Welfare Organisations to Uncover the Effect of Cost of Living Crisis

19 January 2024

Animal welfare organisations are calling on horse keepers around the UK to help them assess the effects of the ongoing cost of living crisis in their new 2024 survey.

By taking part in a short, free survey launched on 16th January 2024, anyone who cares for horses will be able to contribute to an understanding of how increased costs are affecting their ability to care for their animals. This information will feed into the development of targeted support for those most in need and help prevent welfare issues from arising.

Rebecca Boulert, Education Officer at World Horse Welfare, the equine charity coordinating this year’s research said “For those of us at the coalface of dealing with cases where individuals are unable to care for their horses because they cannot meet their needs financially, it is imperative for us to understand if the situation has worsened for horse owners and keepers over the past 12 months? We know from last year’s research that many owners were just about coping, and all possible cost savings had already been made, but that left little room for a further squeeze on purses. This year’s follow-on survey aims to show whether things have stabilised, improved or deteriorated, allowing us to plan and act accordingly. We really hope as many horse owners as possible engage with the research and complete the survey, regardless of whether or not they were involved in last year’s project.”

The 2023 survey had around 8,000 responses, a summary of which can be found HERE and the organisers of the follow-up research, all members of the National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) hope that a similar number will participate this year.  The 2024 survey was developed by World Horse Welfare with support from NEWC partner organisations Redwings, Blue Cross, The British Horse Society, Bransby Horses and Oak Tree Animals Charity.

A tailored version of the survey targeting charities and other equestrian rescue centres will run concurrently to find out how the continuing cost of living crisis is affecting these types of organisations. Those involved will be contacted directly by NEWC and asked to take part. The survey link for welfare establishments can be accessed, here

The anonymised results will be made publicly available to highlight any challenges and concerns that horse owners are facing and their potential impact on equine welfare.

The results will be shared with the UK Government, Devolved Administrations, and local authorities to help inform their understanding of the situation as well as policy decisions, including potential financial support to those most in need.

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