HAPPA is calling on members of the public, urging them NOT TO FEED other peoples horses, whilst out walking during Lockdown. We are hearing of more and more reports of horses being caused extreme distress and discomfort as a result. As more people are venturing outside to take their daily exercise during the Pandemic, they are walking across farmland and coming across horses living outside.
We appreciate that horses may appear to be hungry, especially during the winter months, and particularly whilst there is snow on the ground. We understand that many members of the public may think that they are acting out of kindness, but please do not be tempted to feed them. Certain foods can be harmful and cause colic or choking inadvertently causing unnecessary suffering to horses. Causing unnecessary suffering to any animal is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
We are issuing a stark warning to walkers, ramblers and members of the public to pay heed to this advice as we continue to read reports of horses having been made extremely ill, or in some cases having died as a result. Feeding horses in a group can also cause them to fight and squabble amongst themselves in order to get to the food and could cause serious harm to the animal or to you.
If whilst out walking across a right of way where horses are kept, please resist the urge to feed them any vegetables, grass cuttings or any other food produce. We would also like to urge anybody that knows someone that is unknowingly causing harm by feeding horses without the owner’s permission to ask them to stop immediately and explain why.
If you come across an equine whilst out walking that you feel is malnourished then please contact our Welfare Team on www.happa.org.uk/report-cruelty-neglect/ or phone 01282 455992
Click here to download a poster that you can use at home!