ANIMAL protection chiefs fear witchcraft may be behind a sickening spate of horse attacks.
A horse had its forelock and mane hacked off this week – the second attack of its kind in just seven days.
Last week, another pony had his forelock and mane chopped off while he was grazing in the middle of the day.
And now, SSPCA say its possible the pattern could be related to satanic rituals linked to devil worship and black magic groups.
Bizarre satanic rituals can include cutting or plaiting a horses hair, taking blood samples, or even sexual assault in the most extreme cases.
According to the ‘satanic calendar’ animal sacrifices are offered up at both the spring equinox and summer solstice.
The charity is encouraging horse and pony owners in the Lothians to be vigilant after the incidents.
Owner of the horse involved in this week’s attack, Jennifer Rae, discovered the mane and forelock had been hacked off her 10 year old gypsy cob, Jay.
The attack happened while he was in his field in the Bonally area of Edinburgh on the evening of Monday 16 April between 6.30 and 7pm.
Senior Inspector Stuart Murray attended the incident and found the horse to be shaken but otherwise unharmed.
SI Murray said, “There are a number of reasons why this horse’s mane and forelock may have been cut off and, while this would not have caused the animal any physical harm, it is likely to have been frightened by this disturbance.”
He said theories included an act of sabotage by another and criminals marking the horse for theft.
But he added: “Incidents such as this have also been suggested to be linked with Satanic practices or witchcraft.”
Julie Carpenter, who cares for and rides Jay, said the attack was “absolutely sick.”
The 44-year-old said: “If it is that then he will be heavily guarded and if they come back at the equinox then the owner will hire a security guard.
“He is an animal and he hasn’t done anything wrong. It’s not fair and to be honest I think it’s absolutely sick. Two years ago a horse was killed in England by satanic worshippers and that worries me. He has lived in this field for five or six years and nothing has happened and this just makes me feel very, very angry.”
Tampering with a horse by a stranger can be traumatic for an animal, and Jay’s owner, Jennifer added: “He’s normally a really canny horse but as soon as I entered the field last night he swung his back end out and kicked at me before running off.
“He’s been very jumpy ever since this happened and it’s such a shame.
“Jay loves his food so if someone had a bucket of feed then I can imagine they’d be able to cut his hair quite easily, I just can’t understand why anyone would do this.
“We were planning to compete in the showing season, but that is in doubt now because Cob classes are strict and your horse should either be all natural or completely hogged (shaved). If I do this it will take two or three years to grow back.”
Three-year-old welsh pony Morris also had his hair chopped off inWest Lothian on Monday April 9.
Morris was targeted sometime during the day while in his paddock in Drumshoreland Road, Pumpherston.
The horse was uninjured, however, the owners are now unable to show the animal at forthcoming events.
SI Murray added that all pony and horse owners should be on the look out for their animals.
“We are urging all horse and pony owners in the Lothian area to be vigilant,” Senior Inspector Murray said.
According to the ‘satanic calendar’ there are many dates where animals, including horses, are sacrificed. On January 7, or St Winebald day, an animal or human sacrifice is made. At both the Spring Equinox in March and Summer Solstice in December animal and human sacrifices are made as part of age-old satanic rituals.
“If anyone sees anything suspicious they should report it to Lothian and Borders police immediately or call our Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.”