Statement from Leading Horse Charity on UK Welfare Crisis

Following the recent television coverage of the horse welfare crisis in this country, Sue Burton, Founder of Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary in Essex, has made the following statement:

“The crisis in this country continues to deepen and Remus remains concerned re the apathy and red tape that seems to get in the way of helping them. There needs to be new updated legislation that is enforceable for all sectors of the community.

“Horses are suffering dying and being thrown out to take their chances on the busy roads. Last month two youngsters were loose in Aveley. One was killed and two were killed in Tilbury and we rescued a foal recently at a cost of over £1000 to the Sanctuary for specialist vets with tranquilliser dart equipment.

“The Government need to see horse welfare as a bigger priority and make laws adequate and enforceable and must debate tethering of horses. It seems awful that in a world where we can send men to the moon that we can allow gregarious sentient flight animals to be chained by their necks to the ground.”

Sadly, the horse charity is unable to open its gates to the public for the planned Open Day in May as the ground underfoot is still too unstable for people to drive and walk on. The first Open Day of the season, therefore, will be Sunday 3 June.

The newest rescue at the Sanctuary [Pictured top left] is Jake. He was dumped behind Buttsbury Church in Essex on a Sunday evening in March and was roaming loose for some days with no fencing between him and the busy road and the swollen river.

Sue Burton said, “He is only a baby and when he arrived he was terrified! He was skinny and crawling with lice and infested with worms but such a sweetie. Because he is so feral, as are so many who are dumped now – more of the foals born to die, and indeed three have died on Essex roads in the last month, it meant bringing in some experts to travel and dart him early one morning.

“We are so pleased that we were able to save him before he became another statistic. He had a very frightening few days before and on arrival, so we left him in a warm stable with food and water and a deep bed to settle down and relax.”

Another resident at the Sanctuary requiring special attention current is Sparkey, a 10-year-old Welsh pony that arrived in 2014 with terrible laminitis. He has recently undergone a serious operation to address problems with his mouth, teeth and nostrils, with both Diastema and Periodontal Disease.

Since the surgery, Sparkey is doing very well – he is having his sinuses flushed every day and is now on oral antibiotics with the vet visiting daily to check his dental plug is still in position. He is happy and enjoying himself out in the paddock and the vets are very pleased with his progress.

Says Sue, “We spent £2000 on Sparkey before the operation and subsequently a further £3000, including aftercare, but we have such a happy pony who should be able to enjoy the rest of his life now.

“We were hoping to introduce Jake and help raise sponsorship for Sparkey at our first Open Day in May. It’s a crying shame that we’ve had to cancel it until June.”

Donations for the rescued foal and Sparkey can be made via a number of ways and details can be found on the website.

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

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