French celebrity activist pens open letters to Maltese and PM Muscat

Film star turned animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot has urged Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and the Maltese people to "stop eating horses".

"Although the island of Malta seems to a [sic] paradise for humans, it is hell for animals!" the celebrity activist wrote in an open letter to Dr Muscat.

Ms Bardot, who was once described as "a locomotive of women's history" by feminist and intellectual Simone de Beauvoir, told Malta's Prime Minister that she often received letters from tourists shocked by the way horses were "left to their fate in a shocking state of decrepitude".

The former actress ascribed this callousness to the fact that Maltese still eat horsemeat and suggested Dr Muscat should take a stance and ban the "monstrous aberration".

Ms Bardot during her film star days in 1962. Photo: Wikipedia

"The horse, like the dog, is a life companion not an edible product," she wrote, before appealing to Dr Muscat's pride. "Sometimes politicians show courage," she wrote, "maybe you are one of them?"

Ms Bardot also offered a solution to Malta's proliferation of stray cats, suggesting a sterlisation campaign "as we do in France."

Perhaps concerned that Dr Muscat might not legislate to ban the eating of horse meat, Ms Bardot also penned another open letter addressed to the Maltese people.

"Animals, especially horses are wonderful, intelligent, instinctive and fearful beings," she wrote. "I'm asking you from the bottom of my heart to stop eating horses."...READ MORE



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‘It’s racing at all costs.’

Animal rights campaigners have voiced concerns about the scorching heat horses will be competing in during Royal Ascot this week.

The five-day event begins today (Tuesday) and will see equines racing in temperatures up to 30C.

Dene Stansall, Animal Aid’s horse racing consultant, told HuffPost UK: “If horses race in high temperatures, they are going to suffer from heat stress.

“Ascot is the pinnacle of flat racing and because it’s attended by royalty and it’s a big, social event, then it’s racing at all costs at Ascot, so they have to race no matter what - that’s their approach.”

Ascot has said it will be taking “all appropriate measures” to mitigate the heat for the horses, including extra water buckets along the track... READ MORE

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Could you volunteer your horse to help the Animal HealthTrust in their latest ground-breaking study, which aims to help develop guidelines for appropriate rider weight for horses?

The ATH are looking for owners to volunteer their horses to help in their latest ground-breaking study, which aims to help develop guidelines for appropriate rider weight for horses.

"There is an apparent growing problem of riders who are oversized for their horses. It has become a hot topic within the industry and has thankfully drawn attention to the welfare risk to horses, which the AHT seeks to help resolve."

Currently there is a complete lack of reliable scientific research on which to base guidelines for appropriate rider size. However, excessive rider size has clear welfare implications for horses and ponies in all types of work.

"Riders who are too heavy for their horse or pony can cause chronic back pain and lameness, as well as giving the horse a negative association to being ridden as they pre-empt pain. There is therefore an urgent need to start to provide some evidence-based guidelines to the equine industry as to what constitutes excessive rider size, under different circumstances."

During the study horses will be stabled at World Horse Welfare’s Snetterton centre, under the professional care of the AHT team.

Horses put forward for the study will need to be 450-550 kg bodyweight (Approx. 15 – 16hh). They should be in regular work and capable of working two 30 minute sessions in a day, working on the bit in walk, trot and canter.

They will need to be available for 3 – 8 September  and will be stabled on site throughout the study. Any costs involved in travelling to World Horse Welfare, Snetterton will be reimbursed.The horses must also be vaccinated against influenza and tetanus.

The aim of this study is to investigate whether there are any short term measurable differences when horses are ridden.

Owners of the horses taking part will have access to free advice from experts in their field, including vets, saddle fitters, nutritionists and professional riders. The horses will be given a free saddle-fit assessment and any adjustments will also be carried out free of charge.

If you horse is able to take part, they would be helping to take the weight off many other horses’ shoulders, for which they and the AHT would be very grateful.

For more information email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01638 751908


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Many equestrians wouldn’t think twice about trimming the whiskers around their horse's eyes and nose thinking they look scruffy and spoil the appearance of an otherwise immaculately turned out pony. It's particularly common practice in the showing world where they are completely removed in order make the horse look as smart as possible. And I freely admit I’ve trimmed my horses’ whiskers in the past for the same reasons and because there’s nothing better than the feeling of a lovely, soft, whisker-free muzzle, right?! 

