hobbled horseGUARDIA Civil officers are clamping down on the mistreatment of horses.

New laws to protect equines in Andalucia were introduced last year but have largely been ignored.

However the Guardia’s environmental arm, Seprona, is to enforce the law more stringently.

As of April last year it has been illegal to hobble a horse, which involves tying its front legs together, allegedly to improve patience.

Animal psychologists suggest the practise can trigger mental problems and panic attacks.

Fines of up to €10,000 can be dished out for first-time offenders, while repeat offenders can face a total ban on keeping horses.

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