NOTE: This content is old - Published: Wednesday, Apr 2nd, 2014.
A young colt has been given a new home after he was found abandoned on a busy dual carriageway.
‘Toby’ was taken in by horse sanctuary H.A.C.K after volunteers were alerted of a young horse who had been spotted wandering around alone near a busy dual carriageway.
Once taken to the sanctuary, volunteers discovered that Toby was ‘crawling with lice’ and had an enlarged stomach due to worm infestation.
Pamela Bluck, founder of H.A.C.K. said: “This poor little pony is in such a state, there are unmentionable things stuck to his belly hair causing him a great deal of discomfort. On closer inspection it was revealed he was crawling with lice that had got under the impacted muck and caused a great deal of soreness and irritation.
“Jane Lloyd another H.A.C.K volunteer spent several hours cutting away the matted hair and applying salve to his sores, the pony has been wormed and also deloused, although the latter will take time to clear up. Jason our farrier made a special journey out to us and managed to semi trim his hooves.
“We have a great many calls such as this one, all wanting help but sadly most will end up at the slaughter-house. Finances dictate we cannot help them all.”
In January 2014 the Welsh Assembly Government introduced legislation that provides ‘tools for local authorities to use in combating fly grazing, straying and abandonment of horses and ponies’.
The Control of Horses (Wales) Act 2014 allows local authorities to: ‘seize and impound horses which are on land without consent; sell the horses or dispose of them, including destruction by humane means if appropriate and recover costs reasonably incurred from the owners of horses in such circumstances’. (More information on the legislation can be found on the Welsh Assembly Government website here)
However there is concern that the implementation of The Control of Horses Act will mean that many cases like Toby’s will end up with horses being impounded, sold or even disposed of.
Pamela said: “We have seen a steady increase in animal welfare cases and last winter has been particularly bad. We have been inundated with calls for help, from neglect, owners who cannot afford their horses any more, and abandonment, especially on the highways. H.A.C.K. Girls have been called out to assist Police on more than one occasion this winter.
“It is hoped that destruction is always the last resort, but when you consider that the horse market is over saturated and that many of Wales’ horse sanctuaries are full, it will be very hard to unload a large number of horses onto that market, especially when many are in such poor health.
“Having produced such legislation will in all likelihood cause a large number of horses to be destroyed in the short-term. There have been a substantial amount of abandoned horses which have ended up with nowhere to go, some good horses that nobody wants. Too many horses, far too many sad cases.”
H.A.C.K sanctuary has recently celebrated its 22nd birthday and has become well known in the area for its dedication to the welfare of horses, ponies and donkeys.
Since being taken in by H.A.C.K, Toby has joined Facebook and is regularly updating his followers on his progress and time at H.A.C.K.. You can find Toby’s Facebook page here. (We recommend having a nose as Toby is very cute!)
More details about H.A.C.K and the services they offer can be found on their website here.