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Home Direct service to alleviate horse crisis
The service will free-up space in the charity's equine centres for urgent neglect or abandonment cases.

Service will free-up valuable space in rescue centres 

A service to help owners find suitable new homes for their horses if they can no longer keep them has been launched by Blue Cross.

The charity’s Home Direct scheme
comes after the success of a similar Blue Cross programme for small animals, which was introduced in 2010. It will mean the charity can keep valuable space free at its rescue centres, ready for any urgent neglect or abandonment cases.

“We receive daily emails from owners who are unable to keep their horses any longer, says Emily Lambert, rehoming coordinator at Blue Cross. “The reason may be anything from the owner’s failing health to horses that cannot no longer be ridden.
 
“We also have frequent calls from owners looking for help and advice on their horses and sometimes just listening and talking gives people the peace of mind that they are making the right decision.”

Equine charities are currently receiving a high volume of calls every month from horse owners seeking new homes for their animals. With more than one million horses and donkeys in the UK, the charitable sector has limited available space and must prioritise welfare and rescue cases.

Home Direct will enable Blue Cross to care and support even more hoses. Under the scheme, every horse will be assessed by a member of the Blue Cross team and then advertised on the charity’s website.

When a potential new owner has been found, Blue Cross will arrange and oversee an initial visit and, if it is a good match, the horse will be re-homed.

“We would much rather people approach us whilst their horses are still healthy than risk them being passed from pillar to post and potentially ending up in a welfare compromised situation and making more work for charities,” Emily continues. “The great thing about Home Direct is we are helping people as much as we are helping horses.”

The Home Direct service is being offered to other equine welfare charities that don’t specialise in rehoming. Any horse can be considered for the scheme, as long as they pass a health check and are not on any long term medication.
 

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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”