Head collar scheme improves safety for horses and ponies in Wales

  • A reflective head collar scheme has been launched in Wales in an attempt to protect horses and ponies from road accidents.

    Marianne Pettifor of The Pettifor Trust launched the initiative to target the number of road accidents involving horses on the Gower Common and a special launch event was held last month (3 July).

    The group, which raises funds for independent animal welfare charities in Wales, has bought 1,000 head collars thanks to funding from supermarket Wilkinsons’ carrier bag charity scheme.

    “The idea came when I saw cattle wearing reflective collars — they were so bright,” Marianne told H&H.

    “It’s ok in the day but drivers can’t see them in the dark.

    One horse had been run over three times. He was hit and killed and then two other cars hit him.

    “That made me so angry. That’s when I asked Wilkinsons if they would be interested in becoming involved.”

    450 head collars have been claimed so far with 50 of these going to the RSPCA for use when handling welfare cases on the common.

    The RSPCA received the head collars at the launch event at the Llys Nini animal centre in Penllergaer.

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    “They will be used on the horses in our care,” said RSPCA chief inspector Romain de Kerckhove.

    “The RSPCA has done an increasing amount of work with stray and abandoned horses and it is a huge national problem. Unfortunately, Swansea is a blackspot but we are working hard with the council and police to reduce neglect and suffering.”
    Owners who graze their horses on the land claimed the remaining head collars.

    “It’s been so well received by people, added Marianne.

    “It’s much better for their safety as well as the drivers — it’s nice to know we’re marking a difference.”

    For more information visit: www.pettifortrust.co.uk

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