World Horse Welfare campaign to end long-distance transport to slaughter gathers momentum
World Horse Welfare highlights urgent need for rehoming due to an influx of welfare cases across Rescue and Rehoming Centres
Thank you so much for everyone’s on-going support with the National Equine Health Survey 2017. Here are the results www.bluecross.org.uk/nehs and don’t forget to register and support the survey next year.
World Horse Welfare continues its fight to end the exhausting long journeys suffered by more than 50,000 horses transported across Europe for slaughter each year and the charity now needs support more than ever before.
Each day, more than 130 horses will begin their journey to the slaughterhouse – travelling for thousands of miles across Europe by road before eventually arriving at their destination suffering fatigue, severe stress and completely broken in spirit.
The law which currently allows these journeys to last for up to 24 hours at a time, in an ongoing cycle for days on end, is failing horses and World Horse Welfare is determined to bring change. The charity is asking supporters to sign a petition calling on the European Commission to impose a maximum journey limit of 9-12 hours, which its own scientific advisors have recommended. This would dramatically improve the health and welfare of the horses subjected to this completely unnecessary torment on their way to slaughter as well as making the regulation easier to enforce.
Since launching in May, the campaign has gathered in excess of 13,000 signatures and World Horse Welfare will soon be launching concurrent campaigns in Poland, Italy and Spain, but still needs vital support from the UK public in order to boost impact while we are still part of the European Union.
World Horse Welfare has campaigned to end the long-distance transport of horses to slaughter across Europe since the charity was founded in 1927 and with the help of its dedicated supporters has brought about a number of key improvements, reducing the number of horses transported from 165,000 in 2001 to around 50,000 today and introducing partitions in lorries to prevent severe overcrowding and trampling. This latest campaign is another step towards the charity’s goal of ending the long-distance transport of horses across Europe for slaughter by its 100th anniversary in 2027.
World Horse Welfare Chief Executive, Roly Owers, said:
“We are so grateful to everyone who has supported our campaign so far, signing and sharing our petition and donating to our appeal but we must keep momentum going and continue pressing the European Commission to impose a 9-12 hours maximum journey limit. The stress, dehydration and exhaustion caused by these arduous journeys is completely unacceptable and if horses are to be slaughtered, we believe it should be done as close to source as possible.
“The successes that have been achieved in our campaign over the last 90 years have only been realised due to the unfailing dedication of our supporters and we need as many people as possible to share news of this latest campaign so that we can reach our goal to bring about this vital change in legislation.”
Support the campaign and help World Horse Welfare reach its goal of ending the long distance transport of horses to slaughter by 2027: https://goo.gl/ZofcwD
Sign the petition: https://e-activist.com/page/9211/petition/1?ea.tracking.id=live%20transport
Read why your support is so vital: http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/Transport-Action-Plan
Each year, World Horse Welfare finds new homes for around 300 horses and ponies around the UK and this Rehome a Horse Month the charity is highlighting eight ponies who have been particularly unsuccessful in their search for a new best friend or family. Bailey, Beau, Bren, Griff, Marge, Quaver, Roxy and Ted are just a selection of over eighty horses and ponies currently looking for homes on World Horse Welfare’s Rehoming Scheme which is the largest of its kind in the UK.
Rehoming is vital to the sustainability of the World Horse Welfare’s work as each horse or pony rehomed leaves space for another in need of help. Current stocking levels across all four of the charity’s Rescue and Rehoming Centres are particularly high and so the need to find the right homes for as many horses and ponies on the Rehoming Scheme is more important than ever.
World Horse Welfare Deputy Chief Executive, Tony Tyler, said:
“Before the winter has even started, two of our four Rescue and Rehoming Centres are over capacity and the other two are very close to their maximum stocking levels too. It is difficult to pinpoint any major factors which have led to the large numbers of horses and ponies currently in our care, however with a harsh winter forecast ahead, it is vital that we continue to find homes for as many equines on our rehoming scheme as possible.
“I would urge anyone thinking about getting a new horse or pony to please consider rehoming in the first instance. Not only can you find your ideal equine partner with a guarantee of complete honesty and transparency but you will also have the satisfaction of knowing that you are giving that particular horse or pony a second chance at the life and love they deserve.
“In addition, rehoming from World Horse Welfare offers a safety net that should things with your new horse or pony not work out or your circumstances change the equine can be returned to our care at any time. All of our rehomers tell us over and over again that they wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it so please do go and search our website now and see if you can join them.”
