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How we help

We improve equine welfare through care, research, education and influence.

We improve equine welfare through care, research, education and influence.

Our charity has been helping to improve the lives of horses for nearly 100 years through a combination of care, research, education and influence.

Care

We provide hands-on care to horses in need. 

In the UK, we rescue around 300 horses each year from abuse and neglect and take them into our four Rescue and Rehoming Centres across Britain.  The horses are rehabilitated by our expert grooms, and found loving new homes through our rehoming scheme – the largest of its kind in the UK. 

In Africa, Latin America and Asia, we work with local partners to help tens of thousands of working equids that families and communities rely on for their livelihoods. Working equids lead demanding lives working in exhausting conditions, which can cause a wide range of health and welfare problems, including illness, injury and disease. Many of our projects help to provide primary first aid care for equines in the field and at local centres. 

We help to ease the equids’ immediate suffering and show owners how to provide follow-up care. We also engage members of the community to be Equine Advisors to help share knowledge and good practice with owners and provide horse care advice.  

This work enables us to demonstrate the value of basic preventative care so that in the longer term these problems are less likely to happen again.

Research

We believe in using evidence to help guide our work, so we support and conduct research into the root causes of welfare problems.

Day-to-day, we gather our own evidence and conduct our own research on the welfare problems affecting horses and their root causes.  We offer a small range of grants to help support research into topics that can impact equine welfare.  Most of our research grants are undertaken in collaboration with veterinary schools and institutes. Current grants are funding research into an ethical framework for the involvement of horses in sport, equine welfare during transport and at slaughter, and assessment of equine quality of life. We also foster a greater understanding of equine welfare challenges among future vets by providing a number of bursaries for undergraduate veterinary students. 

Education

As most welfare problems are caused by ignorance, we see education as fundamental to improving equine welfare over the long term.

Working with horse owners and keepers across the equestrian sector, we promote knowledge of equine care to audiences worldwide. We provide face-to-face education with individual horse owners when we provide front-line care. Our online advice library is continually expanding and provides advice on a range of horse welfare and management topics. It also offers specific guides on key topics such as feeding, laminitis, what to consider before breeding a horse and euthanasia. 

Influence

We work to help millions of horses by influencing policy and practice. 

Right from the charity’s very inception, we have worked for sustainable, lasting improvements to equine welfare by shaping attitudes, policies, practices and legislation. We work proactively and constructively with governments, institutions, policymakers, regulators, organisations and a wide range of other stakeholders to ensure equines are considered in policy, and that laws and standards are improved – and enforced. We also publish reports and briefings, and regularly present at national and international conferences, on key equine issues. World Horse Welfare has influenced more than 50 pieces of legislation in the UK and Europe and, increasingly, internationally.  

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