Vets this week donated time in Northampton to help The British Horse Society (BHS) tackle the UK’s horse overpopulation crisis by castrating stallions.
Britain continues to be in the grip of an unprecedented horse crisis with thousands of horses known to be in immediate danger. A rise of horses abandoned in recent years has seen scores of the animals going uncared for and, in the worst scenarios, humanely destroyed when they have nowhere else to go.
To tackle the crisis, The British Horse Society on Tuesday hosted a clinic in the region designed to prevent stallions from breeding. In addition to gelding the horses, many were also microchipped, vaccinated, wormed and passported.
Gemma Stanford, BHS Head of Welfare, said: “We want to end the pointless suffering of unwanted foals by castrating stallions. Our Northampton clinic was a huge success – we were able to geld 15 horses and prevent them from adding to the overpopulation crisis.
“We wouldn’t be able to carry out the castrations without BEVA vets and partners generously donating their time and resources to the cause. With their help, we aim to castrate 200 horses and prevent up to 17,000 unwanted foals from being born into a life of pain and suffering.”
Horse owner Emmaa Loughton brought her two year old pony Mojo along to the clinic. Emmaa said: “I’m here to have him castrated because I don’t want him to breed. He doesn’t seem to be bothered by it – he might be a bit grumpy with me later! But the vets have all looked after him, and so have The British Horse Society, so we’re happy.”
Veterinary professionals and students volunteered their time to help the charity through the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA).
Mark Bowen, President of BEVA, said: “Today has been a great success. The BEVA Trust has now facilitated the castration of over 100 horses – we did our 100th today. We were able to provide volunteer vets for today, which gives the vets a great opportunity to take part in some practical surgery, as well as give their time to help the welfare of horses.”
The clinic was the third that Heidi Janicke, an Assistant Professor at Nottingham University Veterinary School, has donated her time and expertise towards through BEVA. Heidi said: “Days like today give incentive to horse owners who may not have considered having their horses castrated, or even microchipped and passported. The day has gone well – the vets are enjoying themselves, clients are happy and the horses are happy.”
The British Horse Society continues to raise funds for the castration appeal in order to conduct further clinics across the country.
Partners World Horse Welfare, the RSPCA, Redwings and the Blue Cross worked alongside the British Horse Society to organise the clinic. Kind donations to the campaign include wormers and tetanus vaccinations from Zoetis pharmaceuticals, and horse care kits from Shires Equestrian.