Healthcare and Education Clinics
The BHS has been calling on all sectors of the equine industry to ‘Think Before You Breed’. Of course, breeding is a necessity but the key message to the whole of the industry is to breed fewer and breed better. The overwhelming numbers of horses in dire situations is no longer sustainable for the vast number of equine charities to collectively ‘pick-up’. There are simply too many horses and not enough knowledgeable homes for them all. In 2015 the BHS launched its nationwide castration campaign to take a proactive approach to tackling the horse crisis.
Over time the clinics have evolved and are now called Healthcare and Education Clinics. With the support of BEVA Trust volunteer vets and an extensive list of supportive organisations, the reduced rate services in addition to castration include general health checks, passports and microchipping, foot care, worming and dentistry. We also offer education, advice and support on a huge range of issues. Healthcare clinics help us engage with and build lasting relationships with local communities. Local welfare contacts are helping us identify owners who would not regularly seek healthcare for their horses and would not have their colts gelded otherwise and/or are known to be breeding indiscriminately.
Thanks to our clinics, previously tethered and fly-grazed stallions are now living on yards and unchained in fields. Not only have we prevented potential future foals from suffering, we have immediately improved the welfare of the horses brought forward for gelding. So far nearly 900 horses have been seen at 18 clinics, with more than 400 colts being castrated. With clinics running throughout the spring and autumn, our target is to castrate 500 horses by the end of 2018.
Special thanks to British Equine Veterinary Association, Zoetis, Safe4, Well Equine, World Horse Welfare, Bransby, RSPCA, Blue Cross, Redwings, The Donkey Sanctuary, Leicester Horse Watch, CHAPS, Horseworld, Police, Local Authorities, The Equine Register, Baileys Horse Feeds, Shires and of course all our brilliant BHS Welfare Officers.