Most horse owners are eager to give their pets the very best they can afford, whether it be warm and comfortable stable matting, the right horse feed, and plenty of TLC. But the World Horse Welfare charity has launched the Great British Horse Survey to raise awareness on equine care. Trustee of the charity Pippa Funnell spoke out to the press about the need to take a snapshot of the animals’ health in the UK. She said that many people were unaware about the scale of abuse against our four legged companions, adding: “Britain certainly has a reputation as a nation of horse lovers, but with an increasing number of abuse cases, it seems we are in danger of tarnishing it.”
The survey provides the chance for horse lovers to submit their views on what they believe are the important issues facing the equine community. The charity already investigates almost 2,000 welfare concerns every year, with a 10% rise in the last year. The 2006 Animal Welfare Act ensures all pet owners are accountable for their animal’s welfare, but the charity wants to see further legislation to try and end what they believe is an ‘unacceptably high’ number of horse cruelty cases.
The survey coincides with the news that police in the New Forest have stepped up their patrols over fears that an attacker is maiming horses in the area. There has been a spate of mutilating attacks on horses in the region, including a four inch deep and four inch wide knife wound. The stables owner of Bagnum Riding Stables reported a second knife injury on one of her animals – she urged owners to check their horses for any injuries. Many horses are trusting of humans, making them more vulnerable to attacks.
Most people do all they can to ensure their animals are kept in a safe, warm and comfortable environment. The survey into horse welfare however is hoped to illuminate the overall health and well being of the animals in the UK today.
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