How This Starving Horse Shames The Middle-Class Families Who Dump Pet Ponies They Can’t Afford

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“Firstly I have to point out that those who know nothing about horses (aside from riding them) shouldn’t bloody buy or own one; unless they first do a proper course at an agricultural college on Horse & Pasture Management etc. I did when I was age 17 & although I thought I knew it all, the course showed I knew very little; aside from how to ride! Horse prices have dropped so at the moment horses are very cheap, meaning anyone could be easily tempted to buy one; but it’s not just about having land to keep it on, there are many many cost’s involved so one must ensure they can pay for the horses upkeep!”

” I’ve said this before & will keep on saying it; certain horse owners breed them, because that’s their means of income, from travellers to racehorses; but it the horse that pays the price when they either don’t make the grade at racing, or can’t be sold at auction, other than to a killer buyer! All this indiscriminate breeding has meant many horses are either dying of hunger because their owners can’t afford to feed them hard food & hay; a horse needs more than just grass! Then there are those that don’t have their own pastures so think nothing about fly grazing their horses on public or council land.” 

“Some are in such a bad state they are on their way to slaughter, most of which come from breeders who just don’t bloody care!”

By LIZ JONES COLUMN PUBLISHED: 00:56, 2 March 2014 | UPDATED: 10:33, 2 March 2014

She was obviously loved, once. A chestnut mare with a sweet disposition who seems to have a radar to detect the Polo mints in my pocket.

She’s wearing an expensive rug, only now it’s ripped and tangled around her legs. Her coat is worn white where the rug has slipped and rubbed.

Her mane and tail are dreadlocks, entangled with twigs. The ground is sodden, due to the recent flooding, but as I stand with this mare I might as well be in Ethiopia, or some other Third World country where horses roam, abandoned, often starving, rather than where I am: an industrial wasteland in Avonmouth, near Bristol.

Liz Jones visited Avonmouth near Bristol with an officer for World Horse Welfare, whose job it is to monitor horses abandoned in North Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset, Gloucestershire and South Wales

I’m with an officer from World Horse Welfare whose job it is not just to monitor horses abandoned here in North Somerset, but in Wiltshire, Dorset, Gloucestershire and South Wales: no wonder he looks exhausted.

I ask if I can take off the chestnut’s rug to free her and avoid terrible sores, but he tells me no. The red tape that enmeshes animal welfare officers is almost as confining as the straps around the mare’s legs.

The officer tells me I cannot mention his name, either, for fear of alienating the travellers who control these wastelands and wage fierce turf wars. He tells me he gets a lot of ‘verbal abuse’.

But this horse doesn’t look like a traveller’s horse: she’s too fine, not a stocky, coloured cob that is the traveller norm. Her owners have obviously spotted this grazing group, and simply added her to the pile.

She is just one more addition to the estimated 7,000 horses currently at large, abandoned by owners who can no longer afford to keep them – and  it seems that unwanted family pets have now joined these roaming herds of so-called ‘gipsy’ animals.

Horses, for whatever reason – whether they buck off their young owners or cost too much in vet fees and feed – can often enter a downward spiral. Sold again and again, they are eventually picked up by dealers for as little as £5, and sent  for slaughter. Many owners perhaps feel that leaving a horse to fend for itself is a better option.

It’s a huge issue that has been overlooked for years. But now, in an economic and environmental crisis, where flooded land means there is less to go round for grazing, it’s one we can no longer ignore.

Three of the abandoned horses at the site. They are just some of the estimated 7,000 horses currently believed to be at large in the country

Many of the horses are abandoned by their owners who can no longer afford to keep them, while some are unwanted family pets

I’m patron of Equine Market Watch, a small rescue centre in Herefordshire. We took in two colts abused  by a local trader, Mark Hall, from Bringsty, who in September was jailed for ‘immense cruelty’ to 18 horses.

Elaine Tasker, the amazing woman who runs the charity, said: ‘Calls come in every day from people who simply cannot cope any more: they have lost their job, or got divorced.

‘We used to get three calls a day. Now we get seven or eight. I’ve had so many people in tears over ponies that have been in the family a long time.’

Elaine says too many people just don’t notice the animals in sodden, barren fields or wandering, desperately in search of food, on wasteland.

‘They drive past places where hungry animals stand in mud and they just don’t care,’ she laments. ‘The time is approaching when a nationwide cull will be the only way to get the equine population under control.

