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Cost-of-living survey launched for horse keepers
“We know from last year’s research that many owners were just about coping, and all possible cost savings had already been made, but that left little room for a further squeeze on purses" – Rebecca Boulert.
The results of the survey will be shared with policy makers.

The National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) has launched a survey to find out how cost-of-living pressures are currently impacting horse keepers in the UK.

Anyone who cares for horses can contribute. Anonymised information from the survey will be made public and shared with the UK government, devolved governments, and local authorities to highlight any problems horse keepers are facing and to help inform horse welfare policies.

A tailored version of the survey has also been created to find out more about the impact the cost-of-living crisis has had on charities and rescue centres. The organisations will be contacted directly about taking part.

NEWC conducted a similar survey last year, which received more than 8,000 responses. The results revealed that one in five horse owners were facing difficult decisions, including have to sell their horse, because of rising costs. It also found that almost 50 per cent had cut what they spent in other areas of their life to help pay for their horses’ care.

The survey is being run with support from World Horse Welfare, Redwings Horse Sanctuary, The British Horse Society, Bransby Horses, Blue Cross and Oak Tree Animals’ Charity.

Rebecca Boulert, education officer at World Horse Welfare, said: “For those of us at the coalface of dealing with cases where individuals are unable to care for their horses because they cannot meet their needs financially, it is imperative for us to understand if the situation has worsened for horse owners and keepers over the past 12 months.

“We know from last year’s research that many owners were just about coping, and all possible cost savings had already been made, but that left little room for a further squeeze on purses. This year’s follow-on survey aims to show whether things have stabilised, improved or deteriorated, allowing us to plan and act accordingly.

“We really hope as many horse owners as possible engage with the research and complete the survey, regardless of whether or not they were involved in last year’s project.”

The survey is open until 16 February 2024 and can be completed online.

Image © Shutterstock

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Special imports digital service set to change

News Story 1
 From Monday, 15 July, Special Import Certificate (SIC) applications will only be accepted via the Veterinary Medicines Directorate's (VMD's) new special imports digital service.

The original online special import scheme will be decommissioned. The VMD says that the new service is easier to use, more secure and reliable, and meets accessibility legislation.

The VMD is urging veterinary surgeons who have not yet signed up for the new service to do so before 15 July. The new digital service can be accessed here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
RCVS course explains concerns process

A free, online course from the RCVS Academy has been launched, designed to clarify RCVS' concerns procedure.

The content will give veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses a better understanding of the process, and what they can expect if a concern is raised about them. It includes details of common concerns.

The interactive resource has been developed in collaboration with Clare Stringfellow, case manager in the RCVS Professional Conduct Team.

Ms Stringfellow said: "We appreciate that concerns can be very worrying, and we hope that, through this course, we can give vets and nurses a better understanding of the process and how to obtain additional support."

The course can be accessed via the RCVS Academy. Users are encouraged to record their learning for CPD.