Animal Aid background notes on pet horses and ponies

Posted on the 18th September 2007

The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) http://www.beta-uk.org/ conducted the National Equine Survey, the results of which were published in 2006.

 

  • The survey showed that there are a total of 1.35 million horses in Britain. This includes horses kept by private owners and professional establishments.
  • Of that 1.35 million, 1.2 million horses are owned by 721,500 households in a non-professional capacity. This indicates that the majority of horses are being used for pleasure.
  • The survey shows that horse riders and owners spend around £4 billion per year on what is an increasingly popular leisure activity.
  • Many horses are sold privately through advertising websites for anything from a few hundred to several thousand pounds.
  • Ponies will be bought for children learning to ride and will usually be sold on once the child has outgrown the horse or has given up riding.
  • The basic cost of keeping a horse or pony could exceed £4,000 per year – a high price for a horse or pony who is no longer wanted.
  • Euthanasia and carcass disposal costs around £500, whereas the owner would receive money from a slaughterhouse for their horse to be killed and sold as horsemeat.
  • While people taking on a pet, such as a cat or dog, usually intend to keep the animal for life, horses are often purchased with a view to selling them on once their usefulness has passed.

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