ANIMAL lovers who have been feeding horses dodgy ‘treats’ – including a McDonald’s Happy Meal – are in danger of killing them with kindness, their owner fears.

Passers-by regularly offer food to the animals in a field on the outskirts of Barrhead.

However, their menu choices leave something to be desired, with the likes of burgers and fries being served up.

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Now the horses’ owner, Rachael Colton, has erected a sign at the field to warn people they could end up accidentally killing the animals.

She told the Barrhead News: “A lot of horses have special dietary requirements and allergies, which means extra food can be so dangerous.

“A wee carrot here and there may not seem like a huge amount but, when there are 20-plus people each day doing it, it all adds up.

“People who don’t have any experience around horses aren’t informed enough to understand what foods are poisonous or dangerous for them to eat. I even caught someone feeding them a Happy Meal.”

Rachael said the popularity of her horses, which are kept in a field just off Lochlibo Road, near to the Fereneze Plant Nursery, has been a problem for some time.

The Barrhead mum added: “Me and my husband have just spent a small fortune and lots of time redoing fences as, even if the horses are called to the gate but not fed, as soon as the people walk away, they force themselves against the fences.

“As you can imagine, it would be super dangerous if they were to get out onto Lochlibo Road.”

The sign erected by Rachael reads: ‘Extra food and treats can do serious harm to the digestive tract and can easily lead to death.’

It also urges passers-by to ‘resist the temptation’ of feeding the horses.

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Rachael said: “With the wee café opening up in the garden centre, the problem has got so much worse, as lots of kids are excited to see the horses after their visit.

“I know that nobody is doing it knowingly to cause problems but I would ask for people visiting not to shout my horses to the gate, even just for a pat, as it’s causing a massive issue for us.”

Councillor Angela Convery, who represents Barrhead, Liboside and Uplawmoor, is backing Rachael’s plea for common sense to be shown.

She said: “People shouldn’t be feeding any animal that doesn’t belong to them.

“They don’t know if Mrs Colton’s horses are intolerant to certain types on foods, like apples or carrots, never mind a McDonald’s. That is just ridiculous.

“Unless they have asked the owner what is and what is not acceptable, they should leave well alone.

“The owner herself feeds her horses and she knows what is best for them.”

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