Gwalia Care and Support’s Community Horse and Pony scheme (CHAPS) has recently helped to rehome 12 horses by working with responsible owners and charities.
Since news of a potential tethering ban, local people in Swansea and CHAPS have been concerned about the increase in calls from the public and owners about horses being moved to unsuitable stabling, back gardens, sheds and garages following the recent awareness activities.
CHAPS Equine Welfare Officer Lisa Lanfear said: “Owners do not want to keep their horses in back gardens, sheds or garages but feel they are limited in what they can do to keep their horses. If these horses are kept locked away then CHAPS are unable to monitor their condition and help urban horse owners.”
Although most equine charities are full, the 12 horses have been rehomed at Lluest Horse and Pony Trust and The Retreat Animal Rescue Centre.
Horse owner Jack said: “It’s great CHAPS has helped us rehome some of our horses, we want the best for our animals and its great knowing that they will go and find loving homes. By reducing the number of horses we have, more time and money can be spent on the others. Many of the horses acquired have either been rescued or abandoned. Horses are dumped in the area because they know people in these communities will take horses in and look after them even if it means that the animals get fed before we do.”
CHAPS have built excellent relationships with urban horse owners in the city, giving veterinary advice, chipping and providing horses with animal passports.
Project Manager Katie Double said: “It’s fantastic to see so many reputable equine charities supporting CHAPS and the urban horse owning community in Swansea. We work with professional bodies in the field of equine welfare that focus on sustainable solutions to equine welfare issues such as ensuring that horses are trained and go on to find forever, loving homes with new owners.”
CHAPS is funded to improve the lives of both people and horses in Swansea and has a rural, educational, training and activities site in Gowerton, Swansea. The project is also home to 8 rescue horses and has recently been approached by several organisations asking for training in equine welfare which will be offered to members of the public over the summer months. The training will focus on the Animal Welfare Act 2006 with emphasis on good welfare involving both physical and physiological well-being welfare. Katie added, “It is important to ensure that the authorities and charities’ time and resources are not being wasted on horses that are in good condition. The welfare training will hopefully eliminate some myths and ultimately result in helping the animals that need it most.”