Campaign to end long-term tethering reaches parliament

Campaign to end long-term tethering reaches parliament

Thanks to massive public support, the issue of long-term equine tethering has been debated by MP Luke Hall in parliament this week. 

Bristol based equine rescue charity, HorseWorld, launched #BreakTheChain at Horse of the Year Show in October 2018 and since then over 12,000 emails pledging support for the campaign have reached over 94% of MPs in the UK directly from their constituents. One MP, Luke Hall MP for Thornbury and Yate, took an interest in the campaign. After receiving over 70 emails from his constituents he decided to visit the charity to hear more about the campaign. During his visit Luke met with staff to discuss the issue and met horses with terrible scars induced by tethers. 

There are an estimated 3,500 horses tethered across the UK. Tethering horses for long periods of time jeopardises their welfare. Not only is there serious risk of injury from inappropriate or unchecked tethers but a tethered horse does not have freedom to express natural behaviour. 

A study done in South Wales in 2014 found that only 3% of horses were spending more than five minutes off their tether over a six month period[i]. The practice is universally condemned as a long-term method of keeping horses and it is the opinion of HorseWorld that such a potentially hazardous practice should be regulated by law. 

HorseWorld Trust launched #BreakTheChain with the aim to limit the time a horse can be tethered to 24 hours and to put a complete ban on tethering in inappropriate locations such as by the side of roads or in the centre of roundabouts, where they pose a risk to motorists as well as themselves. If the campaign is successful it will be a criminal offence to keep a horse permanently on a tether.  

To find out more about the campaign visit: https://breakthechain.horseworld.org.uk/

 [i] Mullan, S. , Szmaragd, C., Hotchkiss, J., Whay, H.R. (2014) The welfare of longline tethered and free-ranging horses kept on grazing land in South Wales. Animal Welfare. 23. 25-37.