Clinics provide education and advice to support vulnerable horse owners.
HRH The Princess Royal has visited a British Horse Society (BHS) Healthcare and Education clinic in Kent to see first-hand how the equine charity supports horse owners.
The visit formed part of the clinic's equine welfare education campaign, which provides advice and support to horse owners whose animals are vulnerable or at-risk of breeding indiscriminately.
Central to the campaign is the aim of trying to prevent horses from needing to be rescued. With equine rescue centres at capacity, the BHS Healthcare Clinics play an important part in breaking the cycle of neglect and improving horse welfare.
Gemma Stanford, BHS director of welfare, said: “We are thrilled that our Vice-Patron, HRH The Princess Royal, could join us at this Healthcare Clinic to see first-hand how we are able to support horse owners.
“With a growing number of horses in rescue centres and being abandoned, this is a proactive approach to the problem. All horses received a health check on the day, with many of them having never been seen by a vet before. The BHS believe prevention is better than cure and we promote horse welfare by educating, advising, and supporting horse owners and carers, to prevent welfare issues.
“Horses are suffering because we do not have enough knowledgeable and experienced owners to look after them,” she said.
Hosted by Ashford Cattle Market, BHA's Kent clinic runs in collaboration with British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA), with support from Zoetis and several other equine charities.
The clinics provide education, advice, and support on various issues and allow BHS experts to engage with and build relationships with people in local communities, many of whom would not have previously communicated with authorities or equine charities.
With thanks to BEVA Trust volunteer vets and an extensive list of supportive organisations, the clinics offer horse owners: general health checks, castration, hoof care, worming and dentistry, at a reduced cost.
Julian Samuelson, chair of BEVA Trust said: “Our BEVA Trust volunteers show a real passion for horse welfare with their support for these clinics and their willingness to donate their time is very admirable. By providing health checks, castrations, passports and micro-chipping, and also dental health checks and farriery when possible, we are able to make a real, practical difference for horses identified to be in need.
“We are immensely proud that HRH The Princess Royal has shown such an interest in our work and her level of engagement and understanding is truly impressive. We thank her for taking the time to visit our clinic today.”
Image © BHS/Jon Stroud Photography.