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Horse Welfare hits the Mainstream

We are all familiar with the recurring images of horse carcasses being dumped in areas of the countryside. Be it right or not it is an act which is happening far more often than it seemed to. Whether this is due to the nature of social media publicizing these- usually from a “omg can someone help?” rather than a promotional stance- it is something that I personally have gotten used to.

Does anyone else find that acts like this continue to go on and whilst terrible, often there is little that just me on my own can do. I have never dealt with charities directly in such a case, however from what I have heard they are not always the most forthcoming. I always think cases such as dumped horses, dead or alive, are seriously upsetting to horse people. Although I sometimes wonder what the rest of the population think of this. Surely, whether you care about the welfare of horses or not to see a heaped animal of that size on the side of the road is rather alarming.

Which is why when I heard reports of this on BBC Radio 1 this morning on their main news role, I was a bit shocked! I always consider the horse world separate to the real world, whether this is right or not, it is how I maintain balance between the two. I listened to the report and went online to look further into it.

The article can only be described as a combination of horrific welfare cases as a potential scaremongering technique. This is all based around reports on the Victoria Derbyshire show. And whilst the facts and figures speak for themselves with prosecutions raising 25% in the last two years what is this article achieving? Without the protection of stricter legislation then simply just raising awareness is insufficient.

This is a welfare crisis and is something which needs addressing. 1000 horses being rescued within one year is appalling, not including all the the ones which are too late to be saved.

So whilst I am glad that such an area of equestrianism has become part of a major news story, I question whether this is enough to really impact the industry. Personally, I think welfare issues arise due to a lack of education and regulation with regards to owning horses. They are unlike other pets in their needs and demands and so require more knowledge. People underestimate the expense and commitment that these animals take and whilst some animal abusers are pure evil, there are equal amounts of those whom just do not understand. So to truly make a difference, this issue needs to be taken higher than the Victoria Derbyshire show and Newsbeat. Whilst it is a good place to start as it raises awareness, the RSPCA also need to be as forthcoming with solutions to further the action.

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