Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
New scheme will help horse owners
HORSE owners in Worcestershire and Herefordshire will soon be able to get free advice on horse security and equine health, writes Sara Pawsey.
Following the success of a pilot, the Equine Link Project is to be expanded throughout the West Midlands and people in the two counties will be offered health checks, microchipping, help with passport applications and assistance for horse castration where required.
The West Midlands is one of the first areas to benefit from the Equine Link Project, which is run jointly by West Midlands Police, the RSPCA and various equine charities, including Redwings, the British Horse Society and World Horse Welfare. A two-day launch was held in Bilston and 104 horses were welfare checked, 93 were micro-chipped, 100 horses were wormed and passport applications completed for 97 horses.
RSPCA inspector Jackie Hickman, from the West Midlands, helped get the project off the ground and is appealing for people in the two counties to ring the society’s national advice line if they have any concerns over equine health issues. She said: “I was overwhelmed by the response from horse owners and members of the public, and more events are planned. The success of the scheme goes to show what we can achieve when we all work together.”
The project was launched because of the increasing numbers of horses being neglected and taken into care, which is putting the RSPCA under tremendous pressure.
“Irresponsible owners are continuing to breed horses that they cannot sell, leaving the RSPCA to pick up the pieces,”
said Cathy Hyde, chief inspector of the RSPCA.
The RSPCA is training specialists on the ground in equine-related investigations and in May, the RSPCA will run a fostering campaign appealing for temporary homes for horses and ponies.