It seems shameful and shocking that in a horse-loving nation, there is a herd of perhaps 40 horses fly-grazing here at Avonmouth, a few hundred yards from the roaring M49.

Most of the mares are heavily pregnant, still suckling last year’s foals. There is no shelter from the

Liz Jones is patron of Equine Market Watch, a small rescue centre in Herefordshire

elements, meaning lovely heads are bowed against the biting wind, their backs covered in the skin disease rain scald. All the horses are thin – the poor grass is woefully insufficient.

These animals need hay and supplementary hard feed. Their feet are neglected and painful, forcing many to totter uncertainly.

The sight is repeated right across the country, as The Mail on Sunday has highlighted in recent weeks, with increasing numbers of animals, including pregnant mares and foals, being abandoned everywhere from Norfolk and Kent to South Wales.

The RSPCA in England took in 1,526 equines (horses, ponies, donkeys and mules) last year, a staggering 69 per cent increase over 2012.

Redwings horse sanctuary, based  in Norfolk, says that in 2009 it had 161 reports of abandoned horses, but in 2013 there were 806.

In January, the sanctuary was alerted to an abandoned cob in the Romford area of Essex, a county that is something of a hotspot for abandoned equines. She was so thin the bones in her hips and spine were visible, and she was suffering from liver damage. She had to be destroyed.

Already this year, 300 horses have been rescued from a site in South Wales, while 46 have been moved from a site in Hampshire.

The Remus Memorial horse sanctuary in Essex has been inundated since Christmas with abandoned horses. Molly, a cob  with a bouffant hairdo and sweet expression, was recently found pregnant, blind and starving, staggering on a verge next to a busy road, while several horses were found grazing beside the M25.

No one seems clear what should be done. The 2006 Animal Welfare Act is woefully vague. Only if a horse is pronounced to be in a perilous state by a vet can it be seized, and then only with the assistance of the police.

Even if an animal is microchipped, trying to trace the owner is often futile. So these horses roam, some destined to be hit by cars, others to shiver, depressed and starving. My rastafarian mare seems to be wondering what on earth she did wrong to deserve  such a fate.

The horses have joined roaming herds of so-called ‘gipsy’ animals

It was normal to see horses grazing common land and wasteland before the Enclosures Acts, which became law between 1750 and 1850. These Acts denied free grazing, or what is now known as fly-grazing. Like fly-tipping, it means a horse, like a bag of rubbish, has been dumped on land without permission. The travelling community, whose history has never been to settle, use horses and ponies as currency and, having no common land for grazing, dump equines on any available patch.

This is obviously dangerous if the horses are left near  roads – for animals and humans. But it’s very difficult to get the horses off these sites, even through the courts.

While my WHW officer says the travellers treat valuable horses well, it’s a different story for those used to hunt with dogs or raced on hard, unrelenting dual carriageways. I have received many accounts, from Harlow to Hull, of travellers’ horses tethered on bleak roundabouts. I’ve was told of one incident where a foal was strangled by her mother’s rope.

Animal rights group Animal Aid believes one answer to the problem is for local councils to set aside land for grazing. This could save council money and police time, and improve welfare.

Defra Minister Lord De Mauley wants new powers to seize equines, but Animal Aid’s horse consultant Dene Stansall said: ‘There is a current police effort to seize fly-grazed equines, but where do they go? To the RSPCA? Their sanctuaries are full and costing millions of pounds a year in feed and keep costs. Or to slaughter?’

All the animal charities I spoke to want ‘life plans’ for horses: the licensing of stallions, grading of all breeding mares, and even credit checks for prospective owners.

The British Equestrian Federation’s annual National Equine Forum is due to take place in London on Thursday. Nick de Brauwere, welfare director at Redwings and chairman of the National Equine Welfare Council, will press Environment Secretary Owen Paterson for action.

Whatever the outcome, the problem is now so acute that we cannot ignore it any longer. It’s a national scandal.

Horses built this country: they ploughed our fields, helped build an empire and fought for us in two world wars. Let’s not abandon them. We owe them a debt of gratitude. Don’t look the other way.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2571196/How-starving-horse-shames-middle-class-families-dumped-pet-ponies-afford-writes-LIZ-JONES.html#ixzz2vOQ4Ft6d
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VIDEO: Horses And Live Export from the UK

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“Firstly I must apologise for the lack of posts… I’ve been in a lot of pain….but hope to get posting more news stories again soon; so please bear with me!” (MY sincere apologies if some post are a bit disjointed…drugs play havoc with my brain!!) so I hope all myposts will make sense…if the don’t…you know why!!”