Except I've come to realise that rather than just being scruffy bits of hair, whiskers serve a really important purpose. Because of the way horses’ eyes are positioned on their head, they have a blind spot directly in front of them and immediately below their noses; as a result, they rely a great deal on their whiskers to help them to ‘see’! 

As equine vet Dr Joyce Harman points out, whiskers actually function as a kind of ‘third eye’ for our horses. For example, when doing everyday activities like grazing or being in their stables, horses rely a great deal on their whiskers to help guide their muzzles, telling them how far away things are. Whiskers around the eyes are also particularly important for helping to prevent the horse from bumping into objects like a twig sticking out a bush. As a result, by trimming our horses’ whiskers we actually impair them, removing their ability to judge distances for objects that fall into their blind spots! 

Another equine vet, Dr Marty Becker, says, these whiskers are the product of years of evolution of horses adapting to their environment – by removing them, we humans interfere with our horses’ natural way of being and put them more at risk of bumping into things! 

As a result, countries such as Germany and Switzerland have actually banned the trimming of whiskers. Whilst this may seem like a bizarre law to some, it becomes more understandable when we realise just how important these bits of hair really are. Germany has banned the trimming of whiskers since 1998 in accordance with their Animal Welfare Law, with adherence to this law being tightly monitored by authorities. These countries suggest that the trimming of whiskers is in fact a form of animal cruelty due to the negative impact it can place on the horse. 

Currently, there is no such law in the UK, and it is a regular sight to see immaculately turned out horses at shows with not a whisker in sight. Do you think trimming whiskers should be banned? Is it animal cruelty, or is it just another method of grooming? This also made me think about other animals too – some dog groomers trim dogs’ whiskers too, but surely they serve the same purpose, so should we stop trimming animals’ whiskers full stop?! 

I’d love to hear what you think. My horse Teddy doesn’t like his whiskers being trimmed, but maybe that’s just his way of telling me, “Mum, I need these!” 


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Loose Carriage Horse Runs Through Streets of Manhattan, Renewing Calls for Ban

A carriage horse driver said it was no big deal, but advocacy groups - NYCLASS, PETA - trying to ban the horses in New York said "enough is enough".

Videos posted to social media by numerous stunned onlookers including Brooke Fedigan, show the horse running down West 54th Street. Fedigan's husband was driving east down the street, when the couple had a close encounter with Goldie.

"It cut our car off; we were like, 'Whoa, what was that?'" Fedigan said. "We almost hit the horse."

Eleven blocks after her adventure began, Clinton Park stable managers said Goldie ran back to the stable on her own. They said a vet checked her out and said she was okay. 
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Tuesday, 30 May 2017 08:52

Outrage over 'tattooed' horse

Some people weren't happy about this image, but is there more than meets the eye?

Benjamin Lloyd spends his free time brightening the spirits of sick kids by giving them extremely life-like airbrushed tattoos.

The grins on their faces as they inspect their new ink says everything, and while that work has only been met with praise and positive feedback (and rightfully so), the New Zealand artist found himself ruffling a few feathers when he did the same thing to a horse.

It was back in November last year, and Benjamin used his incredible skill to paint a skull on the neck, side and leg of a beautiful white horse.

From the photos he posted – which were captioned “I love boosting a horse’s confidence with a custom tattoo” - the animal itself looks pretty chilled and even appears to be sleepily closing its eyes.

However, some of the 3K people who commented started crying animal cruelty... READ MORE

While many people loved it, some were dubious.         Photo: Facebook


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A beloved horse was sold without permission and was almost bought as meat when it was auctioned for as little as £90.

Denise Scarrott's horse Shadow of Hope is among the animals that mum-of-six Joanne Donnelly was entrusted with before she sold them without their owners' consent.

Ms Scarrott had agreed to let Donnelly take Shadow, a traditional gypsy cob, to her 12 acre farm near Tewkesbury as he had lost weight and needed room to graze.

But Ms Scarrott, who rents a yard in North Littleton near Evesham, feared she may never see Shadow again when Donnelly told her thieves had taken her beloved horse and was holding it for ransom.

In fact, Donnelly had sold the horse to an auctioneer in Wales - Shadow was in such a poor condition that he was bid on for just £90, with one bidder wanting him for meat.

