The Horse Crisis
World Horse Welfare and five other major welfare charities in Britain are warning of an emerging horse crisis that could see as many as 7,000 horses needing homes, and are calling for the public and the government to help.
*** NEWSFLASH - WATCH THE DEBATE HERE ***
MPs debated fly grazing in Westminster Hall on Tuesday 26 November at 2.30pm. You can read our response here.
Thank you everyone who asked your MP to attend the debate - a good number of MPs spoke out, so your actions made a real difference. Follow up this debate by emailing DEFRA Ministers, asking them to listen to horse charities, MPs, and you and take action for horses!
The six charities (Blue Cross, British Horse Society, HorseWorld, Redwings, RSPCA and World Horse Welfare) have published a report, ‘On the Verge: in the grip of a horse crisis in England and Wales’, which shows how charities are struggling to cope and asks what will happen to the increasing numbers of horses being abandoned or suffering from welfare problems.
You can help - see the links below.
All the organisations have seen increasing numbers of horses needing help, and their centres are almost full:
The RSPCA took in more than twice the number of horses, 304, between April 2011 and March 2012 as it did the previous year.
World Horse Welfare has seen the numbers of horses taken into its centres rise by 31% in 2013.
Redwings has seen a 28 per cent increase in equines being taken in from 2006 to 2011 and has seen abandonments rise from 160 in 2009 to 450 in 2011.
- Last winter HorseWorld saw a threefold increase in the number of abandoned and neglected horses it rescued, compared with the previous year.
What do we want from Government?
The government should;
- Change the law to allow swift seizure of fly grazing horses per the Welsh proposals or by making amendments to the Animals Act 1971
- Introduce criminal legislation targeting fly grazing – punishing offenders with fines and seizure of horses
- Introduce legislation or mechanisms to better link horses to owners to tackle irresponsible ownership
- Support local authorities with resources and political will to tackle agressive fly grazing
- Encourage responsible breeding through guidance and education
- Provide more assistance for local authorities including provision of places to keep horses on a temporary basis
- Improve enforcement and cooperation between enforcement agencies and charities
What you can do:
- Write to DEFRA and ask them to take action for horses.
- You can help these horses by rehoming a horse from a welfare charity to make space for one that will need help over the winter. If you can offer a good home to a horse or pony, please view our wonderful horses and ponies available now.
- If you already have horses, you can help by doing your best to keep on top of your own situation, and contacting welfare charities for advice if you start to struggle.