We can end long-term tethering together.
If Local Authorities enforced current legislation then we could end the suffering of roughly 3,500 tethered equines across the UK and the estimated 9,000 equines at risk of neglect and abuse.
Did you know that up to 40% of Local Authorities have no Animal Welfare Inspectors?[i]
If the Animal Welfare Act and current DEFRA Codes of Practice were enforced consistently, by correctly trained Local Authority appointed Inspectors, then Catena could have been rescued long before she had to endure such suffering.
The Act states that all Animals should have the freedom to express natural behaviour, long-term tethering does not allow this and yet this part of the law is rarely, if ever, enforced.
The Code of Practice states that tethered horses should not be mares with foals at foot and yet even after Catena’s rescue an observed 10% of tethered horses are mares with young foals.[ii]
We believe it should be a mandatory duty for all Local Authorities to enforce the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and Codes of Practice by employing a fully trained Animal Welfare Inspector and protect thousands of equines from suffering the way Catena did.
With your support, we can change this together.
[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
[ii] House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee. Animal welfare in England: domestic pets. Third Report of Session 2016–17.
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I am emailing with my concerns that lack of enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 is causing unnecessary suffering of thousands of Equines across the UK.
I have recently learned that up to 40% of Local Authorities don’t employ an Animal Welfare Inspector despite local authorities being the only body, other than the police, who can legally seize an animal suffering neglect, abuse or abandonment.
In areas where Local Authorities choose not to employ an Animal Welfare Inspector, valuable hours of Police time are being used attending equine rescues in the absence of a trained inspector. Without the presence of the police or Local Authority appointed inspector an animal cannot be seized and placed into the care of a charity.
Police receive absolutely no training to handle Equines and yet in some areas are the sole authority able to enforce the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and codes to practice and remove horses, ponies and donkeys from dangerous or abusive situations. Often police spend hours simply holding equines to stop them escaping onto the road while they try and locate owners or find a charity with the space to take them.
There is no legal responsibility for Local Authorities to employ Animal Welfare Inspectors and I would like to see this changed. We need an authority that has the resources as well as the responsibility for enforcing the Animal Welfare Act 2006 if we want to tackle the ongoing Equine Welfare Crisis. Currently the UK has some of the best Animal Welfare law in the world but nobody legally bound to enforce it.
Would you please support an initiative to ensure that all Local Authorities have, or have access to, a fully trained Animal Welfare Inspector, who will be responsible for ensuring enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act 2006? Or, do you see this as a Police responsibility, for areas where the Local Authority do not appoint Animal Welfare Inspectors?
By adding your voice to the campaign, you can help to make ministers take notice and increase animal welfare enforcement around the UK.
You can help make a real change and protect as many animals as possible from suffering.
Will you join us in the fight to #BreakTheChain and put an end to abusive tethering?