Redwings Horse Sanctuary: State of Emergency Appeal

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As a member of Redwings with virtual adopted horses ( See below about Adoptions) from their centre; I received the grim news through the post. I wish I could show you the appalling & very upsetting pictures the state the horse were found in, but I can’t; however I can tell you how some of the rescuers described the scene:- 

“This was the worst cumulative case of horse suffering we had ever witnessed. Seeing the pain & distress of so many horses was worse than you can imagine. This is a tragic & upsetting situation, but we have to share the harsh reality of this crisis. In the hope that we can stop it from happening again…

Scenes from the Somme – stranded in a vast expanse of deep wet mud, surrounded by barbed wire, with no food & no hope the site was reminiscent of a battlefield with all the horrors of war – the horses were utterly desperate.

Death Campthe Redwings team likened the scenes to a ‘ concentration camp for horses’ with the vulnerable youngsters & their mothers most likely to succumb to starvation & disease.

The Fallen – over 100 horses were so sick, injured & malnourished that they lost their lives.

“Read more from the news below”

Multi-agency operation in South Wales

Redwings Horse Sanctuary, the Vale of Glamorgan Council and the RSPCA have spent over a week working to safeguard the future welfare of more than 400 horses at a location between Bridgend and Llantwit Major in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Following a report to the Vale of Glamorgan Trading Standards team, welfare officers and vets moved quickly to assess the horses and provide treatment for those needing it. Over six days (12-17 November), more than 300 horses were removed from the site to places of safety by the organisations involved, with assistance from South Wales police and Bristol-based charity HorseWorld who provided vital support.

These horses will be cared for and receive further treatment as necessary whilst the investigation continues. Redwings have taken immediate responsibility for 19 horses from the site, including 12 orphaned foals.

Sadly, as the operation on site progressed and more animals were assessed, it became clear that a number of the horses were in such a state of suffering that there was only one option for them. Over 100 of the horses had to be put to sleep on veterinary advice.

Redwings Head of Welfare and senior vet Nic de Brauwere said, “I am incredibly proud of the work my team and staff from the other agencies have carried out over the last week to deal with what was an incredibly severe welfare situation. Our interest at all times was to do the best we could for each horse we found, and tragically for some that meant giving them a peaceful end after all their suffering. This operation has been an astonishing feat considering the small number of people involved and the overwhelming number of demands on our time and resources. Our staff worked tirelessly to meet the needs of the animals on the site despite the incredibly difficult circumstances, and we must give special mention to Vale of Glamorgan Trading Standards team who took quick and decisive action in what was nothing less than a state of emergency for these horses.”

Martin Hubbard from the RSPCA said: “This was a difficult and tragic situation that developed very quickly, leaving many of the horses in a desperate condition. It is thanks to the Vale of Glamorgan local authority and to the fast response and hard work of everyone involved that we managed to attend to the animals and get the majority moved to safety.”

Christina Roberts-Kinsey, Principal Trading Standards Officer for Vale of Glamorgan Council, said, “We take all complaints regarding animal welfare very seriously. After visiting the site and witnessing the appalling conditions it was necessary to take this prompt action to prevent any further suffering to the animals. This action would not have been possible without the help and support of Redwings, the RSPCA and South Wales Police.”

This case is sadly typical of the situation right across the UK, where it is believed up to 7,000 horses and ponies are currently at risk of abandonment or neglect. Welfare charities have produced a report into the current equine welfare crisis, which can be downloaded here http://www.redwings.org.uk/news-updatedhorsecrisis.php.

Since January 1st this year we have taken 219 horses and ponies into our care, and we are currently looking after 1300 rescued residents at our Sanctuary sites across the UK. To donate and help us continue to help horses, please text code RWHS00 followed by the amount you’d like to give (eg RWHS00 £5) to 70070, or follow this link to the donation pages, thanks so much.

News Link:-http://www.redwings.org.uk/news-glamorgan13.php

Please do whatever you can to help – and do it today.

