Calling for enforced licensing of the breeding of horses in the UK

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Horses are being bred indiscriminately with the unwanted (often male) foals being dumped or abandoned. Many are dumped in private land as it is cheaper to dump a horse than to euthanise it and pay for disposal. The culture of some communities in the UK who breed these horses means that social status can be enhanced by breeding a good horse, but the unwanted horses have nowhere to go and are of little monetary value.

If you are going to breed an animal then you should be responsible for what happens to it long term. We want people who breed horses to have to take responsibility for the foals they breed, including identifying them with microchips and passports and ensuring good welfare standards are met.

This campaign is focussed on Turnip, who was a young colt foal abandoned in Newark, Nottinghamshire. He was found one morning by Severn Trent contractors who stumbled upon him as they worked. He could have been there a few days. He was emaciated and weak, and despite four days of intensive care and nursing he unfortunately passed away. But this is not a solitary case. This is happening all over the UK and in Nottinghamshire alone Help For Horses UK has been involved in over ten cases of abandoned foals this year alone.

We are experiencing a national crisis and the situation will only get worse unless something is done to prevent it. Presently there are no enforceable regulations regarding horse breeding in the UK. All horse charities are full to bursting, and the present horse database and passport system are not fit for purpose.

We’re launching this petition in memory of Turnip, so that something positive can come from his death.

1. We are calling on DEFRA and the government to enforce effective licensed breeding of horses in the UK. This is something already in effect for dog breeding as of October 2018.

2. We want a passport system and a central equine database which are fit for purpose.

This system will only work if we have effective enforcement of these regulations.