• Welcome To

    The National Equine Welfare Council

  • Welcome To

    The National Equine Welfare Council

  • Welcome To

    The National Equine Welfare Council

  • Welcome To

    The National Equine Welfare Council

  • Welcome To

    The National Equine Welfare Council

  • Welcome To

    The National Equine Welfare Council

  • Welcome To

    The National Equine Welfare Council

Since its inception in 1977, as a forum for like-minded equine charities to share ideas and welfare concerns, the National Equine Welfare Council C.I.C. has become a nationally recognised and respected member body that unifies the sector on matters of welfare concern.

It is the NEWC’s mission to protect the welfare of the horse, pony, donkey and mule by ensuring that everyone who has an interest or association with an equine makes its health and welfare the overriding factor in all decision making.

It is NEWC’s mission to raise awareness of equine welfare issues and to help improve equine welfare standards nationwide.

NEWC membership provides an assurance to both the public and the industry that equine welfare is the priority. Through working collaboratively with the industry and its members, NEWC is committed to improving efficiency through sharing information and resources.

Streamlining education, regulation and enforcement initiatives are NEWC key objectives to ensure horse welfare standards steadily improve.

The NEWC network is very wide with over 70 members throughout the UK which include equine welfare charities large and small as well as a multitude of organisations from the equestrian and veterinary sectors of the equine industry.

Latest News

The Donkey Sanctuary launches new survey

Calling all UK and ROI-based professionals who work with and treat equines! 

The Donkey Sanctuary has recently started an ambitious 5-year project to look at all aspects of donkey ownership in the UK and Ireland. One element of the project is to ensure access to professional support and advice so that donkeys will be kept in stable, long-term homes with good health and welfare.

The survey aims to capture some baseline data to help inform the project by understanding the geographic distribution of professional service providers, and the training and/or experience they have working with donkeys. The advice that your industry can give to owners on the specific needs of the donkey is vital and therefore we would appreciate your help in collecting data for this survey.

The survey is very brief – it should take approximately two minutes to complete. We would appreciate it if you would fill out the survey and forward the survey link to any other equine industry professional service providers (farriers, barefoot trimmers, behaviourists, EDTs, nutritionists, physio, harness makers/tack fitters, vets, vet nurses) that you have contact with and who work in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

We greatly value your input in this process and would like to thank you for filling out the survey. Please click here to access the survey.

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New Redwings animation urges support for rescued ponies this Christmas

Redwings Horse Sanctuary has launched its latest fundraising animation, voiced once again by Stephen Fry.

Last year, the charity released a short animation narrated by the popular broadcaster telling the story of a long-term Sanctuary resident, blind Clydesdale horse Boo, which went on to be viewed by over 225,000 people online.

This year’s animation takes supporters back to the beginnings of Redwings in 1984 and how it has transformed into a national charity caring for more than 1,500 rescued horses and donkeys at its sites every day. Along the way, viewers will meet some of Redwings’ adorable residents to whom the Sanctuary has rescued and given a loving home over the years.


Stars of the animation include Shetland pony Sampson who was rescued in 2004 when he was just one year old, and lonely Wiggins the donkey who was sadly abandoned by his owner on a livery yard leaving the landowner to care for him.

All the rescued horses and donkeys featured in the animation are available to sponsor from as little as £2 per month, with every penny going towards their care and that of their fellow four-legged friends living at the Sanctuary.

Lynn Cutress, Redwings’ Chief Executive, said: “For the last 37 years we’ve worked tirelessly to help horses and donkeys in desperate need and, as a charity 100% funded by donations, we’ve only been able to do this thanks to the kind generosity of our supporters.

“We’re delighted that through this new animation we can show just what a difference their support has made to animals, like Sampson and Wiggins, whose lives would otherwise have been very bleak. We’re also thrilled that the wonderful Stephen Fry has once again helped us to tell these important stories.

“Sponsoring one of our rescued residents for yourself or as a gift for a loved one is a fantastic way to help us continue to look after the horses and donkeys in our care, ensuring they can enjoy safe and healthy lives this Christmas and into the future.”

To sponsor a Redwings rescued horse or donkey, call 01508 505246 or visit www.redwings.org.uk/adopt.

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How Happy Are Equine Athletes?

New paper reviews stakeholder perceptions of equine welfare issues associated with equestrian sport

The welfare of horses within equestrian sport is increasingly being scrutinised by both the public and those involved in the sector. To identify the main concerns and discuss the potential to improve the welfare of these equine athletes, a workshop involving participants from equestrian sports and animal welfare research was held as part of NEWC's AWRN-funded event ‘How Happy are Equine Athletes? Assessing Equine Quality of Life in Equestrian Sporting Disciplines’.

Participants from equestrian sports and equine welfare researchers discussed the main challenges in equine welfare and opportunities to promote positive welfare in equine athletes’ lives.

