When reporting a welfare concern to a relevant organisation, the operator may ask for the following information:

  • Complainants name, address and telephone number (so that the organisation can contact them with an update on the situation)
  • The date, time and place of the offence
  • Information about the animal’s environment and bodily condition
  • The name(s) and address(es) of the person(s) involved
  • The name(s) and address(es) of any witnesses
  • The registration number and description of any vehicle involved

Supporting information

Photographs or video footage showing the cruelty may provide vital evidence in a prosecution case. If the complainant has a camera to hand, and is safe to use, it may prove beneficial. The existence of photographic or video evidence should be mentioned to the controller when the case is reported

The complainant will need to state whether they will be prepared to testify in court. If the complainant wishes to remain anonymous this wish will be respected.

The operator will assess the information given by the complainant and prioritise the complaint as appropriate.

The operator will direct the complaint to the appropriate person who will deal with the complaint. At weekends or out of normal working hours there may be limited capability however this should not deter the complainant from reporting their concern. Callers should not take the law into their own hands and should provide the organisation with as much information as possible so that they can investigate the complaint legally and as rapidly as is necessary.

Often, a caller will report a welfare concern to multiple organisations in the belief that this will result in the complaint being investigated more quickly. This is not usually the case and can waste resources that could be directed to another welfare problem. Callers may be asked whether they have logged the complaint with another organisation in order to limit this wastage.

Welfare organisations

Bransby Home of Rest for Horses

  • Welfare helpline staffed 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday
  • To report a welfare problem contact Bransby on 01427 788464
  • Officers will investigate welfare complaints where the horse is located in Herefordshire, Humberside, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire and Wales
  • Emergency welfare concerns may be reported on the main number out of working hours however non-urgent calls made out of working hours will be dealt with the following working day
  • Where the welfare concern relates to an animal that is not located in the counties mentioned above, the caller will be redirected to another appropriate organisation in their area
  • Works with RSPCA to bring prosecutions as the organisation has no-in house prosecution team

The British Horseracing Authority

  • If a member of the public observes a non-urgent welfare case involving a Thoroughbred racehorse in training they should contact Racestraight on 08000 852580
  • If a serious welfare problem involving a Thoroughbred racehorse in training is observed out of office hours it should be reported to the RSPCA
  • Can use its own disciplinary processes
  • Works with RSPCA to bring prosecutions as the organisation has no-in house prosecution team

The British Horse Society

  • UK Welfare helpline staffed 8.35am – 5pm Monday to Thursday and 8.35am to 3pm Friday
  • To report a welfare problem anywhere in the UK contact the BHS on 01926 707804. Calls made out of office hours will be dealt with the following working day
  • BHS Welfare Officers are not restricted to normal working hours and therefore may be able to attend out of hours
  • Works with RSPCA to bring prosecutions as the organisation has no-in house prosecution team

The Donkey Sanctuary

  • Inspectors are available to investigate donkey welfare complaints 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • To report a welfare problem contact the Donkey Sanctuary main switchboard on 01395 578222 or one of the regional welfare representatives (contact numbers below).The main switchboard number has voicemail
  • Regional Welfare Officers are found in the following regions: Scotland, North East and Northern Ireland – 07717 814946; East of England – 07836 756117; North and Mid-Wales, Midlands, Cumbria, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cleveland – 07850 963563; South and South East England – 07770 683767; SouthWest England and SouthWales – 07768 336912
  • Each listed RegionalWelfareOfficer is responsible for a particular region and has on average 12 Area Welfare Officers who are always available
  • Works with RSPCA to bring prosecutions as the organisation has no-in house prosecution team

The Horse Trust

  • Welfare helpline staffed 8.30 to 4.30 Monday to Friday
  • To report a welfare problem contact The Horse Trust on 01494 488464
  • Will investigate welfare complaints where the horse is located in the Home Counties.
  • Where the welfare concern relates to an animal that is not located in the Home Counties, the caller will be redirected to another appropriate organisation in their area
  • Works with RSPCA to bring prosecutions as the organisation has no-in house prosecution team HorseWorld
  • Welfare helpline staffed 7.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday
  • To report a welfare problem contact HorseWorld on 01275 832067
  • Will investigate welfare complaints where the horse is located in the SouthWest
  • Works with RSPCA to bring prosecutions as the organisation has no-in house prosecution team

Redwings/strong>

  • Welfare helpline manned 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday
  • To report a welfare problem contact Redwings on 01508 481008
  • Field Officers cover London and the South East, Northern England, the Midlands and East Anglia
  • Out of hours emergency equine welfare complaints located in the areas mentioned above can be reported on 07747 444704
  • Work with RSPCA to bring prosecutions as have no-in house prosecution team

RSPCA

  • 24 hour cruelty and advice line
  • To report a welfare problem contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999
  • Inspectors cover England andWales 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • Inspectors will attend emergencies that occur out of hours or at weekends however resources are reduced at these times.
  • Inspectors called to investigate cases of neglect or abuse will provide advice and prosecute where necessary

World Horse Welfare (the newname for the ILPH)

  • UK Welfare Hotline staffed 8am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday
  • To report a welfare problem in the UK contact World Horse Welfare on 08000 480180
  • The working hours for Field Officers are 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday
  • Emergency calls falling outside these times will be referred to another appropriate organisation
  • Works with RSPCA to bring prosecutions as the organisation has no in house prosecution team

This information has been reproduced from the National Equine Welfare Protocol document.