Click here to donate now… or text code HORS30 followed by the amount you’d like to give (eg HORS30 £5) to 70070. Thank you.

There are other ways to help too – you can write to your MPrecycle your mobile phone, or send us your unwanted Christmas presents and old horse tack. It all helps!

Thank you.

News Link:http://www.redwings.org.uk/news-stateofemergency.php

Equine crisis – urgent update

We are in the middle of an equine crisis situation in the UK. Redwings has just helped rescue 300 horses from a site in South Wales, a few weeks ago we helped move 46 seemingly abandoned horses from a site in Hampshire, and we are already operating at capacity, with over 200 horses having coming into our care this year already.

Fly grazing and abandonment are two of the major issues contributing to this crisis. We have been delighted to see the fast tracking of new legislation from the Welsh Government to tackle the fly grazing of horses and ponies in Wales and are urgently asking the UK Government to follow suit in England to help stem the tide of unwanted horses across the country.

The new Control of Horses (Wales) Bill was passed in the National Assembly on December 10th and just needs to receive Royal Assent to become law. It grants more powers to local authorities to take action to help fly grazing and abandoned horses. However, the UK government has no such plans in England at a time when thousands of horses are at risk of suffering and death and landowners and local authorities struggle to cope with the problem.

On Tuesday 26th November 2013, MPs held a debate in Westminster Hall and we would like to thank everyone who asked their MP to go along. there was a really good turnout and a fascinating discussion which we hope will have helped pushed this issue up the political agenda. You can watch the full debate here: http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=14264

As 6,500 horses remain at risk of needing rescue in England and Wales, Redwings, the RSPCA, World Horse Welfare, The British Horse Society, Blue Cross and HorseWorld have released a series of devastating case studies to illustrate how current laws permit horses to suffer needlessly including two recent cases rescued by RedwingsStephen the foal who was left to drown in a river in Essex and Lottie the pony who was found wandering the streets of Diss.

Stephen was found abandoned at just one day old in a stretch of the River Lea in Essex

You can download a copy of our updated report on the equine crisis below:

http://www.redwings.org.uk/documents/SecondhorsecrisisreportFINALsmaller.pdf

Rescue update of Alton Horses

At the end of September, welfare charities joined forces to remove 46 very hungry and many thin and sickly horses from a bare field in Alton. Eight of the most poorly horses came into the care of Redwings, while the rest found homes at private yards, where the RSPCA is providing for their care.

We very tragically lost Georgiana, only two weeks after her rescue. Georgiana was suffering with salmonella – a disease which several of these horses have – and also had an horrendous small redworm burden. Thousands of small redworms can hide inside the walls of the digestive system undetected, and can suddenly erupt out all at once, causing terrible diarrhoea and internal damage.

News Link:-http://www.redwings.org.uk/news-altonupdate.php

Details of how you can get involved, including a quick and easy way to write to your local MP can be found here: http://bit.ly/Um6rKc

News Link:-http://www.redwings.org.uk/news-updatedhorsecrisis.php

Redwings Adoption Club

The Redwings Adoption Club is the fun way to support our charity and make a new friend in the process! A year’s adoption of a Redwings horse, pony, donkey or mule costs just £12.50, which goes directly towards the daily care of your chosen equine and their friends.

Web link:http://www.redwings.org.uk/adopting/

Useful Links:http://www.redwings.org.uk/about-us/useful-links/

Faith’s Rescue & Recovery

Published on 27 Nov 2013

The moving story of Faith, who was rescued from Essex after she had collapsed and could not get up by herself – she was taken to Redwings Horse Sanctuary and against all the odds, she survived – watch her story here and read more about her at www.redwings.org.uk. Text £5 to RWHS00 to 70070 to donate to Redwings.

