South West Equine Protection (SWEP), an organisation set up to help abandoned equines, are feeling the effects of the FMD crisis with the cancellation of vital fund-raising shows which are essential for meeting feed, veterinary and farrier costs for their rescued ponies and horses.

At present 12 welfare rescues are held at the society’s stables in Devon, ofwhich six are waiting to go to loan homes.

The organisation have recently taken in eight ponies from Bodmin Moor who were found straying onto adjoining farms.

By taking these ponies into care SWEP saved the ponies from being destroyed,astheir owner could not be traced and the only alternative was for theauthorities to have the roaming animals destroyed because of restrictions currently in place.

Maureen Rolls of the South West Equine Protection Society, which also holds equine “photo shows” , said: “Funds are getting short and we are beginning to panic we have organised two photo shows to try and help but obviously this is only going to have a short term effect.

“We try and support our rescues with fund-raising events but foot and mouthhas hit us hard and we would be grateful for any donations to help us during the crisis.”

User who wish to help should contact Maureen on (tel:01822 890668 or 01752 295641) for further information.The next SWEP photo show is scheduled for 6 May 2001