Lonely Ponies at World Horse Welfare Hall Farm – Snetterton in Norfolk
An intelligent 12.1hh, 6 year old pony mare looking for a home as a companion, Bailey is bright as a button, inquisitive and very quick to learn. Her unusual spotty colouring ensures she always stands out from the crowd and whilst she does need firm boundaries setting, she will be your best friend for life. Bailey has been looking for a home since October 2016.
Full of character and sociable with humans and equines alike, 12hh, 8 year old mare Roxy is looking for a home as a companion. She is highly intelligent, curious and inquisitive so needs a home where she can keep busy and be a loyal friend to her new family. Roxy has been looking for a home since October 2015.
Lonely Ponies at World Horse Welfare Belwade Farm – Aboyne in Aberdeenshire
Sweet and good-natured, 13.1hh, 4 year old mare Beau really lives up to her name. This beautiful youngster is looking for a home as a companion and will need regular handling. She was very nervous when she came into our care but has grown immensely in confidence and can’t wait to find a home where she can continue her education. Beau has been looking for a home since March 2016.
Ted (Copperfield) https://goo.gl/d7MeKt
Adorable 12.3hh, 3 year old gelding Ted is looking for a home where he can continue learning about the world with a view to being backed to ride in the future. Ted was initially worried by human contact but his character is beginning to shine through and he loves attention – becoming rather cheeky. Ted has been looking for a home since August 2016.
Lonely Ponies at World Horse Welfare Penny Farm – Blackpool in Lancashire:
Lovely, quiet little 11.2hh yearling filly Marge is looking for a home where she can continue her handling and development. Although only one year old, Marge is good to groom, catch and is well behaved for the vet and farrier. She is very gentle and loves nothing more than fuss and attention. Marge has so far only received one rehoming application.
Handsome 13hh, 3 year old gelding Quaver is looking for a very special home as a companion/project pony. Quaver came into our care as a feral, unhandled pony and it has taken a long time to build his confidence and trust in humans. Quaver is a very kind pony who needs routine and careful handling to help him continue learning and develop a close bond with his rehomer. Quaver has been looking for a home since April 2017.
Lonely Ponies at World Horse Welfare Glenda Spooner Farm – Kingsdon in Somerset
Lynbrie Brenhins (Bren) https://goo.gl/oy7HmF
Pretty 13.2hh, 5 year old mare Bren is looking for a home as a companion where she could take part in horse agility or low level in-hand showing. Sweet-natured with stunning good looks and a heart of gold, Bren is a fantastic field companion and would love to find her forever home. Bren has been looking for a home since October 2016.
Friendly 13.2hh, 2 year old gelding Griff is looking for a home where he can continue learning about the world. Inquisitive and a very fast-learner, Griff has proved himself a natural at horse agility and loves nothing more than spending time with both his human and horse companions. Griff is sociable, laid back and great to handle. Griff has been looking for a home since December 2016.
Search more horses and ponies for rehoming: www.worldhorsewelfare.org/rehoming
Owner of Emaciated Horse Left with an Untreated Lice Infestation Banned from Keeping Equines for Life
Philip Strachan (D.O.B 3.10.52) of Stocks Drive, Goole, appeared at Beverley Magistrates Court on Wednesday (6th Sept) and pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering and failing to meet the needs of an aged Thoroughbred mare in his care.
Mr Strachan admitted offences under Section 4 and Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, in a prosecution case brought by the RSPCA, after his elderly mare, Tessa, was found severely emaciated, suffering a severe lice infestation and open wound which had not been treated. In addition, she only had access to a shelter with filthy bedding.
World Horse Welfare Field Officer, Sarah Tucker, was alerted to the horse being kept in the village of Lund, East Yorkshire, by a caller to the charity’s welfare line in March 2017. She said:
“I attended the location on a cold, miserable wet day where I found a bay Thoroughbred-type mare wearing a thin blue rug. Even through the rug I could see her hips and pelvic bones sticking out. There was a man-made shelter within the field which had dirty, wet faecal contaminated bedding inside.. I contacted RSPCA Inspector Claire Mitchell and Veterinary Surgeon, Kirsty Nelson of Aldgate Vets, Driffield, and asked them to attend the location. Once they arrived, we removed the rug and found a large wound on her withers that had scabbed and had become attached to the rug. Her coat was dull and she had a severe lice infestation.
“Tessa was an old mare who should have been receiving extra care, not to be left in a field struggling. Seeing her stood alone in the field with only a thin sheet for warmth she looked in a pitiful state, all of her bones were protruding and her body was covered in lice. Seeing any animal in an emaciated state is shocking but this situation was totally unnecessary and could easily been prevented by providing basic care with palatable food, a deep clean bed and an appropriate rug to help maintain body condition.
