World Horse Welfare has launched its Stamp Out Suffering campaign with the first-ever national SOS Survey in a bid to end horse cruelty and neglect. The charity is asking for people to get involved in identifying what they feel are the main causes of horse welfare abuse and ignorance in Britain today.
With over 1.35 million horses currently in the UK and the popularity of riding increasing, the charity is concerned that despite being hailed a ‘nation of animal lovers’, suffering is still all too common. The reliance on the horse welfare charities in the UK to take in cases does not tackle the root causes of mistreatment; it only deals with the symptoms. World Horse Welfare is committed to establishing the real causes of welfare abuse, working in partnership with the public and other organisations to put measures in place which will prevent needless suffering in the future.
World Horse Welfare investigates nearly 2,000 horse welfare concerns every year, a significant proportion of which are serious cases of neglect or abuse. Its aim is to find a solution to help end horse suffering, but also prevent the types of horrific cases World Horse Welfare has been involved with, including multi-horse rescues and incidents of severe ignorance.
Legislation designed to protect horses such as the current Animal Welfare Act, first came into force just under a hundred years ago. However, the charity wants to find out why it is still seeing cases such as Oscar, a young horse found thin and hungry due to neglect, with a nasty injury to his back leg.
“It is incomprehensible to think that in 2009 we are still seeing such awful cases of blatant mistreatment, the majority of which could be prevented through basic horse management,” comments Roly Owers, World Horse Welfare Chief Executive.
“We can all make a real difference to horse welfare, stopping the needless torment, misery and pain that many horses suffer everyday. We must end this abuse and neglect through a combination of education, awareness and changes in attitude; ultimately finding a solution that will make cases such as Oscar a thing of the past.”
The survey results will be compared to the welfare concerns that the charity’s 16 Field Officers deal with on a day to day basis. The results should provide the necessary evidence to achieve the goal of Stamping Out Suffering once and for all.
“We desperately want to see an end to welfare abuse,” adds Roly, “together we can Stamp Out Suffering. Your help today by filling out the SOS Survey will help horses tomorrow. Please support our drive to stop the needless abuse and neglect we see every day here in the UK.”
Horse Welfare…tell us what you think. The survey can be filled out online at www.worldhorsewelfare.org/sos or paper copies can be requested by calling 01953 497267.