“Please email DEFRA now, and tell Lord De Mauley that laws which are not enforced are not worth the paper on which they’re printed (Email already written) just fill in your details to send:-http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/Live-Export-from-the-UK Please also contact your MP (Letter already done) which will pop up after your email to Defra!

On 10th February the BBC’s Inside Out programme revealed the shocking results of World Horse Welfare’s largest ongoing investigation, uncovering evidence that horses and ponies are being exported through Britain’s ports to uncertain fates on the Continent.

Keeping tabs on Live Export of Horses

It will show that an unknown number of horses and ponies are leaving Britain’s shores under the pretence that they are for leisure or sport – but may in fact be sold for slaughter.

We have been investigating the movement of horses into and out of the UK, including reports of possible export for slaughter, for several years and have always passed any information that we have onto the proper authorities at the earliest opportunity.

Unfortunately it has become clear that in many cases, proper preventative action from the authorities and enforcement of the law was simply not taking place despite the information that we were providing, and that horses and ponies were being left very vulnerable to abuse as a result.

Our investigations have found that horses and ponies are leaving our ports without any checks on their welfare or their paperwork. It is impossible to know whether the laws protecting them are being complied with. 

Horses waiting for death!

These movements are not small or insignificant: over just one weekend of monitoring we saw more than 90 horse boxes – a number of which could carry more than 20 equinesleaving and entering the port of Dover.

World Horse Welfare is calling for the legislation meant to protect our most vulnerable horses and ponies from indiscriminate export to be properly enforced as a matter of urgency. We want to help the enforcement agencies to protect horses and ponies, by continuing to provide intelligence and expertise as we have done in the past.

PLEASE WATCH THE FOLLOWING VIDEO TO UNDERSTAND HOW HORSES ARE BEING TRANSPORTED.!!

P&O Ferries actually stopped a vehicle carrying horse; after checking the vehicle P&O said the horses were not fit to travel….KUDOS to P&O…without whom the horses could have shipped to slaughter!!

Post from P&O Ferries:Service with a conscience

Can we ship livestock on your vessels?
Yes, we can ship livestock on our Dover-Calais and Irish Sea routes, however animal welfare is an issue that concerns us. Hence on our Dover-Calais route we are only prepared to ship breeding livestock and only if booked via the relevant national associations. These livestock must be transported according to DEFRA requirements and accompanied by the correct DEFRA documentation, clearly showing the animals are being shipped for breeding purposes. A surcharge is applied to livestock movements and they will only be shipped on the European Seaway. Please contact the relevant national association for pricing details.

Can we ship horses on your vessels?
Yes, we can ship horses on all our routes (except Dublin – Liverpool, shipments from Tilbury and freight only shipments from Zeebrugge) under the following conditions.

Horses travelling to France MUST be accompanied by either an Export Licence or an AHA certificate AND an equine passport.  Ponies must also be accompanied by a fitness to travel certificate or Health Certificate Horses and ponies travelling with a final destination to countries other than France MUST in addition be accompanied by a Health Certificate. 

Horses or ponies travelling from France to the UK may travel on their equine passports only.  Horses or ponies starting their journey in any country other than France MUST be accompanied in addition by a Health Certificate.

Health Certificates are ONLY valid for 10 days from the date of vets signature (and can only be signed within 48 hrs of departure).  Horses and ponies may return to the originating country on the same health certificate providing it is within 10 days of the vets signature. (day 1 being the day it was signed)

The information detailed above is for guidance only – The responsibility lies with the owner or agent to comply with British and European statutory regulations.

Further information can be obtained by contacting DEFRA.

Find out more by reading our FAQs (Some of which are below), or take action to help these horses today. Or you can make a donation to help keep our teams on the road.

Please email DEFRA now, and tell Lord De Mauley that laws which are not enforced are not worth the paper on which they’re printed….email link here:-http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/Live-Export-from-the-UK

Email & News Link:http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/Live-Export-from-the-UK

PLEASE WATCH THE FOLLOWING VIDEO – It Is not graphic!!

