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Reports of horse neglect on rise
FEARS about horse welfare are reported 18 times a week on average in our region, figures from the RSPCA have revealed.
The number of calls to the RSPCA cruelty line regarding horse welfare has risen in York and North Yorkshire since 2009 and remained roughly the same in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
In York, 142 calls were made to the line in 2009, rising to 201 in 2010, 169 in 2011 and 216 in 2012.
In North Yorkshire, the number of calls has risen from 396 in 2009, to 561 in 2010, 448 in 2011 and 461 in 2012.
Meanwhile, in the East Riding, the number of calls fluctuated, with 213 calls in 2009, 372 in 2010, 269 in 2011 and 259 in 2011.
Releasing the figures in the wake of the horse meat scandal, the RSPCA has said the lack of enforcement of a passport system to keep horses accounted for and keep track of disease control is a worry.
Chief inspector Cathy Hyde said: “The passport system is failing and we estimate that a shocking 75 per cent of horses coming into RSPCA care are not microchipped.
“Passports are not updated and, without microchipping or a central database, there is no enforcement. Horses can change hands for a small amount of money and end up in the hands of irresponsible owners and traders.
“Our inspectors investigated more than 4,900 complaints involving equines in 2012 and are always working hard to improve the lives of these animals.
“Together with irresponsible breeding, many owners have ended up with too many horses that they either can’t or don’t want to look after.
“Some dealers have over 2,000 horses, the majority of which will not have passports.
“They need to be made accountable which proper enforcement of the passport system might help with.”
Last year in England, 146 people were served with a summons relating to horse welfare, compared to 119 in 2011, a 23 per cent rise. The number of charges rose from 426 in 2011 to 779 in 2012.