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Family Banned From Keeping Horses For Life

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“A family of scum let this happen, to such a noble, sensitive, sentient being! They should never be allowed to own any animal ever again! Look into the eye’s of a horse & you see their soul! They are capable of giving so much, love, trust & such a unique bond! They just want to be fed & loved …it’s not a lot to ask, is it? I hope all those that know this family, see them for what they are…animal abusers; not fit to breathe the same air as animals, never mind people!! Kudos to Redwings Horse Sanctuary, for giving this horse the best thing ever, a new happy life. I hope he soon finds a forever home with loving owners. Abused horses deserve the very best life can offer after such suffering, as do all animals. They are so willing to forgive & love again, they are so grateful, not selfish or looking for revenge; like we humans do!!

A family has been banned from keeping horses for life after their cob was found collapsed and starving in a field in Essex.

On 28 June at Basildon Magistrates CourtVictoria Jaggers, of Wellington Road, Tilbury, her husband Kelly Trundle and her daughter Alicia Jaggers were found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a horse.

The cob, Frugal, was reported to the RSPCA by a concerned member of the public in December.

RSPCA Inspector Matt Gough went to the property, in Tilbury, Essex, and found the two-year-old piebald cob. He was unable to stand by himself and was starving.

Fire-fighters helped lift the horse and take him to a local vet, before he was transferred to Redwings Horse Sanctuary in Norfolk where he has since made a full recovery (see photo above).

“When Frugal arrived he was still so weak he couldn’t stand by himself and had to be lifted manually by the team,” said Redwings vet Nicola Berryman.

“He was covered in sores from where he had been stuck down for so long. This is a case of neglect, pure and simple. We are delighted to report that he is now fully recovered, but no matter what the circumstances, he should never have been allowed to get into this state in the first place.”

As well as the ban, Mr Trundle was given a 12-month community order and told to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work. The 42-year-old was also ordered to pay £250 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Victoria Jaggers, 39, and Alicia Jaggers, 21, were each given a two-year conditional discharge and told to pay £250 costs.

“Frugal was in a very sorry state when we found him,” said RSPCA Inspector Matt Gough.

“He clearly wasn’t receiving proper care, and hadn’t for some time. It is no excuse to plead ignorance when looking after any animal. Anyone who has responsibility for an animal has a legal duty of care towards that creature. The failure to do just that in this instance resulted in the matter being put before the court.

News Link:– http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/family-banned-for-keeping-horses-for-life/#pjDVdMwMs5aAtcGl.99 

Charities Warning Of Potential Crisis For Horses And Ponies

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“Redwings is one of my favorite charities in the UK, they do immense work taking care of neglected, sick & abandoned horses; but their name is not as well known as World Horse Welfare etc. I support all equine charities, just wish I could help more.  I rescued 1 but can’t take anymore as I don’t have any fields anymore, I now keep mine in full livery (due to my disability)  which is expensive, but I know they are well taken care of. I do have several virtual adoptions & fosters, which is a great way to help the charities; without physically having the horses!

 Redwings is working alongside other welfare charities to call for government and public help in a landmark report that warns of an impending crisis in England and Wales which could leave the welfare of many thousands of horses at risk.

The report, ‘On the Verge: the approaching Equine Crisis in England and Wales’, predicts that another harsh winter will leave animal charities physically unable to cope and asks what will happen to the increasing numbers of horses being abandoned or suffering from welfare concerns

We are asking the public to rehome more horses; for horse owners to take responsibility for their animals and not pass the problem onto local authorities, charities and landowners; and for the Government and other agencies to meet us halfway and help rein in this problem before another winter of misery for hundreds of horses and ponies.

  • All the organisations have seen increasing numbers:
  • The RSPCA took in more than twice the number of horses, 304, between April 2011 and March 2012 as it did the previous year.
  • World Horse Welfare has seen the numbers of horses taken into its centres rise by 50% from 129 in 2006 to 194 in 2011 and has had to restrict admissions to the most severe cases.
  • Redwings has seen a 28 per cent increase in equines being taken in from 2006 to 2011 and has seen abandonments rise from 160 in 2009 to 450 in 2011. So far this year we have had an astonishing 636 horses and ponies reported to us as abandoned up to the end of September.
  • Last winter HorseWorld saw a threefold increase in the number of abandoned and neglected horses it rescued, compared with the previous year.

