Campaigns and Projects
The Mare and Foal Sanctuary is the place for people who want to make a difference to the lives of horses, ponies and foals. We campaign for better equine welfare and work to lead the equine community in new thinking and better practice. From stamping out strangles to fighting anthelmintic resistance, we adopt and support evidence-based research and campaigns focused on improving the lives of horses and ponies and the humans who live and work with them. We’re dedicated to developing deeper knowledge and better practice on how to give every horse and pony their best life. Our mission is to be an advocate for positive change for horses and ponies and people.
Strangles is a potentially deadly respiratory disease that is highly contagious and sometimes fatal. We know first-hand after our own strangles outbreak in 2015 just how vital testing, quarantine and timely treatment is in the fight against this disease. We learned a lot about managing strangles and are determined to pass on our hard-won knowledge to as many owners and carers as possible. For this reason, we are now part of the collaboration team delivering Strangles Awareness Week.
Resistance to wormers is one of the biggest problems faced by the equine community. In 2021, we introduced a targeted worming programme to help stop unnecessary use of anthelmintics in our herds. We carry out faecal worm egg counts (FWECs) four times a year on our horses to monitor worm burdens. In line with veterinary advice, only equines with an egg count of greater than 350 per gram will be wormed. Since we increased the frequency of the FWECs, we’ve needed to worm fewer horses. We aim to share the outcome of practices within the equine community and recently attended the Horses Inside Out conference to share our findings as well as hosting a webinar about anthelmintic resistance with British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) President, David Rendle.
Cost of Living
The average cost of keeping a horse or pony on DIY livery is around £375 per month and full livery can be more than £1000 per month. When budgets are tight it’s hard for horse and pony owners to know where to start. The Mare and Foal Sanctuary helps owners to stay with their equines and make the right choices to avoid potentially heart-breaking mistakes. As part of this, we support the National Equine Welfare Council’s Cutting Costs Not Care campaign.
High Intensity Welfare Unit
The Mare and Foal Sanctuary currently provides lifelong, loving care to over 600 horses and ponies. Some are looked after by carers through our Sanctuary at Home scheme, but many equines with complex health needs will remain at one of our peaceful sanctuaries. The planned Rosemary Kind High Intensity Welfare Unit will provide a permanent home for 25 horses and ponies who aren’t able to be rehomed. The unit will include special features to maximise the comfort of the residents, including crew barns, which allow horses and ponies to be stabled together. We expect construction to be complete before next winter, so our equines will be better protected from the elements when the colder months begin.
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