Clamping down on UK’s illegal horse traders

Published on 11 Feb 2014

A year after the horsemeat scandal, Inside Out’s David Whiteley investigates the illegal export of live horses from the UK.

The World Horse Welfare charity told Inside Out that it suspects that horses and ponies are being transported freely across Europe as unscrupulous dealers exploit a legal loophole in equine transit.

Under an agreement between France, Ireland and the UK, sports horses can be moved freely but low-value ponies are not covered by the agreement.

David Whiteley joins the World Horse Welfare’s field team as they watch for horse dealers who they suspect are breaking the lawAs well as concerns over equine welfare, there are fears the horses could be destined for slaughterhouses in Europe, raising fears about food safety and human health. But P&O Ferries refused some lorries due to unevaluated passports…i.e fakes passports!  P&O also refused some lorries because some of the horses were not fit to travel!  BUT IT SHOULDN’T BE UP TO PORTS TO REFUSE UNFIT HORSES….it’s obvious those trying to take the lorries abroad care nothing about the welfare of its cargo!!! Kudos to P& O Ferries!!

The government says it has agreed to tighten the rules on horse exports from May.

“I won’t believe anything until I see or read new legislation! The Government wonders why horse meat is getting into human food, it’s because the passports are not checked or are faked, horses are being stolen from fields during the night! Read some of the snippets below from News posts, it just doesn’t add up to me!” especially the parts where they say ‘ One of 5 horse slaughter plants’, which includes one  ‘Ashgrove Meats in Newcastle West’ that was responsible for contaminated horse meat! Then in another post it says ‘ THE only approved horse-slaughtering house in Northern Ireland has stopped killing horses, the Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has revealed.?????”

Preview of FAQ

Q. What can I do about this?

Please join our calls for proper enforcement! You can email your MPs and Defra Ministers quickly and easily here.

You can also help these horses by sharing any information that you have, anonymously and in complete confidence, via the ‘Tell Us’ pages of our website.

If you would like to make a donation to help keep our teams on the road, you can do so here.

Q. Is live export of horses legal? What are the laws?

A. In some circumstances it can be legal to export horses (for example for breeding or competition). However there is a package of protective legislation in place which should prevent the indiscriminate export of equines for slaughter. Unfortunately it seems that this legislation is not being properly enforced.
The legislation in question includes:

  • The Welfare of Animals in Transport Order: Sets out the conditions for transporting animals, including rest periods, fitness for transport, vehicle standards and documentary requirements.
  • The Animal Welfare Act 2006: (in Scotland, the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006) Sets out the basic principle that animals should not be allowed to suffer unnecessarily, either through human action or inaction.
  • The Equine Identification Regulations: Set out the rules for horse passports.
  • The Tripartite Agreement: Allows the free movement of some horses between France, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Recently changed – see below.
  • The Animal Health Act 1981 (Minimum Values) Sets out the minimum value that certain types of equine should have if they are to be exported (see below).

Q. I thought exporting horses for slaughter had been banned years ago?

A. There is a package of legislation in place, including an Act which should have limited the export of equines to protect working horses, ponies, mules and donkeys from export for slaughter. This was brought in as a result of the work of our founder, Ada Cole, and has been improved over the years as a result of our subsequent work as a charity. However, it seems likely that a lack of effective enforcement has led to exports for slaughter taking place under the radar of enforcement agencies. We have gathered evidence and passed this on to the relevant authorities.

Q. What happens to the horses while they are being transported and after they leave the UK?

A. We can’t be sure of what will happen to these horses, but we strongly suspect that some of them will be slaughtered. Some of them are taken to markets where they will be sold for various purposes, including slaughter.  We also strongly believe that they will not be transported in good conditions, either when they leave the UK or on subsequent journeys after they arrive in Europe, and that their welfare will not be respected. The animals in question have a low financial value, making it uneconomic to export them unless corners are cut – which will compromise their welfare.

Q. What is the Tripartite Agreement (TPA) and does this affect these horses?

A. The Tripartite Agreement is a long-standing agreement between France, the UK and the Republic of Ireland to allow horses to move freely between these three countries without the need for animal health certification. This meant that horses could move over these borders without health checks, and without any traceability which posed significant welfare and disease risks. Originally applied only to Registered horses (such as a racehorses), it was extended in 2005 to apply to all horses, other than those moving directly to slaughter. We have been calling for it to be changed ever since, to prevent unscrupulous individuals from falsely declaring that they are moving horses for legitimate reasons then transporting the animals to slaughter abroad.

