BHS announces responsible breeding campaign (UK)

Think before you breed.
Think before you breed.
The horse market has slowed down and rescue centres and sanctuaries are full to bursting. With an estimated 1.35 million horses and ponies in the UK, there are simply not enough experienced and knowledgeable homes to cope with our current equine population.
The BHS is urging everyone involved with horses to think very carefully before breeding a foal and adding to the problem.

Ah, the voice of reason, full of horse sense and integrity . . . from the UK.

Cross-posted from the Horse & Hound Forums

THINK BEFORE YOU BREED

The British Horse Society, sponsored by South Essex Insurance Brokers, has announced plans to launch a Responsible Breeding Campaign later this year.

The Society is alarmed by the number of horses and ponies being bred in the UK without adequate consideration being given to the animals’ future.

Whilst many, including the BHS, have long held these concerns, the current recession has brought the issue into even sharper focus. The horse market has slowed down and rescue centres and sanctuaries are full to bursting. With an estimated 1.35 million horses and ponies in the UK, there are simply not enough experienced and knowledgeable homes to cope with our current equine population.

The BHS is urging everyone involved with horses to think very carefully before breeding a foal and adding to the problem. It is not uncommon for horses to reach 30 years of age, and ponies even older, so even with the best of intentions nobody can guarantee a foal a home for life.

Whatever the breeder’s plan for the foal, it is essential to do everything possible to ensure healthy, well-put together animals are produced that will have a future value on the commercial market. Too many mare owners put their horse in foal without objectively considering her merit as a commercial broodmare. To their owners all mares are special, but there are many defects and diseases that are heritable and could be passed on to a foal, limiting its worth. Not all such traits are visible and an alarming number of people go into horse breeding on a whim without sufficient thought to the consequences.

BHS Welfare Senior Executive Lee Hackett said, “You only need to visit one of the lower end horse markets to see the impact of equine overproduction – poor quality horses and ponies going for less than the price of a good night out. Our welfare officers have many distressing stories of where these horses end up and I’m sure it’s not what their breeders originally intended.

“We are hugely grateful to South Essex Insurance Brokers for their very generous sponsorship of this campaign. Thanks to them we are able to highlight this very genuine equine welfare issue and hopefully encourage people to think carefully before breeding from their horses.” www.HorseandHound.co.uk/forums >>

A number of events are planned for the campaign and will be announced in due course. For more information please contact Lee Hackett on 01926 707804, 07968 214008 or l.hackett@bhs.org.uk

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