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NEWS


VETS AND CHARITIES PULL TOGETHER TO PROVIDE URGENT CARE FOR OVER 70 HORSES IN CAMBRIDGESHIRE


W


orld Horse Welfarehas enlistedthe assistanceofequine charitiesand the Cambridge Veterinary School to


help an overwhelmed owner of 72 horseswhich had been breeding unmanageably at asitein Cambridgeshire. Acall to World Horse Welfare’sWelfareLine


by amember of the public concerned about the horsesled to one of charity’sField Officers,Chris Shaw, initially visiting the siteand speaking with the owner.Atthe time the totalnumber of horses involved acrossanumber of large fields wasnot known, but the owner waskeen to help improve the conditions forher horses.She admitted that the number had got out of hand and that she was struggling to cope with providing the necessary care forthem all and sensibly asked forhelp. In an example of howwelfarecharitieswill work


together and with ownerstoaddressconcerns and prevent suffering, World Horse Welfarequickly made arrangementswith anumber of different organisations including Redwings, Bransby Horses, the British Horse Society(BHS) and even Cambridge Veterinary School to attend the horses and representatives from each have been present at the site, working closely together,overthe pastfew weeks. Each horse is being caught and then examined by the vets who aretreating each animal forworms and lice, and anyfarriery and dental needs areseentoatthe same time.The


horsesare then passported and micro-chipped by the BHS.Animportant part of this processing of each animal is the gelding of each of the colts and stallionsbythe Cambridge vets to prevent the number of animals increasing again. The owner is paying forthe passporting and castrations. Chris Shawsaid “Wewould alwaysrather work


with the owners, and it is really brilliant seeing the owner of these horsesgetting stuck in and helping us as we deal with them. The family started with far fewerhorses, but as none were castratedthe herd sizegrewand the ownersbecame overwhelmed. The owner is learning so much moreabout what is needed to look after and manage them and having had her eyes opened to the problems she is genuinely keen to makeitright. All the charities involved would alwaysprefertowork with the owners to improve conditions fortheir horsesrather than removing the animals, that is alastresort.” Nowthe sizeable herdisbeing dealt with, the


owner intends to rehome some of the animals to further reducethe numbersand this will be more straightforwardsincetheyhavebeen micro- chipped, passported and gelded. She is keen to focus on caring morethoroughly forasmaller group of animals and the remaininghorseswill be monitored closely by World Horse Welfare Field Officerswho will continue to work with her,offering support and adviceand,ifrequired, practical assistance.


Asmall number of horses, with moreserious


welfareconcerns, were takenoff sitebyWorld Horse Welfareand Redwings, and the owner has signed those overtothe charities. Theywill be treatedand hopefully rehabilitatedbeforebeing offered forrehoming when theyare ready. Manyofthese horse welfarecases firstcome to


light by acall being made to World Horse Welfare’s confidential WelfareLine,0300 333 6000.Ifthey areconcerned about ahorse,membersofthe public cancall with first-hand information and the team will collectanumber of details and information from each caller which helps to determine whether aField Officershouldattend and howurgently the horse/sinquestion might need to be seen. The WelfareLine receives thousands of calls


each year and World Horse Welfarerelieson donations to maintain the line.The charity’s current appeal is asking forcaring people to donate just£3amonth to ensurethe continuation of the WelfareLine and akinder futurefor horsesand ponies. Visit https://bit.ly/3imOWK3 formoreinformation.


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