Welfare concern

It is an inescapable fact, that throughout this country, much suffering is caused to horses and ponies through neglect, ill-treatment and exploitation. Cruelty can be active, in that it is deliberately inflicted, or passive, by failing through carelessness, callousness or ignorance to provide necessary care and conditions.


It is the moral and legal responsibility of anyone who sees an animal that is being cruelly treated, in distress or in poor health, to make every effort to alleviate its plight. This should be done immediately, not sometime in the future.

If you see, or hear of, any horse or pony in distress, report it at once. Be sure of your facts, and if possible, get a witness to support your statement.

Possible indicators of a welfare concern can include:
– Inadequate weight – underweight /overweight
– Inadequate access to clean drinking water /food
– Untreated injury /disease
– Poisonous plants in the field
– Unsafe field /stable conditions
– Abandoned animals
– Incorrect tethering

If you have genuine concerns regarding a horse or pony it should be reported either to one of the NEWC organisations that specifically deal with welfare concerns or through the NEWC office by telephone or via the online concern form.

Please note however that you must NOT go on to private land without permission. You can be sued if willful damage to any of the property can be proved. If you are seen touching the horse, an irate owner could try to sue you for causing it injury. If you should have any sort of accident on this land – such as the horse kicking you – you are liable, not the landowner. Investigations must be carried out with great care.

All concerns reported via either method will be treated in a strictly confidential manner. The identity of anyone who reports an animal to a welfare organisation is kept in the strictest confidence.