Charity begins at home: British vets help 1000th horse in need

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A horse's vital signs are checked during a dental examination in West Yorkshire.
A horse’s vital signs are checked during a dental examination in West Yorkshire. © BEVA

Veterinary volunteers for the British Equine Veterinary Association’s Trust have “given back” by working with more than a thousand horses at healthcare and education clinics. 

In the past three years, 125 BEVA Trust veterinary volunteers have participated in 21 national initiatives, including farriery and dental care, worming, and microchipping and passporting for horses identified to be in need. At castration clinics, 483 colts and stallions were gelded.

October’s Healthcare and Education clinic in Castleford, West Yorkshire, saw volunteers reach the milestone of treating the 1000th horse.

Vets, nurses, students, and farriers have volunteered their time and expertise to help a total of 1017 horses attending health care clinics around the country, coordinated by the British Horse Society, and with practical support from several other equine welfare charities.

Mark Bowen, former president of BEVA, and a BEVA Trust volunteer said the clinics improve horse welfare both directly by the work done on the day, and indirectly through the education and contact with horse owners who often lack trust in the “establishment”.

“The team approach to the way the vets work at these clinics is inspiring, with younger colleagues being nurtured and supported despite the high volume and pressure of the work that needs to be completed on the day. It is the reason so many of our volunteers want to keep volunteering,”  Bowen said.

BEVA Trust veterinary volunteers prepare to geld a young horse. © BEVA

The clinics have been supported by Zoetis, HAPPA, Well Equine, Bransby, Blue Cross, Redwings, World Horse Welfare, RSPCA, SSPCA, The Donkey Sanctuary, Bloomfields, TGCA, CHAPS, Safe4, Horseweigh, Baileys, Horsewatch, Police, Local Authorities and The Equine Register. Thanks to a £50,000 grant from South Essex Insurance Brokers (SEIB) the BHS has recently acquired a special healthcare vehicle for use at future clinics.

The BEVA Trust provides opportunities, support and funding to allow BEVA members to volunteer for projects that enhance equine welfare both locally and globally. Several globetrotting volunteers have worked on projects in Cambodia, the Gambia, Honduras, Kiev, Nicaragua, the Ukraine and Morocco. They have worked with local organisations to assist with routine equine veterinary care and education clinics, directly and indirectly helping to make a real difference to the lives of countless needy horses, ponies, donkeys and mules.

• To volunteer for the BEVA Trust, contact Fiona Cunnington, Fiona@beva.org.uk.

BEVA Trust veterinary volunteers recently reached the milestone of 1000 horses helping during clinics in Britain.
BEVA Trust veterinary volunteers recently reached the milestone of helping 1000 horses during clinics in Britain. © BEVA

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