Shock as over 100 suffering horses put to sleep and a further 300 rescued

Charities joined forces and worked side-by-side to safeguard the future welfare of more than 400 horses at a location between Bridgend and Llantwit Major in the Vale of Glamorgan this week.

HorseWorld Trust, Redwings Horse Sanctuary, Vale of Glamorgan Council officials and the RSPCA have spent over a week working together in assessing the horses’ health, providing treatment and sadly over 100 horses that were found in such poor condition that they had to be put to sleep.

Following a phone call from Redwings Horse Sanctuary, Director of Welfare Jerry Watkins quickly made his way to the site where over 400 horses were being kept. Knee deep in mud, the determined team of charity workers, the RSPCA and council officials ploughed their way around the drenched fields to assess the situation further. What they were faced with was, “absolutely shocking” this was going to be “one of the toughest and largest rescues of all time” (Jerry Watkins, Director of Welfare).

Over six days (12-17 November) more than 300 horses were rounded up and removed from the site to places of safety by the organisations involved. These horses will be cared for at a secure location whilst the investigation continues.

“Not all of the horses counted in the field pulled through and over 100 equines had to be put to sleep” said HorseWorld’s Director of Welfare Jerry Watkins. “This decision was not taken lightly, but it became clear as the team assessed each horse individually that a number of the horses were in such a state of suffering that there was only one option for them.

“I am incredibly proud of HorseWorld and that we were able to support the other organisations involved. This situation is evidence that the equine crisis is worsening and could get worse as we go into what is predicted to be a very harsh winter. This is the most awful welfare situation I have faced due to the number of horses and resources involved. Our team worked so hard to support and once again go above and beyond the line of duty”.

Alun Davies, the Minister for Natural Resources has commented that, “I am grateful to all those involved for their swift and effective action which has relieved the suffering of these horses and I would like to pay tribute to the Vale of Glamorgan council for their robust response to this emergency”.

As this is an ongoing animal welfare investigation we cannot provide further information at this stage. 

Article by: Samantha Greatbanks

Posted on: 22nd December 2013