On Friday 10th November, we joined forces with Redwings, Blue Cross, Bransby Horses, HorseWorld and RSPCA to round-up a group of Shire horses found fly-grazing in Bewdley, near Kidderminster, Worcestershire.
Redwings received a call to the charity’s welfare line from a landowner about a large group of Shire horses fly-grazing on his land. Notices were issued for the owner to claim the horses, but sadly to no avail. Under the Control of Horses Act 2015 (England), ownership was subsequently transferred to the landowner who requested the help of Redwings to secure the future of the horses as he was not able to provide the specialist care these heavy horses require.
Following a visit and assessment of the horses by Redwings’ senior field officer Julie Harding, concerns were also raised for the welfare of the horses with the onset of winter and in light of the youngsters and foals being completely unhandled.
During the 15-hour rescue operation, all 19 horses were successfully removed from the site. Redwings offered a home to six horses – four mares, two of which had foals at foot. Four horses were rehomed to RSPCA, three to Horseworld, and Bransby Horses, Blue Cross and World Horse Welfare all offering homes to two horses.
Commenting on the rescue operation, Redwings’ Head of Welfare and Behaviour Nic de Brauwere said:
“It is safe to say that had we not intervened the welfare of this group would have been at great risk, especially with the approaching winter. No provisions had been made by the owner for their ongoing care, nor had the youngsters received any type of handling, owing to a complete lack of basic care.
“This round-up is an example of both the effectiveness of the Control of Horses Act and of successful partnership working among the welfare charities to secure the future of a group of horses, the outlook for whom would otherwise had been extremely concerning”.
Similarly, Redwings Senior Field Officer Julie Harding said:
“I cannot comprehend why such a low value was placed on these beautiful animals to fly-graze them in the first place and then not to come forward to claim them; it really saddens me. Thankfully, together with our colleagues at our fellow welfare charities, we were able to offer these mares and foals a home where they’ll be treasured.”