carcass from the watercourse, officers have been working hard to find a safe and cost-effective solution for its removal.

“This has, however, proved extremely challenging as we do not have the necessary resources or expertise to handle the matter safely ourselves. We have approached a number of specialist contractors to undertake the removal, but due to a lack of vehicle entry points getting equipment on site is very difficult.

“This has been further complicated by the carcass being lodged in overhanging trees in very close proximity to a weir and fast flowing water, which presents significant risks.

“The council has been advised that the carcass does not present a flooding or pollution risk, therefore the cost to remove the carcass and the potential safety issues involved presents an unviable situation and a level of risk the council is not prepared to take, despite our best efforts of trying to find a solution to this matter.”

Members of the public, however, have said it’s a disgrace that the dead animal has been left in situ to decompose.

The sorry site has sparked much anger on social media along with repeated calls for action.

One poster said: “Disgusting, as a young family walked down by the waterfall to be greeted with this.”

Another commented: “Absolutely heart-breaking, it’s disgusting to treat any animals this way - how can the authorities live with themselves knowing the poor horse is still there?”