ANIMAL grazing on the Mardyke Valley is to be stopped during the winter months with immediate effect, it has been announced today.

A meeting between Thurrock Council and the tenant of the land agreed no grazing will take place between November and March.

The horses currently on the site will be removed and relocated as soon as a suitable alternative location has been found. Campaigners have been urging the council to move the horses for months.

The animals have been left on the land, a flood plain, despite the worsening conditions with the recent bad weather.

A council spokesperson said: “Checks have been carried out on each horse currently grazing on the Mardyke Valley and each of them has an appropriate passport.

“The RSPCA have confirmed that there are no immediate significant welfare issues for the horses and have given welfare advice to the owners where appropriate.”

Councillor Angie Gaywood, in charge of public protection at the council, said: “The council and RSPCA are working together to make sure there are no animal welfare issues and I am pleased that the owner is working with us to ensure the situation is resolved as quickly as possible."