A royal visit to North West rescue horses in desperate need

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HRH rehoming Annie credit World Horse Welfare 750x426 - A royal visit to North West rescue horses in desperate need

HRH rehoming Annie credit World Horse Welfare 150x150 - A royal visit to North West rescue horses in desperate needHRH The Princess Royal is to visit the largest horse rescue and rehoming charity in Britain today to speak about the crisis for horses in the UK after hearing that World Horse Welfare took in 73% more horses last year compared to the year before.
The Princess will comment on the scale of the task to help Britain’s horses and how the challenges for horses have become worse and not better in her speech to a 75+ guest audience in Blackpool.
She will receive a tour around World Horse Welfare’s Penny Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre just off Preston New Rd, one of the charity’s four farms across the country, to see how the international organisation is coping with the incredible influx of horses in large groups that increasingly need rescuing.
The horse crisis is well and truly upon the UK and is the result of continued breeding despite horses’ decreasing value — at the moment it’s difficult to even give a horse away — and the economic downturn.
The charity is regularly finding groups of 20+ horses left abandoned or neglected illegally on other people’s land (fly grazing) – 7,000 are currently at risk of neglect or abandonment across England and Wales.
Fly grazing causes severe welfare issues as horses are left to breed, suffer and die on somebody else’s land – often causing danger to local communities when the animals escape, hefty costs to the land owner and a drain on local authority resources.
World Horse Welfare has been pressing for a change in the law in England to help tackle fly grazing but there is no such undertaking from Westminster. Wales, however, have brought in a new law to deal with the issue. Although a welcome development for Wales, welfare charities are now warning that more horses may simply move over the border into England as it remains so easy to get away with.
At the event The Princess will talk of ways that the public can help ease the crisis by not breeding horses, supporting and donating to charities that can help and by rehoming horses instead of buying them in order to make space for the thousands that need urgent rescue in order to survive.
The Princess last visited the Blackpool centre in 2001 and since then she has seen the centre play a central part in the local community and in caring for its horses. The Princess even rehomed a horse, aptly named Annie, from the charity in autumn last year in the hope that others would follow her lead.
World Horse Welfare hopes to educate visitors on the current problems that face the horse world, the impact that the charity is currently having on easing these issues, and what still needs to be done – with public and government help.
“If this crisis is going to ease up anytime soon then there needs to be a sustained and collective effort. This needs to come from both the government in ensuring and helping enforce better legislation to protect horses, and the public in rehoming more horses or supporting charities during these desperate times.
“I hope that by having The Princess Royal here today we can heighten awareness of this issue and get help for Britain’s horses – I don’t want to be discussing the harsh realities of what might have to happen to the thousands of horses out there with no homes to go to if we don’t make every effort to help save these animals that are suffering or are at high risk of suffering.
“Charities are full to bursting with desperate welfare cases and cannot cope with current numbers alone, something more has to be done,” says Chief Executive of World Horse Welfare and vet, Roly Owers.
Visitors will get to see first-hand the charity at work with its many welfare cases, groom and horse demonstrations – and even get to meet the new foal, just born on the farm, and the sad reality behind so many that don’t make it to World Horse Welfare.   www.worldhorsewelfare.org/Home

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