Reporting a welfare concern


At all times our member organisations are required to operate within the law.  They do not have the authority to remove an equine from their owner.  Only the Police, or an authorised Local or National Authority Inspector have powers under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to remove animals and only if they are certified to be suffering or likely to suffer by a veterinary surgeon.

If you have personally seen a neglected or mistreated equine that you are concerned about, please contact any of the organisations below:

World Horse Welfare - or t: 0300 333 6000 

The British Horse Society  - t: 02476 840517 or e:

Bransby Horses Rescue and Welfare - t: 01427 787369 or e:

Redwings Horse Sanctuary Welfare Hotline & Advice - t: 01508 481008

HAPPA (North of England only) – t: 01282 455992

Retraining of Racehorses (former racehorses only) - t: 01488 648998/07887 777231 or e:

The Donkey Sanctuary  (donkeys and mules only) - t: 01395 578222


England and Wales RSPCA – t: 0300 1234 999

Scottish SPCA – t: 03000 999 999

Northern Ireland USPCA - t:028 3025 1000


If you require assistance locating a Vet please follow this link to the RCVS Find a Vet


Loose horses on the road/highway: call 101 and inform the police immediately, giving the road number and location. 


  • Please only report your concerns if you have personally seen the animal(s) yourself. Welfare organisations cannot take second-hand information, including content seen on social media.
  • If you have already reported your concerns to another welfare organisation and they have confirmed that they will be investigating, please do not contact other organisations and charities.
  • Throughout the UK, equines are managed and kept in many different ways. Sometimes we may not agree with the way in which they are kept but if its needs are being met and the animal is not suffering, then welfare organisations are unlikely to be able to take any action.
  • For more information about ‘what is a welfare concern’ visit: What Is a Welfare Concern? | British Horse Society

Welfare concerns involve lots of work from different organisations, all which have varying abilities and procedures when dealing with jobs. The video below includes talks from welfare personnel from BHS, World Horse Welfare and Blue Cross, and aims to highlight the ‘ins and outs’ of dealing with welfare concerns.

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