But Shadow was instead bought by a group of women who saved him from slaughter, and Ms Scarrott was reunited with her horse after appealing far and wide for his safe return.

Donnelly, 37, of Alderton near Tewkesbury, has admitted five offences of fraud and two of theft at Gloucester Crown Court.

Mother of three Ms Scarrott, 52, said Shadow is very sentimental to her family - he was born four years ago today just as she was discharged from hospital treatment for cancer.

She said: "I just want to get past this and get on with our lives. That woman and what she's done to a lot of people is really distressing.

"We had an agreement and she didn't go by it. She pulled the wool over my eyes - I thought she was a nice person but she's clearly not."...READ MORE


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Sunday, May 14 between 3pm and 3.30pm. 

The owner of a horse left with life-threatening injuries after being spooked by a low-flying helicopter is appealing for help to find the aircraft responsible.

Marilyn Stead, whose family runs a 200 acre sheep farm in Tresillian, contacted Cornwall Live after exhausting all other avenues searching for the helicopter that sparked the horrific incident.

Mrs Stead, 50, said two-year-old Bog-Off Pete is a "special boy" to the family.

She told Cornwall Live Bog-Off Pete was in a field with the other young horses when a helicopter flew very low across the land where the horses were grazing.

"Unfortunately they panicked and Pete, who is a bit of a special boy, must have been the first to hit the gate."... READ MORE

Anyone with any information at all about the helicopter is asked to call Mrs Stead on 07737382649.


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Inspired by the work of the charity World Horse Welfare, a garden has been created to highlight the plight of abandoned and neglected 'invisible horses'. The charity is celebrating a 90 year legacy of helping horses, and the artisan garden designed by Adam Woolcott and Jonathan Smith has been generously funded by by a private donor.

The garden is designed to be thought-provoking and emotive, encouraging visitors to reflect on the plight of neglected and abused horses and take action to help them.

It tells the simple story of a pony, Clippy, who was rescued from a terrible situation and nursed back to health under World Horse Welfare's care. Clippy's journey begins in a small, derelict stable situated in a dark corner of the garden and surrounded by weeds, undergrowth and plants poisonous to horses. The tale of Clippy's rescue continues along a pathway of rehabilitation, which leads to a bright open meadow filled with colourful wildflowers, soothing herbs and stunning wild grasses. A deliberately narrow stream runs through the meadow.

Clippy is visualised in a stunning life-size sculpture created from horsehoes by renowned sculptor, Tom Hill. The sculpture features horseshoes from nearly 40 'celebrity' horses and ponies, including Olympic gold medallists Big Star and Valegro as well as three of Her Majesty The Queen's Windsor grey horses.

Votes are being taken for the People’s Choice Award, and World Horse Welfare is urging its supporters to vote for it, in the Artisan Garden category.

Following the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017, elements of the World Horse Welfare garden will be used as part of individual ‘In Memory’ gardens at each of the charity’s four Rescue and Rehoming Centres around the UK – creating a legacy which can be enjoyed by visitors to the centres for many years to come and highlighting how important gifts in wills are to the charity.

'Celebrity' Horseshoes used in the sculpure:

