Owners have been issued with a stark warning to think carefully before they breed.

World Horse Welfare has already had three foals born at its centres this year and is looking after five mares due to give birth.

The charity is reminding owners of the impact breeding can have, with the UK already overpopulated with equines.

The charity is revisiting its Need to Breed campaign, which was launched in 2013, as its message “is still as relevant as ever”.

“There are still more horses and ponies in the UK than there are good homes and while there are many different factors contributing to this which we do our best to address in different ways, the Need to Breed initiative specifically focuses on the impact that breeding just one foal can have,” said World Horse Welfare head of UK support, Sam Chubbock.

World Horse Welfare’s research found that collectively, twice as many foals are produced by people who will only breed one to five foals than by people who will breed more than 100 each.

“With so many welfare charities struggling to rehome the animals in their care, we’re asking horse owners to think long and hard about their reasons for wanting to breed,” Ms Chubbock added.

In 2017, 15 foals were born at World Horse Welfare’s farms and more than 30 the year before. This year the charity has already had three foals born and more mares in foal.

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“If people are looking to nurture a horse from a young age then we’d ask them to consider rehoming before anything else,” added Ms Chubbock.

“We currently have more than 30 youngsters looking for homes through our rehoming scheme who would all benefit from knowledgeable, experienced rehomers to continue their education and help them reach their future potential, whilst leaving space in our farms for us to help more horses in need.”

For more information, visit http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/needtobreed

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