British Horse Society magazine tackles key equine welfare issues

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British horse society - British Horse Society magazine tackles key equine welfare issues

British_horse_societyTwo of the UK’s most prevalent equine welfare problems have come to the fore in the latest issue of British Horse, the membership magazine of The British Horse Society.
For our cover story, Lee Hackett, Director of Equine Policy, offers a refreshing insight into the crisis affecting our horse population, urging people to face up to the realities of the current situation. With so many unwanted horses roaming Britain, horse lovers are inevitably tempted to try and take matters into their own hands. However, Lee advises horse owners to think twice before rushing to the ‘rescue’ and suggests that a more pragmatic approach may be necessary.
“Let’s lose the view that good welfare always means keeping animals alive,” said Lee. “We can’t afford to think like this any longer. Finding a horse a new purpose or new home so we can avoid putting them down really is not always the best solution. Humane euthanasia is far from the worst fate that can befall a horse. Just ask any one of The British Horse Society’s 200-plus welfare officers who are constantly on call to help horses suffering and in distress.”
In this issue we also launched our new grass sickness campaign, in conjunction with the Equine Grass Sickness Fund and the Animal Health Trust. Let’s Tackle Grass Sickness aims to raise the money needed for a full clinical trial of a new vaccine that could mean the end of the devastating equine disease.
The Animal Health Trust has already conducted a successful pilot study, which is a huge breakthrough and extremely exciting. The next stage in the journey to securing a vaccine is a full-size clinical trial. That is why we have joined forces with the Equine Grass Sickness Fund and the Animal Health Trust to raise the much needed funds to make a vaccine against appalling disease a reality.
Lee Hackett said: “Grass sickness causes huge suffering to the horses it affects and the people who care for them. At the moment we have no real means of treating or preventing it and while the status quo remains horses will continue to die.
“However there is light at the end of the tunnel thanks to the prospect of a vaccine. The British Horse Society is the organisation for people who love horses and we are delighted to be teaming up with the Equine Grass Sickness Fund and the Animal Health Trust to launch this appeal. Raising the money needed to fund the vaccine trial might just enable us to defeat this horrific disease once and for all.”
The British Horse Society is dedicated to ensuring that its members are kept abreast of all the latest welfare developments. For more information, to donate or join, please visit www.bhs.org.uk.

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