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 sick, injured, abandoned or trapped equine that you are concerned about, please contact any of the organisations below:



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 their needs are being met and the animal is not suffering, then welfare organisations are unlikely to be able to take any action.
  • More information about ‘what is a welfare concern’ is available from The British Horse Society.

Welfare concerns involve lots of work from different organisations, all of 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.


RSPCA guide for police officers:

What would be required of a Police Constable?

Guidelines for police dealing with an animal:

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