Nicolas de Brauwere, Head of Welfare at Redwings Horse Sanctuary and Chairman of the National Equine Welfare Council, said: “It is an extremely serious state of affairs. In February this year, for example, we had a situation where a group of more than 60 horses and ponies that had been left to fend for themselves in Wales were facing euthanasia by the local authority which had found itself in an impossible situation through the irresponsible actions of a callous owner. On that occasion several charities stepped up at the last moment and offered them a home, but we had to stretch ourselves and our teams to the limit to do so.

“Another case like that may be the final straw, which is why we urgently need the help and support of both the public and the government as this winter approaches.”

Overbreeding

Horses are still being bred on a large scale and continue to be imported from Ireland and the continent, despite there being no market for them. This has led to the market becoming saturated, with animals being sold at some markets for as little as £5.

Economic climate

Horses can cost up to £100 per week to look after and in the current financial climate, people try to cut back on vet costs, hoof care and feed. This inevitably leads to welfare problems.

Both factors have led to a visible increase in the problem of fly grazing – illegal grazing of horses on public and private land. Fly grazing is a problem for farmers, landowners and local authorities, and increasingly it is leading to welfare concerns, as too often these owners do not provide basic care for their animals.

RSPCA head of public affairs, David Bowles, said: “We have a perfect storm of horses continuing to be bred and imported to the UK adding to a rising population and people, suffering under the economic climate, cutting back on animal care bills.

“People need to start realising that there is very little financial reward in breeding horses and ponies, especially where there is poor husbandry or the animals have genetic problems. You won’t make your fortune, all you will have is lots of horses and animals on your hands which need feeding, shelter and care and which you will not be able to sell.”

  • What the Government can do:
  • The Government should introduce criminal legislation targeting fly grazing – punishing offenders with fines and seizure of horses
  • – Introduce legislation or mechanisms to better link horses to owners to tackle irresponsible ownership
  • – Increased intelligence-led enforcement of horse imports and exports
  • – Review the Tripartite agreement** that allows the import and export of vulnerable horses and ponies into and out of Britain from Ireland and France
  • – Encourage responsible breeding through guidance and education
  • – More assistance for local authorities including provision of places to keep horses on a temporary basis
  • – Improve enforcement and cooperation between enforcement agencies and charitiesWhat YOU can do:
  • – The horse owning public can play an important part by keeping on top of their own situation. If you need help, please contact our Welfare helpline on 01508 481008 for advice before the situation escalates into a welfare problem.
  • – If you think you could give a good new home to a horse or pony you can view the horses we have available for rehoming here: www.redwings.co.uk/rehoming. The National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) is a membership organisation for over sixty horse charities and welfare organisations and details of how to rehome a horse from any of its members can be found at http://www.newc.co.uk/
  • – Members of the public can also write to their MP  (click the link below to send email) and ask them to lobby the Secretary of State Owen Paterson about the national horse crisis and ask him to support tougher laws to encourage responsible ownership and improve enforcement. http://campaign.publicaffairsbriefing.co.uk/emailsupport.aspx?cid=defb0b88-91af-4aab-a047-f6aff6db6c97

    Tiny Tilly was dumped on the side of a road with a severe leg injury

And of course, please continue to support us so we can help as many horses as we can, just like those below…and thank you for all your support in the past from everyone here at Redwings. Thank you!

Left on the verge

Horse welfare charities need your help to handle what could become a ‘horse crisis’ in England and Wales.

We are under immense pressure due to the increasing number of horses and ponies needing our help. There are 2,800 equines in our rehoming centres, which are now at capacity, and it is estimated that a further 6,000 horses are at risk in England and Wales. There is real concern that should there be another harsh winter, we will be physically unable to cope with the number of horses needing urgent care.