“Caring for an elderly animal always comes with additional challenges but it is vital that owners seek regular veterinary advice and ensure their needs are being met. It is unacceptable to leave any animal in its twilight years without providing additional care. Anyone concerned about a horse or in need of advice should call World Horse Welfare’s welfare line on 08000 480 180.”
RSPCA Inspector Claire Mitchell said: “Tessa was the thinnest horse I have ever seen. She was very wobbly on her feet and in the state she was in, at her age, the outlook wasn’t good.
“This was a really sad and upsetting case – all animals need a bit of extra TLC when they get older but Tessa didn’t get it, and she suffered as a result.
“Just because an animal is aged doesn’t mean it is normal and okay for him or her to be suffering – if you’ve got an old animal and they are thin or ill then there is something wrong and they need to be seen by a vet.”
Tessa was removed to safety and a place where she could receive the dedicated care and veterinary attention she so desperately needed but unfortunately she was in such a terrible state that she collapsed and the decision was sadly made to put her to sleep 72 hours after her rescue.
Philip Strachan was disqualified from keeping all equines for life, a 12 week custodial sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay £300 in costs.
In mitigation the court heard that the defendant was very sorry for what had happened.
For the first time since 2009, some of the greatest minds in the field of equine management and welfare will flock to Australia for the 13th International Equitation Science conference in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. Hosted by Charles Sturt University, the 2017 ISES Down Under conference theme is ‘Equitation Science in Practice: Collaboration, Communication and Change’ and you are invited to hear for yourself, from scientists all over the world, what they have learned in the past year and how their work is helping to figure out the puzzle.
HorseWorld’s Discovery Courses could win £5,000 funding to help children coping with mental illness and there’s one day left to vote!
We’d love to get up to 1st place and win this funding. It will allow 40 children who are struggling to cope with mental illness to work with our gentle rescued horses in a structured 6 week program. This can really transform their lives, building their confidence and helping them with communication.
It takes a minute or so to vote but it won’t cost you anything and you can opt not to be contacted. Every vote makes a difference. Voting closes at midday tomorrow. We’ll let you know the result.
The competition was a closely fought contest between six rehomed World Horse Welfare horses and ponies who made it to the final and paraded at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, before the winner was announced by event rider, Piggy French.
The public had been voting in their hundreds for which horse or pony should be chosen to receive the Rehomed Superstar accolade and welsh pony Nutkin’s story from nervous youngster to confidence-giving child’s pony helped him take the top spot.
12.3hh, eight year old Nutkin came into World Horse Welfare’s care in 2009 with a group of other horses and ponies from a ‘rescue’ centre where the owner had become unable to care for the animals any longer. Nutkin was underweight, listless and suffering from a lice infestation.
After undergoing rehabilitation, Nutkin was backed and rehomed to a family where he was ridden by two young children. He recently returned to World Horse Welfare and was rehomed earlier this year to Leah Fowler and her five year old daughter, Darcy, who has formed an inseparable partnership with him and together the pair compete at all Pony Club activities.
“So much hard work from the World Horse Welfare has gone in to get them to this point.
“The six who got to the final are amazing and a credit to all those concerned.
“It means so much to everyone who has looked after these ponies so well, Darcy had tears in her eyes, and it’s great to see.
“To see them so happy and loved is everything, they’ve got such life and they’re so wanted, “I’ve been on the back of one of them to do a lap of honour and that’s got my adrenaline up for the weekend.”
Nutkin’s rehomer, Leah Fowler, said:
“He has his cheeky tendencies like any pony, but he is a superstar.
“He is Darcy’s pony, that’s what I love about him, when he’s with me or anyone else he gets pulled about and is a jitterbug, but when he’s with Darcy he is a completely different character.
“He looks after her, enjoys her company and they just love each other – that’s what makes it so special.
“We’ve only had him since February, but they’re a match made in heaven.”
The winning announcement also marks the start of World Horse Welfare’s annual Rehome a Horse Month which this year takes place in September. The month of activity will showcase the many benefits of rehoming by highlighting case studies of rehomed horses and ponies as well as raising awareness of those currently searching for a new home. World Horse Welfare has over 1,700 horses and ponies out in homes across the country, but there are always more looking to find a new partner or family where they can fulfil their potential.
