THE butchered remains of horse were found dumped in bags next to train tracks near Southampton.

The gruesome discovery of the animal’s head, torso and legs was made by railway maintenance workers close to Salterns Lane, Bursledon.

Part of the torso had been stripped of flesh.

The RSPCA is investigating and described it as the worst case it had seen.

Inspector Penny Baker said there was no way of identifying the horse or determining the exact cause of death, or whether the animal had suffered, because of the state of the carcass.

She said: “We deal with a lot of reports of abandoned, neglected and emaciated horses, but this is horrific.

“I thought I had seen some horrible sights in my time as an inspector, but this is by far the worst. It is an all time low.”

The incident comes as the charity is dealing with an increasing number of horses going into care and being abandoned as some owners struggle to afford to keep them.

Inspector Baker added: “The cost of disposing of a dead horse is not cheap, and it seems some people are just dumping their animals rather than paying anything.”

The discovery was made on Tuesday morning.