Welcoming leading charities to equine summit
We hosted a recent equine summit attended by other leading charities, welfare groups and equine experts to tackle the growing horse crisis.
In the past year the number of horses and ponies which have come into our care because of neglect and cruelty has doubled.
Other equine charities are also struggling to cope with an influx of animals.
Members of the National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) met to discuss the scale of the horse crisis, trends in the trade of horses and market prices and how best to tackle the problem.
Growing numbers of horses in need
Speakers from Redwings, RSPCA and World Horse Welfare described how frontline charity workers are trying to cope with the growing number of abused, abandoned and neglected horses.
RSPCA Chief Inspector Cathy Hyde, said:
The grim picture of the horse crisis is there are about 3,000 horses and ponies across the UK which are currently at risk and all welfare groups are full to bursting.
In some cases foals are being sold for as little as £1 each at markets so for unscrupulous dealers it’s easier and more profitable to let horses suffer and die than pay for their care.
Planning for a better future for equines
The summit, which included representatives of 17 rescue centres, three governments, local authorities and universities, discussed a number of ways to tackle the horse crisis.
These included using birth control, improving and enforcing legislation and finding more homes. It was suggested that NEWC:
- Create a clear strategy for making governments and the public aware of the scale and nature of the problem and how to tackle it.
- Explore making horses more readily identifiable and linked to their keepers and location.
- Extend the reach of horse welfare work by sharing knowledge and skills of our members.
- Work with horse owners, particularly large scale owners and breeders to prevent numbers growing further.
Charities facing stark realities
NEWC chairman, Nicolas de Brauwere MRCVS, head of head of welfare, rehabilitation and education at Redwings Horse Sanctuary, said:
We are being deluged with horses left, right and centre. It’s only by coming together that we can solve this.
Is it acceptable on welfare grounds to euthanise perfectly healthy horses because there’s no home for them?
In the ideal world I don’t think so but I don’t think we will have many choices if the numbers of horses coming in this winter are similar to last winter.
We have got some very stark choices to make.
Working towards a better future
We have pledged to end the euthanasia of any rehomable animal.
Please, show your support.
How you can help
- Foster or rehome a horse in our care
By giving a horse in our care a permanent or temporary home you will help us to reach more horses in need.
- Donate tack
Caring for so many horses, ponies and donkeys puts a big strain on our equipment so we are always in need of donated goods.
- Give a monetary donation
It costs us at least £5,000 to care for, rehabilitate and rehome each horse. Your support is vital.