Feed a Tethered Horse this Winter

Founder of Remus Horse Sanctuary, Sue Burton, is appealing for support of a new appeal to buy a Bale of Hay, to help feed the many tethered horses in the South East of England.

Based on Ms Burton’s knowledge, the number of tethered horses in Essex alone is likely to exceed several hundred, with many thousands more across the South East. The charity believes there is no justification for tethering a horse, pony or donkey. Yet despite the Animal Welfare Act, many owners still choose to use this method to keep their animals.

Ms Burton said, “Tethering horses, ponies and donkeys, is in direct conflict with their very nature. These are flight animals, they’re gregarious and social interactors. Tethering denies them of their basic principles of the five freedoms.” 

A tethered horse will quickly run out of grazing within the circumference of its restraint and often have no water. The charity receives telephone calls and messages from members of the public 365 days of the year, reporting horses, ponies and donkeys that are in distress, tethered, malnourished, diseased and worse still, dead.

The small team do what they can to get food and water out to the animals in these instances and will mount rescue operations for the more severe cases.

“Our revenue, like so many other charities, has been severely affected by Covid-19. We still need help to recover the shortfall from 2020, let alone supply feed to these poor forgotten creatures.”

Although the number of Coronavirus cases in the UK is at last starting to fall, there is no respite in sight for the charity for at least another 6 months and quite possibly longer. It is, as yet, unknown whether the Sanctuary will be able to open for its first Open Day in May. All bar one event was cancelled in 2020.

“Equines may be able to live out in all weathers, but this is based on the natural native pony who is loose and can walk to keep warm, walk to find shelter, and trickle feed throughout the day. All of these rights are denied to an animal that is tethered.”

In addition to buying a bale of hay to assist the campaign, members of the public can report tethered horses to Remus and write to their MP.

The Remus website provides comprehensive information on horse welfare, tethering and the five freedoms for those who would like to find out more; whilst the charity’s online shop provides various options for feed and enrichment.

For further information, visit www.remussanctuary.org or contact Sue Burton on tel: 01277 356191.

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