End Equine Tethering in the UK

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It is difficult to understand how the practice of tethering horses is lawful when it clearly breaches Sections 4 and 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and when it breaks so many points from Annex 1 of Defra's Code of Practice for the Welfare of Horses, Ponies, Donkeys and their Hybrids.

Those families and individuals genuinely traveling with their horses is one thing, but many horses spend their whole lives on the end of a rope or chain, with little or no shelter from rain, wind, sun, fly bites or freezing temperatures. Defecating where they lay, these horses suffer a poor diet, frequent worm infestation and controlled (if any) access to water. They are vulnerable to threat, particularly entanglement, passing traffic, dogs and unscrupulous passers-by.

Frequently these animals get loose and by the nature of the land they occupy, then present a threat to themselves and human lives as traffic and loose horses don't mix. They also pose a relentless drain on charity resources, as attempts are made to prop up their lives and oversee what welfare may or may not be attributed to them. Councils too are forced to dig deep into scarce resources to clear up the aftermath of tragedy.

Being bred from and giving birth on the end of a chain is something no animal should endure. No zoo nor farmed animal would ever be expected to exist like this, day in day out. The question of what will happen to these horses if tethering is banned cannot be the reason for their continual suffering. We call upon the Department of the Environment, Food & Rural affairs to oversee the abolition of this abhorrent, abusive practice.



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