World Horse Welfare Campaign to Bring ‘Invisible Horses’ into Focus


Charity calls on public to be vigilant for dumped or abandoned foals and youngsters in first part of campaign

Frodo as he was found

World Horse Welfare is appealing for the public’s help in spotting and reporting the large numbers of ‘invisible’ horses including foals and youngsters which are dumped or abandoned across the UK every year, particularly through the winter months, as the charity launches its year-long campaign to shine a spotlight on the suffering endured by the world’s ‘invisible’ horses.

The first quarter of the year typically brings a rise in the numbers of foals and youngsters abandoned and left to fend for themselves and the charity wants people to be vigilant in looking out for and reporting them so welfare organisations can intervene before it’s too late.

The RSPCA has reported over 20 horses dumped in the Kent region over the last two months alone, with a large number found dead or in need of immediate euthanasia, just one example which demonstrates the scale of this distressing problem.

This appeal comes as World Horse Welfare begins its 2016 focus to shine the spotlight on the world’s invisible horses who often suffer in silence as people either cannot or choose not to see them. From the horses left in barns and stables for weeks on end, to those working many hours every day on the streets of Choluteca in Honduras or Cape Town in South Africa who go unnoticed by governments and policymakers, to the horses transported long distances across borders to uncertain futures and those who sadly are sometimes found too late.

The year-long campaign will highlight the plight of these horses, making them ‘visible’ so they can receive the care and protection they so desperately need with the first quarter of the year aimed at highlighting the number of foals born into uncertain futures and the wide-reaching impact this has on horse welfare.

World Horse Welfare Deputy Chief Executive Tony Tyler said:

“The winter months can be a difficult time of year for any horse with harsh weather conditions, sparse grazing and a lack of shelter available from trees and hedgerows, but combine this with being a very young age and it’s clear to see why so many abandoned youngsters are found in a terrible condition.

“Welfare charities like World Horse Welfare are on-hand to investigate and address welfare concerns but we need the public to keep their eyes open for any foals, youngsters or adult horses in trouble and report it to us with as much information as possible.

“If you spot a horse and you are concerned about its welfare, there are a number of things to check and note down so that you can give the relevant details when making a call to report it. You will need to have seen the horses personally and be able to provide details of the problem/s, a full description of the horse/s and accurate location information. If you are able to take photos or a video without endangering yourself or the horses then this is very helpful to our team in assessing the concern.

“In addition, you can find further information about some of the more common problems which are cause for concern by visiting our website Unfortunately there are a number of issues which, although not ideal, are not against the law and can therefore be very difficult for us to resolve and you can find examples of these at our website too.”

If you are concerned about a horse you can call World Horse Welfare’s Welfare Line on 08000 480 180.

World Horse Welfare has named 2016 the year to highlight the world’s invisible horses. The charity will be focussing on a number of key themes as the year progresses including; foals and youngsters, rescue and rehoming, working horses around the world and campaigning to improve laws to protect horses.