Why are More and More Horses Being Dumped?
The RSCPA has reported that the country is experiencing something of a crisis regarding horse dumping. Unscrupulous owners are dumping more and more horses, both dead and alive. The RSPCA believes that the reported incidents are just the tip of the iceberg. They also think that many people are scared to report the culprits for fear of retribution.
70% of the dumped horses do not have a microchip. In spite of the legal requirement to chip horses and so it is often impossible to trace the owners. The law is not being adequately enforced and so those who do not microchip their animals are rarely caught or punished before it is too late.
The RSPCA deals with many very distressing cases. Recently someone discovered a dying horse dumped with rubbish in Derbyshire. Then a mare and two other horses were found abandoned in the county in January. People have also found abandoned horses in Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Essex and Humberside in recent weeks.
But why are so many animals now being dumped?
Too Many Horses and Insufficient Funds
The RSPCA believes that overbreeding and the recession have taken their toll. Dealers are continuing to breed more horses in the hope that prices will rise but things seem to be going in the opposite direction. In addition, owners are discovering that they cannot afford their horses. When their horses fall ill, they cannot afford the veterinary bills so they abandon their animals. It costs money to dispose of a dead animal and so owners dump the carcasses so that they become somebody else’s problem.
Who Foots the Bill?
If a horse is discovered alive, the RSPCA and other charities attempt to trace the owner and then prosecute them, but this isn’t always possible. If a dead animal is found and the owner cannot be found, the local council or the highways agency assumes the responsibility for its disposal. This is stretching the resources of local authorities and placing a burden on tax payers.
Unfortunately, a sick or dying horse is worth less than nothing and becomes a liability.
Unscrupulous owners would rather dump the animals than assume the costs of care or disposal. Neither local authorities or animal charities have sufficient funds to properly enforce the requirement for microchips and so a vicious circle had evolved with no solution in sight.