We have been working since the 1950's to improve horse welfare in European countries such as France, Italy, Spain, Greece and Germany. Today we work across Europe with horses, horse owners, the veterinary profession, sport bodies, law enforcement and government to promote and protect the welfare of horses through education, campaigns and hands on work.
Our campaigns are changing attitudes, policy and practice. We work to improve the laws that protect horses. In 1939 our campaigning led to the introduction of the Exportation of Horses Act, effectively stopping the export of live horses for slaughter from Great Briatin. Today we still campaign to end the long-distance transport of 65,000 horses across mainland Europe to slaughter each year.
We are the UK's largest horse rescue and rehoming charity, and operate a dedicated nationwide network of Field Officers who investigate and resolve hundreds of reports of horses in distress made to our Welfare Line each year. At our four Rescue and Rehoming Centres horses in need can receive urgent and specialist care, and once their rehabilitation is complete, we hope that every horse in our care can be rehomed into a loving new home - as valuable companions, competition horses, and everything in-between.
Horses are worth 100 billion Euros a year to the European economy, and a prominent driver for this is sport. We want to ensure that the welfare of Europe's equine athletes comes before any other considerations.That is why we work constructively with sport regulators such as the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), which regulates equine sports internationally, particularly Olympic sports such as dressage, show jumping and eventing.
World Horse Welfare also advises the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) on welfare matters and sits on its welfare subcommittee along with the RSPCA.
Romania is a country that has great respect for the horse but a loss of skills and knowledge led to a desperate welfare situation, particularly among the country's one million working horses.In 2004 we began a five-year campaign in Romania, involving running seminars and training schemes at veterinary faculties throughout the country, and providing training for farriers and saddlers.