Happily our calls have recently been successful, and the Chief Veterinary Officers of France, Ireland and the UK have signed a new agreement which means that horses moving between France and the UK, and France and Ireland, will no longer be able to move freely unless they are ‘high-health horses’ – meaning registered FEI or race horses. Moreover these movements will be required to be logged, providing much-needed traceability.  Movement of horses between the UK and Ireland will be unaffected, as Ireland and the UK share the same official health status (determining which diseases are present and absent from a country), making a change impractical.

The details are yet to be decided, but we are very pleased that such a positive step has been taken to protect horses. The crucial thing now is that the details must be decided upon and these changes must be enforced when the revised agreement comes into force in May 2014. We will be working alongside Defra and the rest of the equine industry to finalize the details and to communicate the changes to horse owners.

Q. What does ‘Minimum Values’ mean and what does it mean for the export of horses and ponies?

A. By law horses and ponies must have a financial value above a certain amount in order for them to be exported overseas. This helps protect equines of a lower market value from being exported for slaughter, as the price for their meat should be less than the price of the horse or pony. However, with the lack of basic checks of welfare and documentation at ports, there is no way to know whether this law is actually being complied with.

Q. What about horses being imported into the UK?A. There are certainly equal, if not even greater reasons to be concerned about horses being imported into the UK. These horses may well have come from environments where serious diseases are present that we do not currently have in the UK. A lack of enforcement can make it difficult to trace where the horses came from, or where they went, if disease breaks out. In 2010, Britain had its first ever cases of equine infectious anaemia since 1976 when the disease was found in two horses that had been imported from mainland Europe. More cases were reported later the same year and in 2012, all in imported horses. Tracing the other horses that had travelled with the affected animals was a long and complex process.

Equally importantly, the welfare of imported horses may not be respected, with unfit horses being transported over long distances, and little or no enforcement to protect them. Any low-value animal may be vulnerable to this sort of abuse, whether it is entering the UK or leaving it.

The changes to the Tripartite Agreement should help with this issue to some extent, but only so long as they are enforced properly.Take action to help these horses today!

Link for FAQ;-http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/live-export-FAQs

A NEWCASTLE West livestock factory is one of only five facilities in Ireland licensed to slaughter horses for meat, it has been confirmed.

The Ashgrove Meats facility in Churchtown has been slaughtering horses and exporting their meat for consumption in mainland Europe for the past three years. It is the only facility licensed to do so in Munster.

Ashgrove Meats is the only plant in Munster which slaughters horses for meat

Link:-http://www.limerickleader.ie/news/local-news/meat-from-horses-with-forged-passports-recalled-by-limerick-abattoir-1-4748132

Related Snippets Of Interest:-2/02/2013 Meat From Horses With Forged Passports Recalled By Limerick Abattoir

THE FOOD Safety Authority (FSA) has concluded an investigation after horses with forged passports were slaughtered for meat at a county Limerick abattoir.

It has been confirmed that meat from two Irish horses which had been exported to Italy had to be recalled after officials discovered that the animals had forged documentation.

The horses had been slaughtered at Ashgrove Meats in Newcastle Westone of only five facilities in Ireland licensed to kill horses for meat.

Under regulations, all horses slaughtered for meat in Ireland have to have a verifiable passport to ensure that they have not been in contact with substances which may be harmful to humans.

Link:-http://www.limerickleader.ie/news/local-news/meat-from-horses-with-forged-passports-recalled-by-limerick-abattoir-1-4748132

Related Snippets Of Interest:- 14/04/2013 NI’s Only Horse Slaughtering House Stops

THE only approved horse-slaughtering house in Northern Ireland has stopped killing horses, the Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has revealed.

She explained that the Armagh plant asked the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to remove its authorisation and stopped killing horses at the end of January.

“There was one slaughter plant in County Armagh approved by the FSA for equine slaughter,” she explained.

“This establishment is also approved for the slaughter of cattle and sheep. It ceased slaughtering horses completely on 25th January 2013 and has asked the FSA to completely remove their authorisation to slaughter equines.”

She said this was the only establishment approved by the FSA to slaughter horses in Northern Ireland in recent times.

