Equine Welfare

In recent years Wales has faced a rising equine crisis with some very high profile cruelty cases coming to light and also large numbers seen of abandoned or illegally fly-grazed horses.

In addition to these there are other welfare issues, such as tethering and the regulation of livery yards, that continue to cause the RSPCA concern. These issues were highlighted in our Equine Indicators Report launched in November 2013.

The Welsh Government introduced the Control of Horses (Wales) Act in January 2014 and RSPCA Cymru was pleased to be a key stakeholder in the development of the legislation.

Though not a panacea to all of the equine problems which exist in Wales, the Act brings forth positive measures which enable Local Authorities to better deal with the fly-grazing and abandonment of equines. We continue to work with Local Authorities across Wales on the enforcement of this and other relevant legislation in tacking the welfare crisis facing horses.

In 2018, in conjunction with the Animal Welfare Network for Wales, the Welsh Government published a Code of Practice for the Welfare of Equines, which provides clear guidance on how to ensure welfare standards are met at all times. The Code can be found online here.