Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel

Blue Cross launches appeal for horse toys
Feral ponies are accustomed to living on moorland, mountains or heathland where they are free to display their natural behaviours.
Toys will support mental health and development

An appeal for horse toys to help enrich the lives of rescued feral ponies has been launched by the Blue Cross.

Based at the charity’s centre in Rolleston, Staffordshire, many of the ponies were taken in a pitiful state of health, having been rounded up and left unclaimed on Bodmin Moore.

Now the charity is calling for items such as play balls, mouthing fence toys and scratching mats to support their mental health and development while they are being rehabilitated.

In the UK, feral ponies are accustomed to living on moorland, mountains or heathland where they are free to display their natural behaviours and satisfy their curiosity. Sadly for the Bodmin Moor ponies, over-crowding, together with poor grazing, has made life difficult for them to survive in their natural environment.

At its Staffordshire and Oxfordshire centres, Blue Cross has designed buildings, stables and fields to minimise stress and enhance natural traits as much as possible. In addition to providing large barns and fields, the charity ensures the horses are kept in carefully selected groups that can physically interact with each other. For feral horses, however, this is not enough.

“With the young Bodmin ponies we have noticed that they spend a lot of time being destructive and play fighting. Less than a year ago they roamed freely across the moors, able to play in streams, and across a varied terrain of hills, woods and stony out crops," explains rehoming centre manager Tess Scott-Adams.

“Making the transition to a life of relative confinement is hard for them, no matter the excellent quality of the environment we are able to provide here at Blue Cross. Providing them with additional enrichment in the form of horse toys gives them something else to interact with and helps stimulate their inquisitive minds.”

For more information about the appeal and to find out how you can help support Blue Cross visit: www.bluecross.org.uk

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

New app to improve street dog welfare

News Story 1
 A new free app will support vital work in clinics caring for stray dogs around the world, experts say. Created by the University of Edinburgh, the tool allows vets to track the wellbeing of dogs going through catch-neuter-return schemes, which are common in countries with large numbers of strays.

Vets say the welfare of individual dogs can be overlooked during the process of capture, transport or surgery. The app, piloted across Asia and Africa, helps staff to monitor welfare, spot signs of distress and develop strategies to improve care. It was launched at BSAVA Congress on Friday 6 April.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Farm to fork traceability championed in new service

Defra has created a new information service to offer farm to fork traceability when the UK leaves the EU. The Livestock Information Service, which is set to be operational from 2019, will identify and track animal movements via electronic IDs, meaning the industry and government are better placed to respond in the event of a disease outbreak.

Environment secretary Michael Gove said: “This service will be instrumental in improving traceability and providing guarantees to consumers about the origin of their food. NFU President Minette Batters, among others, has helped lead the way on this, showing how it will drive a progressive and vibrant livestock industry once we leave the EU.”