Equine groups across the US are campaigning for state-subsidised castration of the country’s stallions to reduce the number of unwanted horses.

The programme — Stallion to Gelding Support — was created by the Horse Protection Society (HPS) of North Carolina and has been taken up across the nation.

Both the Kentucky Horse Council and the Minnesota Horse Council are promoting the campaign which allows horse owners to claim a $100 voucher towards castration costs of stallions by a registered vet. The scheme is tax deductible for the equine groups.

Director of HPS, Susan Lurz, said: “This programme is the future. We cannot continue to let our rescues be inundated with horses that have been neglected or are in poor health as a result of poor breeding practices.

“People are putting stallions and mares together in the same pasture, letting them be, and they’re just producing foals like crazy.”

For more information, visit www.stalliontogeldingsupport.org

The Minnesota Horse Council will make owners attend eight horse husbandry seminars, designed to give the average owner a basic understanding of horse care, before the vouchers are handed over.

Essie Rogers, director of education for the Kentucky Horse Council said: “It is much more expensive to feed two extra horses every year than it is to castrate the one creating the extra horse.”

Tawnee Preisner, founder of NorCal Equine Rescue, agreed with the programme: “Everyone loves the cute little baby horses but there are thousands of babies produced every year who are unwanted.”