World Horse Welfare Deputy Chief Executive, Tony Tyler, said:
“We are so grateful to the finalists who paraded at Burghley today but also to everyone who entered our 2017 Rehomed Horse of the Year competition throughout the four categories, with winners in the other three categories yet to be announced. These finalists are fantastic advocates for the many benefits of rehoming and also demonstrate the wide range of talents that our rehomed horses and ponies possess. I hope that anyone who has watched today’s parade or voted online will now be motivated to find out more about rehoming and who knows, they could be next year’s Rehomed Horse of the Year Superstars.
“We’d also like to thank the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials for sponsoring this category and hosting the final.”
Find out more about rehoming at: www.worldhorsewelfare.org/rehoming
One of World Horse Welfare’s more unusual rescue cases recently came in the form of a young donkey who was found fly-grazing at various locations around Middlesex including a supermarket car park and outside of a doctor’s surgery, whilst being travelled and ‘stabled’ overnight in the back of a transit van.
Delilah, as she has been named, is now in the care of World Horse Welfare’s Glenda Spooner Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre enjoying a much more traditional donkey life as she undergoes rehabilitation. World Horse Welfare Field Officer, Nick White, had previously visited Delilah, advising her owners on the care she required and providing forage. He said:
“The first time I was alerted to Delilah, she was less than a year old, very frightened and living overnight in the back of a transit van which she had to jump up into. The van had no ventilation and only rags on the floor with no fresh air and would have been very cold during the winter nights. During the day she was tethered in the car park of a DIY superstore near Heathrow and her owners would not be parted with her, despite my offers to take her into the charity’s care.
“I continued to monitor her condition and saw her in a number of different locations. On a visit one day in March, Delilah was clearly exhausted and lying on the grass outside of a local doctor’s surgery with no water. This is clearly not ideal for any equine, but particularly for donkeys who rely so heavily on companionship and at such a young age too. I knew we had to try and get her out of this situation.
“I met with the people who had been caring for her and it became apparent that her previous owners had moved on, leaving Delilah behind and with no provisions for her care. Her current carers were about to be evicted and could not take Delilah with them so they gladly signed her over into World Horse Welfare’s ownership. Delilah was then transported to our Glenda Spooner Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre where she has since been undergoing rehabilitation and learning all about what the life of an equine should be.
“Coming across a fly-grazing donkey is certainly not a common occurrence in my job with World Horse Welfare but thankfully we were able to save Delilah from this situation and she now has a bright future ahead.”
Delilah has been thriving in her new life at World Horse Welfare and is enjoying making lots of new friends with the various horses and ponies at the Somerset Rescue and Rehoming Centre. Delilah’s friendly nature and good looks have already proved a hit with visitors to Glenda Spooner Farm and a recent competition to find a fitting name for this furry donkey had over 100 entries. The winning name was suggested by visitor Kate in honour of her daughter, Delilah, and an official naming ceremony is soon to take place.
Note to editors:
International horse charity, World Horse Welfare, has launched a new fundraising initiative which challenges supporters to don their aprons, get baking and host their own stable-themed breakfast brunch, The Morning Feed.
Designed to get friends, family, riding partners, yards, competition teams and colleagues together to have fun and raise vital funds to support World Horse Welfare’s work, The Morning Feed asks budding baking stars and kitchen captains to create mouth-watering recipes using ingredients that would even tempt your horse!
A little help has already been offered from some familiar faces such as World Horse Welfare Patron, Lee McKenzie, who has devised a delicious Healthy ‘Cool Mix’ Granola, Jane Holderness-Roddam CBE LVO who has come up with the ultimate Power Breakfast and fellow World Horse Welfare Patron and Olympic medallist, Pippa Funnell, who has created Healthy Granola Biscuits.
Launched in partnership with Horse & Hound, which has chosen World Horse Welfare as its Charity of the Year for 2017, The Morning Feed is set to become a regular event of the charity’s fundraising calendar. World Horse Welfare Director of Fundraising, Emma Williams, explains:
“We really wanted to come up with a new fundraising initiative which would give our supporters the opportunity to get together with their friends and family for a fun event whilst helping raise awareness and vital funds for World Horse Welfare as we celebrate our 90th anniversary.
“Even if your skills with a mixing spoon and pastry cutter are not quite as refined as those of baking legend Mary Berry, we really want to encourage everyone to get involved whether it is through hosting their own Morning Feed event, creating a delicious recipe with an equestrian twist or simply sampling some of the delectable treats at a friend’s or colleague’s event. We can’t wait to see and hear what culinary creations our supporters cook up!”