They concluded that the main challenges in equine welfare arise from conflicts between competition demands and the basic needs of the horse. To enable those involved in equestrian sport to monitor the impacts of management, training, and competition on the welfare of equine athletes, the use of formal welfare assessment tools was discussed, alongside interventions that would promote positive welfare across equine athletes’ lives.

The paper is free to access and can be downloaded here.

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The UK Human-Equine Interaction Register

You may be aware that a register of practitioners offering Equine Assisted Therapy and Learning is being created, with a proposed launch date at the end of 2021 - the Human Equine Interaction Register UK (HEIR). The aim is to provide governance and credibility across the industry and it is currently at the consultation stage.

As part of this process, there is a short survey ➡️ surveyhero.com/c/HEIRUK ⬅️ where stakeholders can indicate what form they think this should take - views are welcome from across the sector.

The survey is open until 31/10 & takes 10 minutes to complete - if you haven't already done so, please make your views known to ensure that the register is a valuable resource.

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Redwings asks ‘Do you remember your first horse?’ in new survey

Redwings Horse Sanctuary has launched a nationwide survey to find out more about people’s experiences of taking on their first-ever horse or pony.

Taking on the care of a horse for the first time is a memorable milestone and the charity is keen to discover why, when and how individuals made the exciting move from riding lessons or helping out with friends’ horses, to shouldering the responsibility for one of their own.

Past and present horse owners now have until 18th November to fill in the questionnaire, entitled the ‘My First Horse’ survey, which Redwings hopes will act as a nostalgic trip down memory lane for many.

To find out more and to take the survey, visit – survey.alchemer.eu/s3/90383102/46ed7eff18cf

The project is being supported by equestrian brands Equilibrium and Spillers, who have both donated items for a prize draw that all those who complete the survey can choose to enter, with a grand prize bundle including an Equilibrium Massage Mitt Hotspot and a Spillers branded saddlecloth, voucher and other goodies.

The launch of the new survey coincides with World Mental Health Day, taking place this Sunday 10th October, reflecting the significant contribution horses can make to a person’s physical and mental health.

Andie McPherson, Redwings’ Campaigns Manager, said: “We have a lot to learn about the thought processes and preparations involved when someone takes on their first horse.

“We know that horses can have a hugely positive impact in people’s lives but there’s a concern that not getting the right horse for you, or not having support as a new owner, could increase risks to the wellbeing of both horse and human.

“We’re keen to find out more so we can help support people at this exciting, but sometimes daunting, stage of their equestrian journey.”

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Straight from the horse's mouth - Redwings launches new podcast

Redwings Horse Sanctuary has launched a brand-new podcast to share stories of their rescued horses and donkeys, and conversations with their expert rescuers and carers.

This #InternationalPodcastDay on 30th September, the charity is celebrating by announcing its podcast series, called Sounds of the Sanctuary.

The weekly podcast takes listeners on a journey through the Sanctuary, with a spotlight each week on a rescued resident and their care, plus conversations with the vets, nurses, carers and support teams who make it possible.

Listeners can expect to go behind the scenes and discover more about Redwings’ facilities normally closed to the public, such as its specialist Reception Centre for new arrivals, Horse Hospital, Behaviour Centre and Rehoming Centres.

The charity has also produced a sister podcast, called Field Notes, involving sit down chats with Redwings’ experienced team, delving deeper into the equine care and welfare issues they frequently encounter and sharing their top tips along the way, from worming to land management, basic training to creating the perfect paddock.

The first three episodes of Sounds of the Sanctuary and Field Notes are already available to download from all major streaming platforms, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. The most recent episode features an update on Phoenix, the foal who was left with life-threatening burns after an arson attack, as his vet shares the latest news on his progress.

New episodes of Sounds of the Sanctuary will be released on Mondays, and Field Notes on Wednesdays. Listeners can also subscribe to the series to ensure they never miss an episode.

Redwings Communications Manager, Stephanie Callen, said: “We’re so excited to share this project with everyone. The Redwings podcast presents a chance to hear directly from our hard-working equine welfare teams and meet our rescued residents – so it’s straight from the horse’s mouth so to speak!

“From the vets and nurses who help our rescued horses back onto their hooves, to the carers and maintenance teams who tend to their daily care, and the rehoming teams who find them loving new homes - this podcast brings a unique insight into life at the Sanctuary which we hope will be enjoyable to Redwings fans, new supporters and horse owners alike!”

To find out more about Redwings’ new podcast and the Sanctuary’s work, please visit redwings.org.uk.

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Equine Grass Sickness Online CPD Course

The University of Edinburgh and the Equine Grass Sickness Fund are launching a continuing professional development (CPD) online course on 1st November 2021.

The course explores all aspects of the often-fatal disease, Equine Grass Sickness (EGS). An understanding of the aetiology, epidemiology and difficulties with veterinary diagnosis gives horse owners an understanding of disease development. 

The nursing of chronic cases also has its challenges and the course gives information on nursing horses in the equine hospital environment and tips for nursing and ongoing rehabilitation of a horse at home. 

