After the intervention of police, the escaped horses were rounded up and treated for various injuries.
The National Council of SPCAs said it was devastated by the violence inflicted on the horses.
“This situation is incredibly disturbing — that the animals were targeted in what appears to be an employer/employee conflict is not only absurd but absolutely inexcusable. These kinds of disputes should be settled in the appropriate forums and should certainly never involve innocent creatures or incite violence.
“This is not only a contravention of the Animals Protection Act but it is also indicative of the state of our nation's integrity and morals — violence towards humans and animals alike should not even be a consideration. It is a sad day for horses — and a sad day for SA,” the NSPCA said in a statement.
The Eastern Cape Horse Care Unit and the Animal Anti Cruelty League in Port Elizabeth were pursuing the incident, it added.