Need for equine and humanitarian aid ‘grows more desperate’ in Ukraine

  • The need for more humanitarian and equine aid “grows more desperate” as the war in Ukraine continues.

    Four weeks on, the British Equestrians for Ukraine (BEU) group – set up by British Equestrian, the British Horse Society, the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) and World Horse Welfare with the support of member bodies across the industry – continues to raise funds and coordinate supplies to the country.

    “The situation in Ukraine continues to be severe, with fighting intensifying in the south and east and the need for humanitarian and equine aid grows more desperate,” said a BEU spokesman.

    “Working in collaboration both in the UK and with parties in Europe and Ukraine, BEU has so far helped nine lorries of goods get delivered and assisted with funding for holding facilities and personnel to help with logistics and coordination.”

    A BEU spokesman said through collective efforts, donations to the BEU fund, hosted by World Horse Welfare, stand at £164,000 and food forage and bedding in the nine-truck convoy sent to Poland at the end of last month has now been distributed through Ukraine to key locations where its most needed.

    “The Ukrainian equestrian federation (UEF) is prioritising relocating equines to holding camps in safe areas over trying to get them across the border into Poland and beyond,” said the spokesman.

    “The wait times for paperwork to be checked, even for microchipped horses, is generally 20 to 40 hours on the border. The camps provide housing and support for any horse and any people who travel with them and BEU has been providing logistics and financial help to set up and run the camps.”

    The spokesman added that the British Veterinary Professionals for Ukraine (BVPU) has now linked into the BEU fund for monetary assistance to support the need for veterinary supplies, alongside their own fundraising which has raised £44,000 for humanitarian aid. The British Equestrian Veterinary Association Trust has contributed, as has the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

    BEVA president-elect and BVPU team member David Rendle will travel to the Polish/Ukrainian border this week to assess the situation and veterinary stands. He is currently coordinating a lorry of donated supplies to leave the UK, and will work with BETA chief executive Claire Williams to ensure the lorry is full of any additional equine, pet and humanitarian supplies.

    BETA is also working on a supply source and transport provider for haylage and bedding to Europe so BEU can fund more economical ways to get supplies to Ukraine efficiently. The current requirement is for low-protein, small bale forage and shavings, UEF has reported good stocks of hard feed.

    “The situation in Ukraine remains utterly dire but thanks to people’s generosity we are starting to have some impact in getting aid to where it is needed, through donations of supplies and funding. The initial response to the appeal has been amazing and to have legends like Lucinda Green and Carl Hester supporting our collective effort is incredible,” said Roly Owers, World Horse Welfare chief executive.

    “However, the stark reality is that the desperate need to support Ukrainian horses and the wider sector will remain for months to come, whatever happens on the ground. So we would implore everyone to continue to donate and to fundraise in support of this much needed initiative.”

    You might also be interested in:

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.

    You may like...