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Animal Friends Blog


HorseWorld – Why it is Essential to Microchip a Horse

Joanne Knobby and Einstein

HorseWorld Trust rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes neglected and mistreated horses, ponies and donkeys as well as supporting vulnerable young people through our tailored educational programme, Discovery, which brings our rescued animals together with young people who have physical or emotional needs. Registered Charity No: 1121920.

When the Chips are down for Equine Rescue Charities

At HorseWorld we rescue on average six horses a month and one of our biggest frustrations is we often cannot see the perpetrators, of what are often horrific cases of cruelty and neglect, taken to account for their actions through the courts because ownership cannot be proved.

Since 2004, all owners of Horses in the UK should have a passport for each horse that they own and since 1st July 2009 regulations were further strengthened to make it compulsorily for owners to microchip a horse or foal previously not identified.

A robust, legally-enforceable system one would have thought, particularly given the importance of its primary purpose – to ensure that no animal with any dangerous veterinary drugs in their system enters the food chain, would be of high priority to the government.

So why is it, even after the recent horse meat crisis in the UK, that at least 50% of the horses rescued by HorseWorld – a leading Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation Charity based in Bristol – come in today with no Microchip implanted?

Without being able to identify the owner(s) of such horses, the chances of any prosecution – regardless of how severe the neglect or maltreatment is – are really very small and sadly lead to repeat situations and de-motivated staff who are getting increasingly frustrated by the situation.

It is for the same reason that we cannot, with any accuracy, estimate how many horses there actually are in the UK; estimates range from 1 – 2 Million, but nobody is sure.

HorseWorld believe that there should be a zero tolerance approach to micro-chipping in the UK, “No micro-chip…No horse” and stronger enforcement of this law would lead to more prosecutions and less maltreated, neglected and abandoned Horses throughout the UK. The following link shows exactly why chipping is so important:  www.horsemart.co.uk/news/rspca-appeal-after-deserted-pony-is-put-down/3615

HorseWorld is part of a group of leading Equine Welfare Charities that have identified that there are currently some 6,000 – 7,000 horses at risk of serious neglect in the UK and are calling for government and public help through a report named “Left on the Verge”. A copy of this report can be downloaded at: www.horseworld.org.uk/news/news/charities_predict_a_winter_of_discontent_for_horses/

And you can watch a TV News article about this at:

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Hello, fellow animal lovers! I’m Elena, and I take care of social media for Animal Friends Insurance. I’m here to share the latest on animal welfare, our charity work and pet care. I foster and adopt rabbits and have a rescue dog called Luna.