Romanian animal sanctuary Rolda is aiming to build two barns to help with its work with the estimated million working horses in the country.
Most horses and donkeys in Romania are used for working and transport, and Rolda says as long as they are functional and useful, the majority get water, food and some medical care “but often they are brutalized and beaten”.
Horses are sometimes forced to continue working with horrific injuries. Some who are no longer able to work are brought to Rolda (Romanian League in Defence of Animals) suffering from illnesses, needing only some time to rest and recover.
Other horses who are no so fortunate are either abandoned or slaughtered for what meat they can provide. In 2013, the remains of several hundred horses were found by the local journalists outside Galati. Their investigation showed that the horses’ meat was illegally put for sale and the unused parts of their bodies were simply disposed in the field.
In the village of Smardan alone, the official veterinary records indicate that 200 horses disappeared during 2008-2011.
In building its barns, Rolda is aiming to provide a retirement home for these working animals.
“Our sanctuary wishes to serve primarily the old, injured, skinny cases – the abandoned horses and donkeys. Working with the authorities and the regional veterinary, we aim to confiscate the abused horses and donkeys from their owners and transfer them into our care,” the charity said.
It is seeking donations to help build the first of its barns.