What seems like kindness could kill
February is the month of love and kindness. Unfortunately, the horse world has been experiencing some perceived acts of kindness by the public, which have sadly had dire consequences for too many of our beloved equines.
Since the first lockdown last year, many more people have been taking to the countryside for walks. At the same time, the British Horse Society (BHS) has been made aware of increasing instances of horses becoming ill, or even dying, as a result of the public feeding them or other acts such as leaving gates open. The BHS subsequently launched their #BeHorseAware campaign to raise public awareness of the suffering that can be caused.
However, in recent months, cases have continued to rise and both the equestrian and national press have been publishing news stories of tragic instances up and down the country. Just last month, a distressing image of a pony choking on some chopped carrots left on the ground in the New Forest went viral. Riders and owners have also started getting together to come up with ways to raise awareness; a new Facebook group called “Stop Feeding our Horses” attracted almost 4,000 members in its first week.
The BHS have now teamed up with the University of Bristol whose research showed that more than three quarters of horse owners surveyed found that their horses were fed without their permission, and that nearly a third became unwell as a result, with half of these needing veterinary treatment. Shockingly, 16 percent of these sadly died or were euthanised.
You can read more about the study and link through to the BHS #BeHorseAware campaign at: www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2021/january/behorseaware
For out-of-hours emergencies, please call the RSPCA on tel: 0300 1234 999.
To find out more about the Remus Horse Welfare Watch, click here.
And if you would like to contribute to our ‘Feed a Tethered Horse Campaign’ you can find out more and do so here.