How to get Help

There are many different situations and environments in which you may need to get help for or advice in dealing with a horse in need and we will try to cover them here in a generic way that will help you in the right direction, whatever part of the county you may be in

There are different Agencies responsible in different circumstances, and various codes of practice and regulations covering horse welfare and duty of care.

Loose or Abandoned Horse/s

A Horse may have got loose from it’s field, paddock or stable, or may have been abandoned. The Horse may now be in another area of land that is either:

  • an Enclosed area away from a public road or footpath

    • In this case the land owner has a Duty of Care, and must act to ensure the welfare of the horse and safety of anyone with lawful access to the land.
    • Action: If you are the land owner:
      • Contact a Horse Rescue Service or Equine Bailiff to make arrangements to have the Horse detained under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 , or the Animals Act 1971 as amended by the Control of Horses Act 2015.
      • Fulfil your Duty of Care in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act as explained in the DEFRA Code of Practice
      • Inform the Police via 101 and obtain a CAD reference for the incident – you will need to record a log of events and actions.
      • If the horse appears distressed, suffering or injured, you may contact the RSPCA, or you may wish to contact a local equine Vet.
  • an Open unbounded area beside or on a public highway

    • In this case the Police are the responsible authority due to the danger to the public and road users, and welfare of the horse/s:
      • Most Police authorities have arrangements with a ‘Green Yard’ organisation, who will be asked to attend to detain and remove the horse.
    • Action: If you see a loose horse on or beside an open highway:
      • Report the situation immediately to the Police by calling 999, giving full details of the horse, location, etc. Ask for a CAD reference to ensure the incident is logged. Should you need to call again or follow up, use the CAD number you were given.
      • If you are knowledgeable with horses, try to secure the horse as safely as you can until the Police arrive.
  • a Public area, Footpath or Council owned area

    • The land will be owned by a Local Council Authority and you should contact them. The best way to find a number is probably to do a google search for your local council website and the word horse or equine – this will probably find their help page a link to contact details.
    • Inform the Police via 101 and obtain a CAD reference for the incident.

Mistreated Horse/s

  • On Private Land

    • If you think a horse is malnourished, sick, suffering, injured or being mistreated, you should call a horse welfare organisation (whoever can respond the quickest) such as the RSPCA or a specialist equine welfare charity / organisation.
    • If you can identify the land owner, you could also try contacting them. If the landowner needs assistance in what to do – we are here to help. All landowners have a legal Duty of Care towards the horse on their land regardless of ownership.
  • On Public (secure from a highway) Land

    • Contact the RSPCA or a specialist equine welfare charity / organisation, and your local Council.
  • Tethered Horse/s

What to do if you have a concern or emergency to report, or need advice: