Ingatestone, Essex – Sue Burton, founder of Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary in Essex, has spent three days over the past week visiting horses in need: on the M11 at Stansted, Surbiton in Surrey and Hamble Airfield in Southampton, following cries for help from the public who are concerned for the horses’ safety and wellbeing. Additionally, again in the past week, Remus have been notified of a foal that died alone in a field, another shot to spare its suffering, a dead Shetland that was dumped and a living horse tied to a telegraph pole.

Sue says, “The horse welfare crisis in this country is escalating. The scenes I’ve witnessed are replicated the length and breadth of the country and there can be no excuse for us to turn a blind eye and allow this suffering to continue. Horses on tethering chains with no food, no water, no access to the five freedoms and when you look into those dark sad eyes – no hope!”

The five freedoms that Sue refers to are a fundamental part of The Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the animal owner’s ‘Duty of Care’ in British Law. The five freedoms are:

  1. Freedom from hunger and thirst.
  2. Freedom from discomfort.
  3. Freedom from pain, injury and disease.
  4. Freedom to express normal behavior.
  5. Freedom from fear and distress.

Sue was particularly struck by a thin piebald stallion, so desperate for water that he has learnt to rub his nose across his fetlock – effectively bowing in his request for a drink. Sue expands, “drink should be a natural bodily function and not something a horse should have to beg for. When I see these sights I am ashamed to be a human – part of a race who can treat animals so and a political system that turns a blind eye.”

Sue believes that we, the people are allowing the Government to turn a blind eye, because the people, ie, the animal’s voice, do not shout loudly enough. Says Sue, “we tut and we complain but we then go about our daily life having food and drink when we want, enjoying our freedom, enjoying the warmth of our houses leaving these animals to live another night deprived of all of its natural needs. How many of us care enough to this time really make a stand?”

Sue makes an important point and if the UK is to get a grip on the horse welfare crisis in this country, people need to take action. These gentle creatures, upon whose backs our history has been borne, suffer quietly on a daily basis, often only ending with the violent death that awaits them upon the chain. “We don’t even step in then”, says Sue, “and these animals are allowed to rot where they die. Shameful!”

For further information or to participate in the new Remus Welfare Watch, visit or contact Sue Burton on tel: 01277 356191. Anyone wishing to make a donation to the Winter Feed Appeal can do so via

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Remus Cry for Help
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