- I’m usually sceptical about “horses stolen for meat” stories (unless they come from Florida), but this one rings true. A Romanian has been arrested in connection with the theft of several draft horses in eastern France, allegedly for the slaughter trade. Some of the horses were already being raised for meat. (The Horse)
- The English police horse who was punched by a drunk football fan has received boxes of polo mints from fans of the opposing team. (Daily Mail)
- A British university claims that the Carneddau ponies that died of starvation and exposure in Wales earlier this year are part of a genetically distinct breed that shares a common, but centuries-removed ancestor with Welsh Mountain ponies. (BBC)
- Ipswich Transport Museum is restoring a horsedrawn tram. The lightweight draft horses that drew these vehicles were dubbed “trammers” and in the nineteenth century typically only lasted a year between the shafts because of the effort of drawing the tram through often clogged tracks. (BBC)
- “Thank God for the horses. Thank God for the bloody horses,” – a trooper at the 1917 Battle of Beersheba. (ABC)
- Wild horse and burro sanctuaries in California, and how to visit them. (SFGate blogs)
- Awards for teenage boys who saved a trapped Shetland pony from drowning. (HorseTalk)
- I can’t keep up. Now the NYT is saying there will be federal approval for a horse slaughter house in New Mexico.. (NYT)
- A horse had to be euthanised in Belfast after hitting a car. The case raises ongoing concerns about horses that are kept untethered (or tethered, come to that) on housing estates in the city. (Belfast Telegraph)
- Interesting, given the cheap meat scandal: the value of horse meat exported from the UK has more than doubled in five years. (This Is Wiltshire)
- Horse racing begins again in Libya. (Al Arabiya)
- Seventh century horse armour/tack unearthed in Japan. (Asahi Shimbun)
In 2008 an obscene benchmark was set in the large-scale abuse of horses when RSPCA inspectors finally gained access to the premises of a horse dealer in Amersham, Buckinghamshire and discovered 125 horses, ponies and donkeys in an advanced state of neglect , surrounded by the corpses of a further 35 animals. The words “Spindles Farm” evoke some horrendous sights, and are also shorthand for an equine nightmare. Sad then, to see a thread on HHO about “another Spindles Farm” – this time in Northern Ireland. At Lisnevenagh Road in Antrim over 60 animals required immediate treatment and rescue. Redwings reports:
Investigating officer Sgt Alison Liddle said, “When police arrived at Lisnevenagh Road we were met with a truly heartbreaking scene. These animals were effectively starving to death in the most dire of conditions – there was no clean bedding, no water and nowhere for them to move around. Live animals were being forced to live next to the rotting carcasses of other dead animals. No animal should be made to endure such horrendous cruelty.
“Every officer who attended has been affected by what they saw. This has made us determined to pursue the persons responsible and make sure they are found amenable for their despicable cruelty in a court of law.
The charities leading the rescue effort are Redwings, Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary and the Donkey Sanctuary. Crosskennan are already hard pushed to meet rising numbers; if you can help as a volunteer or by raising funds, please click here. Video footage from the BBC here.