More and more people are becoming aware that we are on the verge of a genuine equine welfare crisis in the UK on a completely unprecedented scale. But there is a simple way that everyone can help lobby for crucial legislation and funding.
The BHS has been working closely with the other key welfare organisations (RSPCA, World Horse Welfare, Redwings, Horseworld, Blue Cross and National Equine Welfare Council) in a way that has never happened before.
Together, we are aware of more than 6,000 horses and ponies at direct risk this winter. However, this figure is only made up of large welfare cases with 10 or more horses. It only includes groups that we are aware of and monitoring where we can see a significant chance that direct action will need to be taken in the coming months, i.e. the horses will need to be seized or rescued.
This means that the true number of horses and ponies in danger this winter will be much higher than 6,000. We may need to face some unpalatable truths if all these cases are tipped over the edge.
Charities simply cannot cope with the need for their services. We need support from the Government, both locally and nationally, in the form of legislation and funding for enforcement. Sadly, there appears to be little, if any, appetite for this within Westminster (it must be said that the Welsh Assembly are being far more proactive and responsive to our calls for help).
This is where you come in.
While we are doing everything we can to lobby Government, we do need as many people as possible to get involved. Helping is easy. The group of charities has produced a lobbying microsite where you can send an email to your MP. The site provides a template email (which you can alter as you see fit) and will automatically direct the email to your MP if you provide your postcode (so you don’t even need to know the name of your MP). The whole process only takes a couple of minutes.
For the sake of horses like the poor mare pictured, who sadly didn’t make it, please take a little time to email your MP from the site - and, if possible encourage others to do so. If we don’t try, we have no chance.
If you would like to read more about this issue, view our previous news story or the report produced by the charities involved.
On behalf of all the charities, but particularly all horses and ponies in the UK, thank you for your help.