There are some risk factors for the disease that have been identified, which may help reduce the risk of the disease occurring, until the elusive cause is found.

The course costs £120 for 3 months access and 35 CPD hours. It can be undertaken at your own pace and includes lectures with audio recording, videos, a reading list containing peer reviewed open access journal articles and voluntary self-test quizzes. Information on how you can get involved with future research is also included.

Find out more and enrol via: edin.ac/vet-egs-cpd

Together we will seek the cause and reduce the risk of EGS!

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Equine Market Watch joins NEWC as new member

We are very happy to welcome Equine Market Watch Sanctuaries (UK) as a new member of NEWC!

EMW-UK is a registered Charity based in Herefordshire which provides a gentle, safe place for equines in need of sanctuary. The Charity aims to re-home equines where possible and maintains a maximum numbers policy that allows a high standard of care. They have developed a network of foster carers and loan homes where equines can be placed if they can continue to do a useful job of work.

EMW-UK are active in campaigning for improvements in equine welfare across the UK and are supported by an excellent team of volunteers and equine specialists who give their time and expertise to the Charity.

Visit equinemarketwatch.org.uk to find out more about their work.

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Equine Welfare Grants

Applications for WELFARE grants from the Petplan Charitable Trust (PPCT) are now OPEN. The deadline for applications is Friday 10th December 2021.

If you are a registered charity, you’re invited to register with the PPCT as part of the grant application process (please fill in the form here). Once you’ve created an account you can access a link to the online grant application form.

Grant applications must demonstrate:

o A direct benefit to one or more of the species supported by Petplan Ltd (i.e. dogs, cats, horses and rabbits). Grants to human charities will be considered when it can be clearly demonstrated that the grant will enhance/give support to the animals’ best interests.

o Education is seen as an important role for the welfare arm of the Charitable Trust and requests for funding for education in animal welfare will be considered.

o Animal ‘assisted therapy’ charities will be considered, however, there is a requirement to detail the current and future (long term) welfare needs of the animals. Staff abilities and training will be important factors.

o Applications are given preference when the animal welfare benefit is clearly demonstrated.

The Trust’s full terms and conditions can be viewed here - please ensure that you read, understand and comply with these before applying.

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Ambassadors sought for Strangles Awareness Week 2022

Strangles Awareness Week will return in 2022 after this year’s campaign reached more than two million people across the world.

Over 180 Ambassadors, including equestrians, livery yards, riding centres, vet practices and equine professionals, signed up to share messages through social media during the Week, which ran from 3rd to 9th May 2021, with the aim of raising awareness amongst horse owners of the world’s most commonly diagnosed infectious equine disease.

For the first time, international equine and veterinary organisations, including Sweden’s National Veterinary Institute and its 20 member organisations, the Royal GD and MSD Animal Health in the Netherlands, and the University of Melbourne and the Equine Veterinarian membership body in Australia also supported the Week.

In all, more than 310,000 people were reached online, while a further 2.5 million readers received the Week’s messages through articles in worldwide equine and veterinary publications.

Organisers are now encouraging even more people from across the equine community to show their interest in becoming Ambassadors ready for next year’s campaign, which will take place from 2nd to 8th May 2022.

Ambassadors will join a mailing list to receive exclusive Strangles Awareness Week content for their social media channels, as well as guidance on how to share their own experiences of the disease and encourage others to speak up too.

Strangles Awareness Week began in 2020 and is a unique collaborative effort between The British Horse Society, Intervacc, Keeping Britain’s Horses Healthy, Redwings Horse Sanctuary, The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Scotland’s Rural College’s Premium Assured Strangles Scheme (PASS), Surveillance of Equine Strangles (SES) and World Horse Welfare, who have brought together their decades’ worth of expertise of either caring for horses with Strangles, supporting those coping with outbreaks or research into the disease.

Andie McPherson, Redwings’ Campaigns Manager, said: “This year we saw almost three times as many Ambassadors taking part in Strangles Awareness Week – from livery yard managers to vets, from farriers to professional equestrians. It shows that Strangles affects all corners of the equine community and how we can all lend our voices to help raise better awareness. 

“One in three Ambassadors from this year’s campaign also commented that they had never or rarely posted about Strangles on their social media pages prior to the Week so it gave them a platform to proactively raise the topic with their followers and clients and start constructive conversations around the disease’s prevention and management.”

It is hoped that next year’s Strangles Awareness Week, if Covid-19 restrictions continue to be lifted, will provide an opportunity for livery yards, equine education facilities and vet practices to host events, such as client evenings, talks and demonstrations, as well as raise awareness online. Ambassadors will be supported with activity suggestions, editable presentations and promotional materials to help them advertise their events, with more details to be released nearer the time.

Anyone wishing to sign-up as an Ambassador for Strangles Awareness Week 2022 and be kept up-to-date with the latest news from the campaign can email campaigns@redwings.co.uk.

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