Donkey slaughter, and other things the horse world is talking about today

Horse & Hound’s daily debrief, brought to you every weekday morning

  • 1. Donkey slaughter

    H&H has reported on declining donkey populations in a number of countries owing to the demand for eijao, a substance found in the skin that is used in Chinese health and beauty products. Equine charity Brooke is among those calling for a worldwide ban on the trade of donkey skins, and a crackdown on smuggling of the animals across borders. Now, a 10-year ban has been announced on the donkey skin trade in Tanzania, after fears were raised about the “alarming” decline in the country’s donkey population. The news has been welcomed as a “strong step in the right direction” by those who have been campaigning against the trade.

    Read more about the 10-year ban

    2. Free racing tickets for NHS workers

    In a positive move, British racing has partnered with Blue Light Tickets to offer a complimentary trip to the races to all those working in the emergency services, NHS and social care sectors. The Racecourse Association (RCA), the representative body of all British courses and Racing Together, British racing’s community engagement arm, has facilitated the donation of thousands of tickets for Blue Light Tickets members to redeem as thanks for their efforts during the pandemic. All 59 British racecourses are involved, as is the National Horseracing Museum.

    Read the story in full

    3. Positive impact of alternative grazing systems

    More equestrians are considering how alternative grazing systems can have a positive impact on the environment, as well as their horses, research has shown. A newly published study looking at the use of grazing methods, including tracks, the Equicentral System (a land management practice that focuses on sustainability and equine welfare) and woodland turnout, has revealed “promising insight” into owners’ behaviour and attitudes towards sustainability. Researcher Tamzin Furtado, of the University of Liverpool, told H&H: “There was such diversity in what people were doing and there were definitely things we could all do more of, whether you are based at a livery yard or at home. From things like installing bird boxes, reducing the use of wormers or leaving logs in the corner of the field for insect life, they can all have an impact.”

    Find out more about what owners can do

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