World Horse Welfare, the RSPCA, Redwings, The Blue Cross, The British Horse Society and HorseWorld are working together with the support of the National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) to try and overcome this crisis, and have produced a report showing the problem and our proposed solutions, but we also need the support of the horse owning public, government agencies and local authorities. 

Please help us by emailing your MP and asking them to support us in dealing with this crisis. We need Government support for the solutions in our report. By contacting Ministers, MPs can use their influence to help us – but we need you, their constituents, to ask them to do so.

News Link:http://www.redwings.org.uk/news-horsecrisis.php

Abandoned newborn foal found by police horse

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Redwings Horse Sanctuary is appealing for the breeders of an abandoned newborn foal, that wasdiscovered by a police horse, to come forward.

Police horse Jeeves alerted rescuers to a tiny foal that had been abandoned or lost in a field close his own on Sunday in South Norfolk.

The charity said the foal, estimated to have been less than 48 hours old, was close to death.

Redwings Horse Sanctuary is caring for the foal, but is now appealing for the foal’s ownersto come forward.

Jeeves, ridden by Special Constable Acting Inspector Richard Tallent, had been turned out after an afternoon patrolling.

But when Richard checked his horse later he noticed that the 14-year-old bay gelding was on edge and kept nervously looking to a neighbouring field.

Richard found a cold, new-born foal clearly confused and alone.

The foal — named Dodger by the charity — is being cared for at Redwings’ headquarters in Hapton, receiving two-hourly feeds from their vet team.

“This is a sad situation not just for the foal, but for the mare as well,” said Redwings vet Eve France.

“Her body will be programmed to nurse a new foal so she will be wondering where it is, plusshe is at risk of mastitis as her milk will be building up causing her discomfort.

“To intentionally take a foal from the mare at such a young age would be a completely heartless act.”

She said it will cost the charity an average of £2,000-3,000 a year to look after this foal until he is ready to be re-homed, if he is suitable, at four or five years old.

Dodger is the second abandoned foal to join the 1200 residents at Redwings in the last two weeks.

Gin, a chestnut foal, was found alone and cold in the Mountain Hare area of Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, and taken in by the RSPCA.

Gin is now doing well with his adopted mum Monique.

  • If you have any information about Dodger the foal, contact Redwings on 01508 481008 as soon as possible.

Amersham Bert hits the beat in Norfolk

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“I’m so pleased to see this news – Redwings is just one of my charity’s I donate to & have an adopted horse at”

“The Amersham case was appalling, many horses dead & dying, click this link if your not familiar with the case:-RSPCA Amersham case

A horse rescued from the country’s worst recorded case of equine neglect is set to patrol South Norfolk’s streets as part of a rural crime prevention initiative.

Six-year-old Bert was rescued from Spindle Farm in Amersham, Buckinghamshire in 2008. More than 100 horses, ponies and donkeys were removed from the site by the RSPCA, Redwings Horse Sanctuary and other welfare charities after 30 horses were found dead and many more were suffering from severe neglect.

Bert was one of 65 offered a home here at Redwings.

Following his rescue and recovery, Bert was ready to be re-homed through the Redwings Guardianship scheme, and he is now preparing to patrol South Norfolk’s streets along with his Guardian owner; Redwings’ equine staff member and Special Constable Nicola Rix.

The duo are part of a pilot scheme to tackle rural crime in the area following the success of a similar project in Hertfordshire, which will see four Special Constables and their horses patrolling rural areas across South Norfolk.

The Specials on horseback will be used as part of Norfolk Constabulary’s successful Operation Randall which was set up to drive down rural crime.

Temporary Chief Superintendent Nick Dean who leads the operation said: “The scheme will make a real difference as the Specials on horseback will offer a visible and reassuring presence in the local communities where they will be patrolling.”

Guardian Nicola said: “I am so, so proud of Bert. His turnaround is remarkable and to be able to serve the community as a Special Constable – and to have Bert with me – is fantastic.”

Good luck Nikki and Bert!

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