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Multi-Agency Triumph on Bodmin Moor

22nd September 2016

Earlier this week the Bransby Horses’ External Welfare Team participated in an aspirational four-day (12th-16th September) multi-agency task at Bodmin Moor in Cornwall.

The welfare crisis on Bodmin Moor sadly continues as ponies are neglected and left to starve by their owners who are not directly traceable to individual equines, as the majority are not microchipped.

With the help of Bodmin Moor Commons Council, the Bransby Horses Team, along with multiple agencies including the Blue Cross, British Horse Society, Redwings, RSPCA and World Horse Welfare, identified Bodmin Moor ponies with cooperation from owners and issued passports and microchips, to protect them in the future and hold persons accountable for welfare concerns.

The multi-agency team rounded up over 160 ponies for identification. Sadly, sixteen of the ponies were unclaimed and were in a bad condition. Some of the ponies needed urgent veterinary care and there were concerns for others that they wouldn’t survive the winter months. These ponies identified as ‘high risk’ were taken back to Redwings Horse Sanctuary for the care that they require.

The operation enabled the teams to assess the condition of the ponies through full health checks and worming, while identifying which Bodmin Moor ponies were being legally or illegally fly-grazed (owners must have a permit to graze their horses on the Moor).

Bransby Horses has previously taken in eight neglected and starving ponies from Bodmin Moor. The five stallions and three mares arrived at the charity in May 2016. Due to the high level of care they are receiving, their physical condition is improving and they are now much healthier. The eight Bodmin Moor ponies are on the Peter Hunt Yard at our Lincolnshire Centre with our handling team, who are on the lengthy journey to rehabilitate the ponies, who are unhandled and extremely nervous of humans.

Said Head of External Welfare, Ryan Rouse: “Being part of a multi-agency operation on Bodmin Moor gave us the opportunity to show what is achievable when reacting to potential crisis problems with semi-feral horses.

“I am always proud of the work achieved by Bransby Horses but our most recent work on Bodmin Moor exceeded what I ever imagined. This is by no means the end result for the horses, but a fantastic start to relieve their suffering in the future. The support we receive is always overwhelming but without it we simply wouldn’t be able to make such a difference.”