This is an important year (2017) for World Horse Welfare as the charity celebrates its 90th Anniversary. Founded in 1927 by Ada Cole to stop the live transport of horses to slaughter across Europe, the charity was formerly named the International League for the Protection of Horses. Nine decades on and World Horse Welfare continues to be the voice of invisible horses all over the world from those who suffer neglect and welfare problems in silence across the UK to the many thousands of working horses ignored by Governments and policymakers to those subjected to the torture of travelling hundreds of miles across Europe to slaughter.
Apply for your fundraising pack here: http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/morningfeed
The RSPCA is increasingly concerned about an equine crisis in Kent this winter involving horses who were neglected and then ‘dumped to die’.
The charity has received a spate of calls about distressing equine incidents in the county in the past few months.
In this time RSPCA inspector Rosie Russon and other officers have been called to more than 38 heartbreaking scenes in the county, with horses found dead or dying. They were left in terrible conditions by the side of roads, in woodland and sometimes dumped under fly-tipped debris as if they were rubbish.
Of these, 13 horses were found already dead, and 25 were collapsed and dying – six in such a poorly state that nothing could be done to save them and 19 able to be rescued, cared for and treated.
Inspector Russon said: “The equine crisis in Kent has been horrendous over the past couple of months and doesn’t feel like it is slowing down.
“I have been called out again and again to horses who are either already dead – or they are so neglected and unwell it is just too late to save them.
“The issue is particularly noticeable between November and spring because of winter-related problems like the lack of grazing and redworm and cold weather pushing animals who are already ill over the edge.
“These issues should be easily treatable, but instead of being given the care they need, the horses are just being neglected and then dumped to die.
“Horses can be very expensive to keep and we believe some people decide to callously abandon their poorly horses instead of pay for veterinary treatment. We urge owners who are struggling to care for their horses are urged to contact the RSPCA or other horse welfare charities for advice and assistance rather than dump their animals in a dying state.”
Among the heartbreaking scenes the RSPCA has been called to recently are:
- A dead horse found dumped in Bull Hill, Horton Kirby, Dartford, on Tuesday, 21 February
- The bodies of two horses found dumped on Beech Road, Kingshill in West Malling on Friday, 17 February (pictured above left)- one a year-old dark Bay mare with white socks, wrapped in a blue horse rug in woodland
- A dead horse was tied to a tree by the church in Lamberhurst, Tunbridge Wells on Friday, 17 February
- Six dying horses found in the Dartford area on Thursday, 16 February. As this is an ongoing investigation, we cannot go into further details.
- A skewbald mare and her foal were found dumped in Wouldham Road, Rochester on Thursday, 16 February in an extremely poorly state. Both were emaciated and weak. The filly is still in RSPCA care, but sadly the mare died a few days later.
- A piebald horse was found dead and dumped on the side of the road in Eglantine, Horton Kirby on Tuesday, 14 February
- A young piebald pony was found collapsed and dying in Yalding, Maidstone on 28 January. We got a vet to check on her but sadly she was so unwell so could not be saved and had to be put to sleep to end her suffering.(pictured above, right)
- The body of a horse dumped underneath a pile of planks in a field in Horton Kirby, Dartford of wood on 2 January – next to a can of petrol container. We assume that the intention may have been to set the body on fire (pictured top left). A few days later six more horses were rescued from the same location – all still in our care.
- The body of the dead pony was dumped on a woodland path is the Wateringbury, Maidstone, in the first week of January (pictured above, right)
Inspector Russon added: “The incidents we know about are probably the tip of the iceberg, and there are probably an awful lot more cases of dead and dying horses which we aren’t told about – who are removed by the police or other agencies, or perhaps rescued by other charities.
“This equine crisis is heartbreaking for us all. We do all we can to rescue animals when we can but often by the time we are called about them it is too late and the horses are already in far too poorly a state for us to be able to help them.
“We will always look into cases of animal welfare reported to us, and do all we can to protect the welfare of the animals involved, but we rely on the public to be our eyes and ears in these situations as we can only investigate when we have information and evidence about who may have dumped an animal.
“Equally, it is important for people to remember we are a charity and have to act within the law. We do not have legal powers to remove an animal who belongs to someone, even when they have been left to fly-graze, and it is only the police who can take them and place them into our care when a vet has said there is there is evidence they are suffering.”
The RSPCA urges anyone who has any information at all about who dumped and neglecting their horses to call us on 0300 1234 999, in complete confidence.
The charity’s cruelty line received 75 complaints, rescues and collections about horses in Kent in November, 69 in December and then in January the number rose to 108. In February the figure was 82.
To help the RSPCA carry out their vital work please text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).