1. Milford Haven - One of the Queen’s Windsor Grey Carriage Horses
2. Tyrone - One of the Queen’s Windsor Grey Carriage Horses
3. Storm - One of the Queen’s Windsor Grey Carriage Horses
4. World Horse Welfare Annie - HRH  the Princess Royal rehomed Annie from World Horse Welfare
5. Valegro - Reigning Olympic and World Dressage Champion ridden by Charlotte Dujardin
6. Big Star - 2016 Olympic  Show Jumping Champion ridden by Nick Skelton
7. Cassionata - Competed in the Show Jumping at the 2016 Olympic Games for team GB. ridden by Michael Whitaker
8. Viking - 2013 Longines Show Jumping Global Tour, Madrid Grand Prix winner  ridden by Michael Whitaker
9. Uthopia - 2012 Olympic Team Dressage Champion for team GB, ridden by Carl Hester
10. Nip Tuck - 2016 Olympic Team Silver medallist in Dressage, for team GB ridden by Carl Hester
11. Ballaseyr Royale - Dressage champion and  Team Bronze  medalist for team  GB at the European Championships in 2003 ridden by Richard Davison
12. Marakov - British Grand Prix level Champion 2014, ridden by Michael Eilberg
13. Leonidas II - Competed in Three Day Eventing at the 2016 Olympics for New Zealand, ridden by Sir Mark Todd
14. Valerius - Individual and Team Champion and   Freestyle Silver medallist at the 2016 Paralympics, for team GB ridden by Sophie Wells
15. Billy the Biz - Competed in Three Day Eventing at the 2016 Olympics, for team GB ridden by Pippa Funnell MBE
16. Jakarta - Top eventing horse who won at Hartpury CIC3, Houghton CIC3 and Aston le Walls, ridden by Piggy French
17. Don Geniro - Competed  in Three Day  Eventing at the 2016 Olympics  for China, ridden by Alex Hua Tian
18. Harbour Pilot C - Competed at Badminton Horse Trails, ridden by Alex Hua Tian
19. Our Cashel Blue - Supreme Horse of the Year Show at the Horse of the Year Show, ridden by Allister Hood
20. Jack the Giant - won the coveted SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse show class at Horse of the Year Show, ridden by Allister Hood
21. Working Shoes Crafted through World Horse Welfare’s Welfare’s International projects, helping to develop farriery skills in some of the World’s poorest countries
22. World Horse Welfare Digger - World Horse Welfare’s adoption horse. He  is one of the tallest horses in Europe
23. World Horse Welfare May - World Horse Welfare’s adoption horse and the muse for Judy Boyt’s Invisible Horse Trail Sculpture.
24. Seamus - Atkinson Action Horse and features as Ross Poldark’s Horse in  the hit BBC drama Poldark
25. World Horse Welfare Pie - Pie’s life has been transformed by his rehomer who regularly competes this super horse
26. World Horse Welfare Baron - Inspiration for the Kelpies at the Falkirk Wheel
27. World Horse Welfare Duke - Inspiration for the Kelpies at the Falkirk Wheel
28. Denman - Won the 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup and the  2007 and 2009 Hennessy Gold Cup Handicap Chase , ridden by Sam Thomas and Ruby Walsh
29. Golden Horn - 2015 Epsom Derby winner,and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, ridden by Frankie Dettori
30. Many Clouds - Won the 2015 Grand National and Hennessey Gold Cup, ridden by Leighton Aspell
31. The Last Samuri - 2nd in 2016 Grand National Prolific National Hunt Horse, came 2nd in the 2016 Grand National, ridden by David Bass
32. Merlin - World Mounted Games Champion ridden by Ben Hopkins
33. Headmore Delegate - Grand Prix Dressage rising star ridden by by Alice Oppenheimer
34. Nobilis 18 - The actual shoes from when he won  the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in 2016 with Christopher Burton
35. Sprinter Sacre - Completed a rare hat-trick of success at all three of the major spring festivals - at Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown in 2013, and then won the Queen Mother Chase again in 2016, ridden by Nico de Boinville.
36. High Kingdom - 2012 Olympics Team Silver medallist in Three Day Eventing for team GB, ridden by Zara Tindall
Published in Trot On Blogs


Act now to urge the European Commission to change the law that is failing horses

Every year around 50,000 horses are needlessly transported thousands of miles across Europe to slaughter. These mares, stallions, youngsters and geldings are given little chance to rest, eat or drink during arduous journeys which can last for days on end.  They arrive at their destination severely dehydrated, in pain, stressed, completely drained of energy and broken in spirit.

This doesn’t have to happen.

Scientific evidence shows horse health and welfare suffer on long journeys, so we are calling on the European Commission to change the law that allows horses to be transported for 24 hours at a time, urging them to impose a maximum journey limit of no more than 12 hours. Such a limit is not only in line with the recommendation of the European Food Safety Authority - The Commission’s own scientific advisors, but would also make it easier for transporters to comply with enforcement agencies to enforce the legislation as these shorter journeys could be harmonised with driver working and rest times.

With your support we have already helped to achieve so much in improving conditions for these horses, and reducing the numbers transported from 165,000 in 2001 to around 50,000 today. We now urgently need you to sign our petition - while the UK is still part of the EU - to bring the UK’s collective pressure to bear on the European Commission as we work towards our goal of putting a stop to the long-distance transport of horses across Europe to slaughter by 2027.

World Horse Welfare


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