Link:-http://www.londonderrysentinel.co.uk/news/business/business-news/ni-s-only-horse-slaughtering-house-stops-1-4974741

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Horse Dealer Guilty of Cruelty To 27 Horses

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“I really don’t think I need to tell you what I think about this family of scum…if I did you wouldn’t understand because it would be all expletives: like %$%&  & ££!^&)!> :%&*£$^^+~ etc.!! Horses just left to die….they are not fit to breathe the same air as horses never mind decent human beings!”

A South Wales horse dealer has been convicted of 57 animal cruelty and welfare charges, in a case that highlights the problem of fly-grazing in the region.

Tom Price, 48, from Wick in Glamorgan, was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering and failing to meet the needs of 27 gypsy cobs by a court in Cardiff on 14 June.

The horses were found at five different locations in South Wales. The RSPCA — which brought the prosecution — said 12 of the animals had been “left to die” in a barn in Bridgend.

Price’s eldest son, Thomas Hope Price, 26, pleaded guilty to 42 welfare charges at an earlier hearing. A second son, Tony Price, 19, also admitted to failing to meet the welfare needs of two horses.

RSPCA inspector Christine McNeil said some of the animals they found were “the most poorly and diseased horses I have come across”. The 12 horses found in the barn had been locked in with no access to food or water.

Welfare agencies estimate that the Prices own as many as 2,500 gypsy cobs. Price senior ran a company called Glamorgan Horse Traders. Since 2011, problems had been reported with his horses fly-grazing in the area.

In November last year, he was given an anti-social behaviour order to prevent his horses fly-grazing and straying on to roads in the Vale of Glamorgan.

The Welsh Government is undertaking a consultation on ways to tackle fly-grazing. Welfare organisations are lobbying for criminal legislation to penalise the worst perpetrators and to act as a deterrent.

“We need tougher laws that give authorities power to address aggressive and cruel fly-grazing and make owners accountable for their animals,” said Roly Owers, chief executive of World Horse Welfare.

The three members of the Price family will be sentenced at Cardiff Magistrates Court on 5 July. The judge warned Price snr that all options — including custody — remained open.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (27 June 2013)

Graphic Image: Outcry Over Dead Ponies on Bodmin Moor

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“Please Note Graphic Image below, do not scroll down; viewer discretion advised. My apologies for this post being late…it won’t be the only one, sorry!!!”

“OMG…this is just heartbreaking; I can’t think straight for crying!! The POS who left these horse to die, need to be found & prosecuted; to the full extent of the law. The cold-hearted bxxxxxx’s should be thrown in a bare field, without food; until they beg for mercy…then beg a little more! Sorry but as a horse owner, I get very upset at these stories. The scum that did this are not fit to scrape sxxt off my shoes; let alone breathe the same air!! Please if you know who did this, or who the horses belonged to, I beg you to tell the police or WHW; you don’t want the death of horses on your conscience do you??”

“It should be made mandatory that all horses are chipped, irrelevant of age! Most responsible owners have their horses chipped, it’s not worth the worry not to! But there will always be the cob colts at sale rooms, from unscrupulous owners & breeders, there to make a few quid; that won’t be microchipped! So perhaps the sale rooms & livestock auctions, should refuse entry & report those who don’t have their horses chipped!”

” I have to agree with World Horse Welfare on the issue of hot branding; I think it’s cruel on horses, never mind cattle! Regards the ponies on Bodmin, perhaps it’s time the mares were given birth control drugs, although it won’t be easy trying to catch them; it’s better than having an excess of ponies who are going to die through lack of food etc”

“My horses are chipped, not just because of getting loose…their also chipped due to horse thief’s, who target certain horses to steal, especially rarer breeds like my Gelderland. There have been a lot of horses go missing, unless they are microchipped, they will probably never be returned to the rightful owner. Please see my note at the bottom about adopting horses, by way of a donation!”

The death of more than 20 ponies on Bodmin Moor last week has shocked local people and further highlighted the “equine crisis”, say welfare charities

The ponies were dumped on Eastmoor, Cornwall, and left to starve. In total more than 20 died, including eight that were put down by Defra vets.

A further 30 animals are currently being monitored by the GovernmentBut there is no clue as to whom the ponies belonged.

Though microchipping has been compulsory in foals since 2009, this is ignored by many owners.

