The Horse Crisis

Horse crisis - welfare case, horses in barn

World Horse Welfare and five other major welfare charities in Britain are grappling with a horse crisis with thousands of horses at risk of abandonment and neglect, and needing homes.  We have called for the public and the government to help.  

We were delighted that the Control of Horses Act 2015 was passed by parliament, becoming law on 26 May 2015. However, this is only one step in our campaign to end the horse crisis. Find out more about the Act here.

Despite this success, there is still work to do. The government should:

  • 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:

  • 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.


Read our reports:

On the verge: the approaching equine crisis in England and Wales (2012) (download pdf)

Left on the verge: in the grip of an equine crisis in England and Wales (2013) (download pdf)

Stop the Scourge: Time to address unlawful fly-grazing in England (2014) (download pdf)