As a topic that has been widely shared on social media and the news, Ravenhall Rural wanted to emphasise the importance of consideration from the public about the dangers of feeding horses. As an equestrian business, horses are not only a source of income, but they become a part of the family. Their care, health and wellbeing is your upmost priority.
Recently, the Police have issued a strong warning urging people not to feed horses without owners’ permission. This message has been reiterated by Livery Yard owners, Riding Schools and equestrian businesses. The messages have been published to alert the public that their actions can cause serious injury or in some cases, kill these beautiful animals.
The British Horse Society urge horse owners to put up signs for the public to reinforce the ‘do not feed the horses’ message. In their article published earlier this year, The BHS said “More than three quarters of horse owners surveyed found that their horses were fed without their permission, and 83% of those responsible were families”. Read their full findings here. If you would like to download a sign from BHS, click on this link.
As a horse owner, time and money is invested in ensuring the most suitable diet for each individual horse. Foods that don’t align with these requirements can often lead to serious health consequences such as colic, bowel obstructions or sometimes death.
Ravenhall Rural want to educate those who are unaware of this matter and to reinforce people to not feed animals that don’t belong to them.
Why is feeding horses so dangerous?
Horses are unable to vomit due to the power of the lower oesophageal sphincter acting as a one-way valve, preventing food from coming up. This means that any food that enters the horse has to pass through the animal increasing its risk of choking. Due to its nature, horses are grazers and will only consume small amounts of food at a time. Generally, the public do not feed the horses with the intention to harm, however can cause serious damage if they feed the horse because of their lack of knowledge about the animal’s dietary requirements.
Spread the message #BeHorseAware
The BHS launched their #BeHorseAware campaign in April 2020 to raise public awareness of the suffering that horses and owners can go through as a result of inappropriate feeding. During lockdown and over the last 12 months, horse owners have seen an increase in families and people walking more in their local area and have become tempted to feed the horses.
Search #BeHorseAware and find out more useful information and tips about how you can become part of this message.
Nottingham Police’s East Bassetlaw rural beat manager and wildlife officer Gareth Mitchell said “If you do not own the animal, or have permission of the owner, then do not feed it. Most of these animals are kept as pets and used for pleasure, rather than work, and I am sure most of us have a pet at home so I request that people think about this; how would you feel if someone fed your pet something which could potentially lead to the animal being put to sleep?”