Animal welfare establishment

Equine rescue centres and sanctuaries

Ensuring good welfare standards at all places where vulnerable horses are cared for.

Ensuring good welfare standards at all places where vulnerable horses are cared for.

While most rescue centres and sanctuaries will have been set-up by people who have the expertise and resources needed to properly care for and rehabilitate these animals, no-one is checking that this is the case. Those equines that are fortunate enough to be taken in by these organisations often are at their most vulnerable and the licensing of these centres will ensure that they are given the protection they deserve. 

Currently, in the UK, rescue centres and sanctuaries can become members of The National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC), who conduct site visits to approve membership and offer education and support to help ensure organisations meet minimum welfare requirements. However, this is on a voluntary basis and not all rescue centres and sanctuaries have signed-up. 

We, therefore, want to see licensing of rescue centres and sanctuaries enshrined in law with compulsory minimum standards set-out in supporting guidance – in the UK, these should be based on the Codes of Practice and the NEWC standards.

Our intent is not to close-down those dedicated organisations that strive to offer vulnerable horses a better future, but to give them clear guidance on what they need to do to ensure they are protecting their welfare. However, in those circumstances where welfare is compromised, it would also allow for this to be established more easily and action to be taken.    

Campaign to licence equine rescue centres and sanctuaries

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