As Olympic fever hits Britain, The British Horse Society is warning riders to be extra vigilant to dangers caused during celebrations.
There will hopefully be many a cause to celebrate for us Brits in coming weeks; however, some forms of marking the occasion can be hazardous for our pets and livestock.
Chinese Lanterns, for example, are a pretty sight flying across the sky at night, but the potential for harm when they descend is catastrophic. The BHS has received terrible reports of internal and external injuries to horses and other livestock caused by wires from these lanterns. Many who marvel at the sight would be horrified to learn of the injuries and deaths horses and other animals have experienced due to these lanterns that are intended to celebrate and bring good luck.
The Society has been urging the public to take extra care when using lanterns, fireworks and car decorations, to help our four-legged-friends. However, owners still need to take extra care during this period to ensure their horses are happy and safe.
The charity offers the following advice to horse owners:
- Be vigilant.
- Ensure you check your fields and hedgerows for lanterns and spent fireworks regularly.
- Take extra care on the roads. Be aware that cars may be adorned with flags.
We hope that accidents won’t occur, but if they do we want to know about it. If no-one knows about problems, nothing can be done.
The BHS has added a new form to its dedicated accident reporting website, www.horseaccidents.org.uk, which now allows owners to report any problems or concerns with lanterns. The form is one of 11 available on the site; other forms include matters such as issues with fireworks and another for road incidents. Don’t suffer in silence.
The Society has also offered the following advice to the public:
- Chinese Lanterns: The British Horse Society has been made aware of many ‘novelty’ lanterns, one of which is a Union Jack design. Clearly, these would be fitting for release this summer. However, there is no way of controlling which way they travel or where they land. Please think carefully before releasing them.
- Fireworks: if you are planning a fireworks display, please consider contacting any nearby horse owners. Site the display as far away as possible from horses, barns or stables.
- Car decorations: horses are likely to be startled by the loud flutter that car window flags generate. When passing horses with car-mounted flags on your car, slow down even more and give horses a wider berth when overtaking. Please consider flying flags only on the driver's side of your vehicle to allow more room between the horse and the flag.