MP Kerry McCarthy visits HorseWorld!

MP Kerry McCarthy offers her support to #BreakTheChain

Kerry McCarthy visited HorseWorld recently to hear about our #BreakTheChain campaign and meet some of our rescued horses. Kerry has received more emails than any other MP in the country about tethered horses and at one point she had more emails about horses than about Brexit!

On her visit Kerry spoke with HorseWorld’s Managing Director, Mark Owen, about the campaign aims. These are; to limit the amount of time a horse can be tethered for to 24 hours, to enforce a complete ban on tethering in dangerous locations and to make it so that if a tether is your only method of keeping a horse then you should not be permitted to keep that animal. Kerry also heard how the campaign has reached 94% of MP’s and gained over 11,000 sign-ups so far.

Kerry has a history of supporting animal rights, so she and Mark also discussed the shortcomings of local councils who fail to employ Animal Welfare Inspectors leaving the police as the only people with the power to rescue a suffering animal. HorseWorld would like to see it become a mandatory duty for councils to employ an inspector which would mean the police would not have to attend animal rescues saving them time and money.

Kerry met Salisbury and Twiglet, two of our rescue horses. Salisbury was rescued after being born while his mother, Catena, was tethered. This meant she couldn’t protect him and Catena was in serious distress at not being able to get to her baby. Luckily, in this case HorseWorld could step-in and rescue both mare and foal. However, a study published in 2014 found that 10% of tethered horses in South Wales were mares with young foals this show us that many horses have suffered as Catena did and will continue to suffer unless action is taken[i]. Kerry then met Twiglet who was rescued with a broken spine but is now in full health and exceptionally cheeky. He decided to nibble Kerry as she gave a moving speech on camera about her support for the campaign!

Kerry said: “I fully support HorseWorld’s #BreaktheChain campaign, and so many of my constituents have written to me about it, it’s clear they do too. It’s so sad to see horses tethered by the roadside, often without adequate water or shelter, for days on end. We need the current law to be properly enforced, and for the Government to look at whether the law can be strengthened.”

Having a record of supporting improvements to mental health services in the UK, Kerry also had a tour of HorseWorld’s Discovery department which helps struggling and at-risk children by pairing them with a rescued horse and teaching the children how to care for horses.

Kerry said: “It was also great to hear about the work HorseWorld is doing with young people with social, emotional, mental health and learning needs, through its Discovery programme, and the difference contact with the horses can make to troubled young people’s lives”.

The HorseWorld team couldn’t be more grateful to Kerry for her support and are hoping that with her voice added to the campaign they are one step closer to improving the lives of horses all over the UK.

[i] Mullan, S., Szmaragd, C., Hotchkiss, J., Whay, H.R. (2014) The welfare of longline tethered and free-ranging horses kept on grazing land in South Wales. Animal Welfare. 23. 25-37.

Article by: Keeley Mitson

Posted on: 8th February 2019