Field Officer checking welfare of a tethered horse

Worried about a horse?

Find out how to report an emergency or a less urgent situation to us.

Find out how to report an emergency or a less urgent situation to us.

If you’re concerned about a horse’s welfare, you can report this via our form unless it’s an emergency. Examples of emergencies are listed below and you can find out how urgent different situations are here. All reports are handled by an experienced, knowledgeable team and are dealt with in the strictest confidence.

Please note that if you wish to report more than one situation, you will need to submit a separate report for each.

Before you call or submit a report via our form, we just need to check a few things:

  • Are you over the age of 18? We need to hear from someone over the age of 18 in case we need to get in touch to clarify any details about your report. If you are under 18 but have concerns about a horse’s welfare, please ask a parent or guardian to contact us on your behalf.
  • Have you seen the situation first-hand? We need reports to come from someone with current first-hand information as we require very specific details to be able to action the report appropriately. Without accurate information, it can be very difficult to get the full picture and/or an exact location for the horse or pony. If you haven’t seen the situation yourself, we’d be very grateful if you could ask someone with first-hand information to get in touch with us themselves.
  • Have you reported the situation to another welfare organisation? If you’ve recently reported the situation to another welfare organisation and are happy that the first agency is dealing with the situation appropriately there should be no need to report it to us too.

Examples of situations classed as an emergency:

Horses will lie down to sleep so it is important wherever possible to distinguish between a horse which is collapsed and one which is simply lying down.

Where the horse is unable to put one foot to the floor or clearly unable to put any weight on one limb. Horses will often ‘rest’ a hind leg when they’re standing, so it is important wherever possible to distinguish between a lame horse and one which is resting a leg.

This is a serious condition which affects the hooves of the horse and severely affected animals will have a ‘pottery’ walk and may stand in a particular way, leaning back on their heels to relieve the weight on their front legs.

Anything which is obviously causing serious pain or distress to the horse.

This could include caught in fencing, stuck in a ditch, tangled in a tether or anything similar.

Please note: this list of emergency situations is not exhaustive – if the situation you’re concerned about isn’t on the list but you do think it’s an emergency, please give us a call on our welfare line using the details below.

If you think the situation is an emergency, we need to speak with you to see if we have a Field Officer available to attend immediately or advise on other options if not. Please give us a call on:

0300 333 6000

Lines open 8am – 5pm
Monday to Friday

In case of an emergency outside these hours please telephone your local police or veterinary practice for advice.

If you’re over 18, have seen the situation yourself and it’s not an emergency, you can report your welfare concern to us via our form using the button below:

Report a welfare concern

The information you provide in this form will be assessed by our expert team in working hours (Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm).

Worried about a horse you’ve seen in a field with ragwort?

If you’ve seen a horse in a field full of ragwort you can find out more about the best course of action on our ragwort page.

Why do we need you to call if it’s an emergency?

We need people to call us to report emergency situations so we can check our Field Officers’ availability if it’s really urgent.

Calls to our Welfare Line may be recorded for training purposes but remain confidential. Our Welfare Line is staffed 8am to 5pm Monday-Friday – in the event of an emergency outside these hours please telephone your local police or veterinary practice for advice. 

Prefer to remain anonymous?

If you’d prefer not to share your details with us, you’ll also need to call us so that we can ensure we get all the necessary information in one conversation since we won’t be able to contact you with any queries about your report.

Situation not listed above and you’re not sure how urgent it is?

If the situation you’re concerned about isn’t mentioned in the list of emergencies above, you can find out how urgent different scenarios are here.

Report a welfare concern

Still need more guidance?

If you still need more guidance, are concerned about a horse outside the UK, or want to report information which may be helpful to us but isn’t about a welfare concern, you can find links to more advice below.

What kind of situations should be reported?

What kind of situations should be reported?

Not sure whether to report a horse you’ve seen? Find out which situations should be reported.
Should I share it on social media?

Should I share it on social media?

Find out why we advise against sharing details of a welfare concern on social media.
Should I intervene if I’m worried about a horse?

Should I intervene if I’m worried about a horse?

Find out why intervening with the care of a horse you’re worried about isn’t the best solution.

How every £1 you donate is spent

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