More than 100 abandoned and neglected horses, ponies, donkeys and mules have been rescued by Redwings Horse Sanctuary this year.
So far in 2016 the charity has offered a home to 120 rescued equines, a third of these having been rescued from desperate conditions found on moors and commons across the country.
Working with other charities, local authorities and local people, Redwings has turned its attention to the ongoing welfare crisis unfolding on moors and commons where the abandonment of horses by unscrupulous owners, indiscriminate breeding and a lack of food following adverse weather has seen many struggling to survive.
As well as being malnourished, many of the horses were found suffering from severe worm burdens, infectious disease and potentially fatal injuries as stallions fight for food and territory.
The conditions encountered by the charity’s vets and rescue team inspired the launch of its ‘Moor for Horses’ fundraising campaign to ensure more horses in need can be offered a new home and receive specialist care, and to break the cycle of suffering among these animals.
Redwings’ chief executive Lynn Cutress said: “Although the sanctuary is fit to bursting, we refuse to waver in our commitment to rescuing and caring for those most in need.
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“Redwings has been monitoring and rescuing horses from moors and commons for years, but wet weather and the actions of irresponsible owners has tipped the situation towards crisis point.
And as our sanctuary is operating at maximum capacity, it has never been more crucial for our vets and rescue team to lend their experience and expertise to local communities and councils as well as fellow welfare charities to bring those horses most in need to safety and to put in place measures to improve the situation long-term.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has worked tirelessly for horses in need this year, and those who have supported our Moor for Horses campaign which will ensure we can continue this vital work into next year and beyond.
“I’d also like to highlight the commitment of all our teams in-house and out in the field – our vets, field officers and care teams on our farms – who, as well as these larger operations, have shown as much dedication and care to the individual horse or pony rescue cases we have also taken into the sanctuary so far this year”.