Nineteen fly-grazed Shire horses rescued from Kidderminster

Kidderminster rescue of 19 Shire horses

On Friday 10th November, we joined forces with the Blue Cross, Bransby Horses, HorseWorld, RSPCA and World Horse Welfare to round-up a group of Shire horses found fly-grazing in Bewdley, near Kidderminster, Worcestershire.

We received a call to our welfare line from a landowner about a large group of Shire horses fly-grazing on his land. Notices were issued for the owner to claim the horses, but sadly to no avail. Under the Control of Horses Act 2015 (England), ownership was then transferred to the landowner who requested our help to secure the future of the horses as he was not able to provide the care these heavy horses require.

Concerns were raised for the welfare of the horses with the onset of winter

Concerns were raised for the welfare of the horses with the onset of winter
Concerns were raised for the welfare of the horses with the onset of winter

Following a visit and assessment of the horses by Redwings’ Senior Field Officer Julie Harding, concerns were also raised for the welfare of the horses with the onset of winter and in light of the youngsters and foals being completely unhandled. “I cannot comprehend why such a low value was placed on these beautiful animals to fly-graze them in the first place and then not to come forward to claim them,” commented Julie. “It really saddens me, but thankfully we were able to offer them a home where they’ll be treasured.”

During the 15-hour rescue operation, all 19 horses were successfully removed from the site. Redwings offered a home to six horses – four mares, two of which had foals at foot, and who have all since been named after species of butterfly. Four horses were offered homes by RSPCA, three by HorseWorld, and Bransby Horses, Blue Cross and World Horse Welfare all offering homes to two horses each.

The Shires rescued included mares with foals at foot

The Shires rescued included mares with foals at foot
The Shires rescued included mares with foals at foot

Commenting on the rescue operation, Redwings’ Head of Welfare and Behaviour Nic de Brauwere said: “It is safe to say that had we not intervened the welfare of this group would have been at great risk, especially with the approaching winter. No provisions had been made by the former owner for their ongoing care, nor had the youngsters received any type of handling, owing to a complete lack of basic care.

“This round-up is an example of both the effectiveness of the Control of Horses Act and of successful partnership working among the welfare charities to secure the future of a group of horses, the outlook for whom would otherwise have been bleak”.

Loading the horses onto our horseboxes

Loading the horses onto our horseboxes
Loading the horses onto our horseboxes

You can help support the care of our six new arrivals, as well as all those at the Sanctuary simply by donating below. Whatever you give, thank you! #LoveHorsesLoveRedwings

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