News Charities Join Forces To Help Horses

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Charities join forces to help horses
16th November 2020

By Justine Thompson

World Horse Welfare (WHW) has enlisted the assistance of equine charities and a vet school to help an overwhelmed owner of 72 horses.

The equines had been breeding at a site in Cambridgeshire and the owner was struggling to cope. When she was approached by a WHW field officer she admitted things had got out of hand and asked for help.

WHW pulled together a group of equine welfare organisations including Redwings, Bransby Horses, the British Horse Society and the Cambridge Veterinary School.

Each animal was caught and examined by vets, with worming, lice treatments, farriery and dentistry all part of the package. Colts and stallions were gelded.
WHW field officer Chris Shaw said: “We would always rather work with owners, and it is really brilliant seeing the owner of these horses getting stuck in and helping us as we deal with them.

ANIMAL WELFARE

“The family started with far fewer horses but, as none were castrated, the herd size grew and the owner became overwhelmed. The owner is learning so much more about what is needed to look after and manage them and having had her eyes opened to the problems she is genuinely keen to make it right.”

Avice O’Connor, equine clinician at Cambridge Vet School, said “Animal welfare is our main concern, but this has also provided an opportunity for our students to experience a situation they have probably never come across before. Catching and dealing with unhandled, feral animals, the higher sedation levels required, and the challenges of field surgery are all different to the well looked after ‘pet’ horses we normally deal with.”

“I’m blown away by how everybody from the different organisations has come together and worked as a team, working towards a common goal of improving the welfare of the horses. The students have learned that every part of the process is of equal importance, with everyone playing a vital role.”