1. Call a halt to the horse crisis
The economic downturn and overbreeding are causing a crisis among the most vulnerable horses, and few people realise that more than 6,000 horses are at risk of needing to be rescued or urgently rehomed in England and Wales this year — a number that continues to rise. Welfare charities like World Horse Welfare cannot solve this problem alone as helping just a fraction of these horses would overwhelm our resources.
How can you help? Welfare charities have banded together to call on government for tougher laws to encourage more responsible ownership and better traceability so that horses cannot be neglected or ‘fly grazed’ with impunity. Please sign the letter to add your voice to ours.
2. If you see a horse that may be suffering, call World Horse Welfare
Our free national welfare hotline 08000 480 180 is open from 8:00am – 5:30pm Monday-Friday and is staffed by horse experts who can assess the situation and if necessary can send one of our local field officers to investigate welfare concerns. We try to work with horse owners to help them care for their animals as well as possible, providing guidance, tips and advice. If the situation does not improve, we rescue horses and in extreme cases will assist in prosecuting those responsible for horse suffering. Once we rehabilitate horses at our centres, we find them loving new homes.
3. Rehome a horse rather than buy one
Rehoming a horse has many advantages over buying one, not least because you will know exactly what you are getting. Each of our horses come with an unbiased history and the full facts about their abilities and temperament. We do not rush you into any decisions, and rehoming is actually a very simple process, even for ridden horses. We want you and your horse to be happy together for as long as they live, but if for any reason your circumstances change, you can give the horse back to us.
Rehoming one horse from World Horse Welfare actually helps two — the horse you take in makes space for another horse who needs our help. With thousands of horses in desperate need across the country, the more horses we rehome, the more horses we can help at our four Rescue and Rehoming Centres. Find out more about rehoming one of our wide range of horses and ponies today.
4. Adopt a horse
If you cannot rehome a horse, do the next best thing – adopt one. Our Adopt a Horse scheme gives you the opportunity to help a horse or pony at one of our four UK Rescue and Rehoming Centres. Each horse has their own story and you can closely follow their progress back to health and a new life. Simply select the horse you would like to adopt and you will receive a pack about your chosen horse and recent updates written by the grooms and centre manager. You can also visit your horse on weekends and other open days. This is a great gift idea for horse lovers young and old alike.
5. Become a member of World Horse Welfare
With one of the lowest prices on the market for 3rd party riding insurance, what better way is there to protect yourself and the horses you love? Our ChampionPlus (£52 per year) and JuniorChampionPlus (£40) memberships are offered at competitive rates, and in addition to peace of mind from SEIB insurance, you will enjoy exclusive benefits such as our expert advice telephone line, magazine, invitations to our special events and best of all, the knowledge that you are helping horses in Britain and all over the world.
Don’t need insurance? Then Champion membership is for you, where you’ll receive all the benefits without insurance for just £3 per month. We also have great family membership offers. Find out more about World Horse Welfare membership.
6. Sign our CCTV petition
Sign our petition for mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses that take horses to help prevent the abuses at a Cheshire abattoir revealed in footage obtained by Sky News this year. The Red Lion abattoir should have followed the laws on humane slaughter, and the Food Standards Agency should have enforced them, but it seems neither did their part. This must not be allowed to happen again. Installing and monitoring CCTV of the slaughter process would greatly improve accountability. The public and horse owners need to have confidence that slaughter is carried out humanely in Britain. While it may be a sad fact, there is a role for humane slaughter of horses to help prevent them from suffering long and painful deaths due to illness or neglect. Please help horses by signing now and tell your friends to sign too.
7. Write to European Commissioner to end long journeys to slaughter
Where did the horse meat come from? Each year more than 65,000 horses suffer on long-distance journeys across Europe for slaughter. Stressed, injured, diseased and dehydrated, these horses endure appalling conditions for up to days on end with little food, water or rest. Scientific evidence shows that horses suffer on journeys longer than 12 hours, and we are pressing for a 9-12 hour journey limit in line with scientific opinion.
Please write to EU Commissioner Tonio Borg and ask him to listen to the scientific evidence and take action to end the suffering of horses transported long-distance across Europe for slaughter.
8. Buy an hour’s training to help working horses in Senegal
Every day in Senegal, West Africa, thousands of working horses are suffering through mistreatment because their owners do not have access to the skills or the understanding to care for them properly. We are determined to change this. By establishing community-based workshops, our training teams demonstrate and explain the basic skills that owners need to improve the welfare of their working horses. These programmes are run in eight countries, including Nicaragua, Honduras and Cambodia.
Over the past two years many hundreds of horses in Senegal alone have been helped as a result of their owners gaining these new skills, which include foot care and a guide to shoeing, equine nutrition and grooming. This project will continue to help many more horses over the next three years. It costs just £4 for a local horse and owner to spend an hour at one of our training workshops – an hour that could change the life of a horse. Together, we can change the lives of working horses in Senegal, one hour at a time. Give an hour of training and help a horse today.
9. Remember horses in your Will
Leaving a gift in your Will is perhaps the most meaningful way to show how much you care about horses – and it costs you nothing today. Even a relatively small legacy can help transform the lives of horses who are suffering or neglected. When planning your Will, once you have provided for your loved ones, please do consider remembering horses with a gift to World Horse Welfare. Wherever there are horses in need, a legacy can give each one of them a second chance to lead a happy and useful life. Ask us about Gifts in Wills.
10. Go shopping
You can support horses and World Horse Welfare by buying from our online shop full of goodies and essentials for horse lovers young and old. From hoodies to headbands, Christmas Cards to pencil kits, there is something for everyone – all profits going to help horses. Shop now.