World Horse Welfare field officer Jeff Herrington was there.

“The scene was horrific,” he said. “I was walking across the moors and there were bodies everywhere I looked.

“We have to sort this out. We have to find a way to link animals to their owners to hold them accountable.”

Julie Dowton of the Bodmin Commoners Association told H&H that pony dumping on Bodmin is a growing concern.

“We had a couple of incidents in previous years, but thought we’d got on top of it,” she said. “But with the tough economic climate, more ponies are being abandoned.”

Redwings took in 19 ponies after a similar incident on Bodmin in 2011.

“This is a shocking and disappointing regression,” Redwings’ Nic de Brauwere said. “But if we can’t identify owners, we can’t prosecute. We are in the midst of an equine crisis; horse identification needs improving drastically.”

There are more than 600 ponies on Bodmin and Ms Dowton added that local farmers are “distraught”.

“It has made us look further at the issue of visible marking,” she said. “We are even looking at hot branding such as in Dartmoor and Exmoor so ponies are easily identifiable.”

The Exmoor Pony Society agrees it is vital to identify semi-feral ponies visually.

“It helps us recognise ponies that have been ‘dumped’ on the moor and may not be able to survive in such an environment,” said a spokesman.

World Horse Welfare disagrees with hot branding but would like to see other methods used.

Microchipping has to provide the solution, as it must be possible in the near future to be able to scan at a distance,” said chief executive Roly Owers. “In the meantime, alternatives such as the short-range reading of microchips and cutting manes and tails need to be relied upon.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (25 April 2013)

News Link:– http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/outcry-over-dead-ponies/#lrpJzJGkL8ullLFa.99 

“Redwings & World Horse Welfare do a fantastic job caring for homeless & abused horses, they are amongst my top charities. I have several virtual adopted horses & love receiving news on their progress, especially from Will the ex police horse. Please visit their home pages to see if you could adopt a horse. By donating this way, you actually see the horse that your money is helping & it feels great to be able to say “I have an adopted horse”!!!”

 Adopting a horse costs just £5.00 a month with WHW & is great way to help give a horse the second chance in life it deserves: –http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/Home

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. Choose from a Standard adoption pack or our brand new Online version. Please remember that whichever you choose, your kind donation will help us take care of our rescued residents and work to help more horses in trouble across the UK :-http://www.redwings.org.uk/

VERY GRAPHIC IMAGES,VIDEO:Exposed: How terrified horses were beaten and abused by sick slaughtermen

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“As a horse owner I don’t think I have to say much; this is very distressing for me to post! However, people need to know, believe me, I’m writing this through tears…but the public have to know what happens in these horrific kill places. I have said before & will say again, if captive bolt guns are used, they are inadequate at making equine’s unconscious  The bolt gun was meant for & is used for bovine’s…a horses skull & brain is set further back; therefore the bolt gun does not have the same effect it does on bovine’s..which means the horse regains consciousness very quickly.!”

“It is also not just the old, sick retired that end up at these evil places…kill buyers look for horses that are healthy & have a good weight on them, those are the horses they get most money per pound for! In all my years of owning horses I have never once sent or let any of my horses go to an auction house; because that is where kill buyers lurk. Being disabled from a riding accident obviously means I can’t ride, & lately not even see my horses, due to pain (they are well cared for & spoilt at a livery yard). But hell will freeze over before I let them go to auction…if you truly love your horse or any animal, you don’t let them go to places like this! When the time comes that my horse has to go, I will move mountains & get there somehow! My face will be the last thing she see’s, my voice the last thing she hears; before crossing Rainbow Bridge!”

One horrific image shows a distressed horse come round from being stunned only to find itself hanged upside down ready to be bled

horse wakes up after being stunned

Two slaughtermen have been sacked after shocking footage exposed horses being abused at an abattoir.

The video nasty caught by hidden cameras shows the animals being beaten with a metal rod and crammed into pens together before being slaughtered.

One horrific image shows a distressed horse appearing to come round from being stunned only to find itself hanged upside down ready to be bled.

Ex-Chief Veterinary Officer Keith Meldrum described it as “completely unacceptable.”

The cruelty was filmed at Red Lion Abattoir, near Nantwich, Cheshire, during a Sky News investigation prompted by concerns raised by animal welfare campaign group Hillside.

