Three horses were found dead in a County Derry field, which has prompted animal welfare officers to launch an investigation into the circumstances behind it.

Furthermore, as per The Belfast Telegraph, six other horses found in the field were suspected of being abandoned by their owner and are currently being examined by vets. It is said they are in a “horrific state”.

One woman, Teresa McKenna, noted that what she came across in the field was “heartbreaking and horrific” and has called for the animal welfare authorities to have more power in dealing with neglectful owners.

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“There is no jail time, there is no proper fine and there needs to be a stronger animal welfare act in this country, it needs to have more teeth.”

According to McKenna, one of the horses had only died recently and it had even dug its own grave.

Abandoned horses found dead and dying in Northern Ireland fieldhttps://t.co/27DkRN8SRB pic.twitter.com/kV5mKVoxYa

— Belfast Telegraph (@BelTel) June 21, 2018

“It looked like it had thrashed about for days, trying to get the strength up, that it had dug a hole for itself in the muck… the poor animal has suffered and had the most horrific death,” McKenna added.

The area where the horses were is mountainous, inhospitable, and very tough terrain to navigate as she went on to say. There is no shelter for them up there from the cold and other elements.

“Whoever dumped them here knew that they would not be seen from the road and not notice if they were emaciated.”

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The Causeway Coast and Glens Council stated on Wednesday: “Our officers are aware of a report at Glenedra Road and our animal welfare officer is on site.”

Additionally, the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) has also stated they were on site at Glenedra Road after getting the report of dead horses and said that the investigation was ongoing.

Horses were found in a neglected state, with three found dead and several others in a "horrific state."iStock/andreonegin