The Horse Trust’s hay bill nears £25,000

  • Equine charities are the latest to face massive feed bills due to poor crops of hay.

    Last year, the Horse Trust spent just £450 on hay and haylage, producing most of it themselves.

    But this year, after obtaining only a third of the usual hay yield, the charity is facing a bill of more than £24,000.

    “This is very worrying — we have never faced such a large shortfall,” said yard manager Shirley Abbott.

    Other charities are also feeling the pinch.

    Bristol-based HorseWorld said it spent more on hay over the past eight months than in the whole of 2009.

    “Some of our horses could now cost £1,000 to feed in hay alone over the next 12 months,” said HorseWorld’s Jerry Watkins.

    World Horse Welfare is normally self-sufficient in hay, but this year its yields were down by 50%, forcing the charity’s flagship Hall Farm centre to buy in 1,000 bales.

    Charities are also concerned that the increased hay costs could cause a rise in welfare cases.

    “We encourage owners to plan ahead and buy hay now, before prices go up and hay becomes scarce,” added World Horse Welfare’s Tony Tyler.

    • To donate funds or hay, visit the charities’ websites.

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