British charity Redwings hopes to raise £6000 to help Britain’s moorland ponies, following publicity around the plight of some living on Cornwall’s Bodmin Moor.
Some of the horses on Bodmin have been at the centre of welfare concerns for months.
The charity says more than 6000 horses in Britain are at risk of abandonment or neglect, and many of the most vulnerable lived on moors and commons such as Bodmin.
Chief executive Lynn Cutress said: “Life for horses on the moor is hard. There is not enough food so many are starving. Too many stallions and over-breeding make the problem even worse.”
She said local people and organisations were working tirelessly to do what they could, but they were saturated and needed support.
“Funds will help Redwings work with others to give horses on Bodmin Moor and across the UK more food, more care and more support, so they can enjoy a happy life,” Cutress said.
She said public support would help ponies in need and prevent more horses from suffering in the future.
The charity People4ponies has been highlighting welfare issues among ponies living on one part of the moor through its blog.
Faye Stacey, writing on the blog, said ponies on a section of the moor continued to be in poor condition despite the grass growing there.
She said 30 corpses had been found in one enclosed common on the moor in recent months.
A multi-agency operation early in April resulted in 22 Bodmin ponies being placed with rescue groups.
Redwings’ veterinarian Nic de Brauwere said at the time: “It is clear there is a big challenge in bringing about long-term improvements for the management of ponies on Bodmin Moor.
“The moor has the potential for native ponies to thrive, but these animals will always need human support – whether that be to compensate for limited grazing as a result of severe weather, ensure parasite and infectious disease control, or attending to unexpected problems such as injury or illness.
“Indeed, our hope for the future of the ponies of Bodmin Moor is for them to have a natural life, but also to be familiarised with people so they can be supported with veterinary and routine healthcare when required. We also believe the balance of stallions and mares needs to be urgently addressed on the moor.
“This vision can only become a reality with the cooperation of everyone with rights to graze their ponies on the moor, and this is why we fully support the newly established Bodmin Moor Commons Council and their development of management plans that work for the commoners, the land and the animals.”