British Horse Society – Castration and Health Care Clinics

‘Prevention through education’ is a powerful tool to prevent and resolve welfare issues but also to improve the lives of all horses.

To help tackle the horse crisis, the BHS run Healthcare and Education Clinics. With the support of BEVA Trust volunteer vets and an extensive list of supportive organisations, the reduced rate services in addition to castration include general health checks, passports and microchipping, foot care, worming and dentistry. We also offer education, advice and support on a huge range of issues.

The generous grant for the Elise Pilkington Trust helped get the clinics off the ground. Although veterinary volunteers donate the veterinary expertise required, the clinics still cost roughly £2000 per clinic which includes vital items such as the drugs and medication, fencing, emergency transport and refreshments for the hard working team. The first five clinics we held, which the Trust money supported were:

  • May 2015 Southampton
  • September 2015 Bristol
  • October 2015 St Albans
  • March 2016 Bradford
  • April 2016 Northampton

175 horses attended in total and 113 were castrated in those five clinics. At that time we offered castration, passporting, microchipping and worming. Due to the increased volunteer system from several partner organisations we now also offer foot care and dental checks at some clinics.

The Healthcare Clinics help us engage and build lasting relationships with local communities. Local welfare contacts are helping us identify owners who would not regularly seek healthcare for their horses and would not have their colts gelded otherwise and/or are known to be breeding indiscriminately. To-date over 400 horses have been castrated and prevented from continuing to breed indiscriminately. If these horses remained entire and covered two mares each per year, over ten years that would have been an additional 8,000 foals born through indiscriminate breeding and at potential risk of becoming future welfare concerns – this is something we have been able to prevent.

To date, we have held 13 more clinics and in total all 18 clinics have had 871 horses attend and 402 castrated. We can really see the benefits to both horses and their owners. We are seeing subtle changes in behaviour of the horse owners, who are some of the most vulnerable UK communities. They are becoming more trusting of charities and organisations and coming to us for help and advice.

When we first started it was so difficult to get owners to attend and you really had to work hard to convince them that castrating was a good thing for a horse. The word is spreading and trust is building with every clinic we hold.

We would like to express our sincere thanks for your support of these ground breaking clinics.

 

BHS clinics