Some horses were crammed into slaughter pens in pairs and at one point in a group of three before being stunned together.

Experts said this was against the law.

Hanging on: Horse tries to wriggle free

Under The Welfare of Animals Act 1995, horses cannot be slaughtered in sight of any other horse because it causes them severe distress.

Separately, some injured or sick horses appeared to be left by staff to suffer overnight, rather than being put down immediately.

Last night the Food Standards Agency said it revoked the licences of two slaughtermen after a probe into the video.

FSA head of approvals Craig Kirby said: “As soon as we got the footage and reviewed it we took immediate action to revoke the slaughtermen’s licences.

“That means they cannot work to slaughter animals again. “We will also look to gather further evidence to see if we can prosecute.”

Mr Meldrum yesterday described his shock at what he described as “appalling” animal welfare breaches. He said: “We see three animals stunned at the same time and it is totally illegal and contrary to welfare slaughter regulations.

It’s a significant welfare problem for a number of reasons. It’s harder to render them unconscious in a group and they have a higher chance of regaining consciousness before you’ve completed the procedure.”

The number of horses being slaughtered in the UK has more than doubled in the past five years. FSA figures show 8,426 were put down in 2012, compared to 3,859 in 2007. Horses are sent to the abattoir when they are old, sick, injured or retired.

The shocking footage, to be shown on Sky News today, comes just days after it emerged horse meat had been found in beefburgers being sold across the UK.

Roly Owers, head of World Horse Welfare, said: “The breaches, from what we’ve seen, are throughout – from the care of the animals to the slaughter process.

“Horses are intelligent animals. When they see an animal stunned in front of them, you can only imagine the distress that animal is going through. “There are, without doubt, welfare issues here. It is plain illegal.”

John Watson, of Hillside, said: “It blows away the myth of humane slaughter. There is a misery in that place that is palpable.”

In response, a Red Lion spokesman said: “The incidents, whilst captured on limited filming are not the norm but that of an isolated nature.

“The management view animal welfare and public health with paramount importance.

“Decisive disciplinary action has been taken.”

News Link:-http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/terrified-horses-beaten-and-killed-by-sick-1544633

Footage shows stunned horse waking up just before it is about to have its throat cut

Published on 19 Jan 2013

Horse Abattoir Film Reveals Cruelty & Animal Welfare Breaches in UK – 19 January 2013

Slaughtermen have their licence revoked after campaigners’ secret film exposes breaches of the Animal Welfare Act

Sky News has uncovered shocking animal welfare conditions at a UK horse abattoir.

They include animals being beaten, neglected and illegal procedures in the process of slaughtering British horses destined for European food markets.

It comes amid public anger that some of our biggest supermarkets have been selling beef burgers and other products that contained horse meat

Red Lion Abattoir near Nantwich in Cheshire

Sheffield Man Banned From Keeping Horses For Five Years

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“This cold hearted shit has got away lightly, banned for five years?? it should have been for life!!!”

Sheffield man has been banned from keeping horses for five years after an emaciated mare and foal were found in his care.

Dollar — a seven-year-old mare (pictured right and below) — and her six-month-old piebald filly foal Tweddle,

Horse as found

were found at the start of the year by World Horse Welfarefield officer Rachel Andrews.

Andrew Willoughby, 34, of Kiveton Park, Red Hill was sentenced to 200 hours of community service at Rotherham Magistrates Court on 23 October.

He was ordered to pay £500 costs and a £70 fine after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering.

Mr Willoughby had originally denied ownership of the mare and entered a not guilty plea, but changed his plea to guilty before the trial took place.

Both animals were extremely thin, with lice and a possible worm burden.

Dollar was officially signed over to the care of World Horse Welfare prior to the hearing and Tweddle has now been signed over too.

“I’m very satisfied with the outcome pleased that the seriousness of the case has been highlighted,” said Rachel Andrews.

This is what food & TLC can do for horses on the brink of death

“Dollar (pictured above) and Tweddle have already improved almost beyond recognition under the care of World Horse Welfare.

The pair will remain at the charity’s Hall Farm base in Norfolk for further rehabilitation and when ready, will be re-homed to begin a new chapter of their life.”

Originally published on horseandhound.co.uk 20th November 2012

News Link:– http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/sheffield-man-banned-from-keeping-horses-for-five-years/#PTQHQjl0O3AjhpFz.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

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