Friday, 17 December 2010

South West Equine Protection (SWEP) speaks out against the cull

SWEP is one of the longest running equine charities on Dartmoor.  They have issued the following press release regarding the slaughter of ponies on Dartmoor as part of a "sustainable welfare system".  Important points have been highlighted in red:

700 Dartmoor Ponies Slaughtered

December 17th, 2010

You may have recently been reading articles in the local and national press regarding 700 Dartmoor Ponies slaughtered by knackerman Andrew Goatman.

We would like to make it clear that this is something that has been going on for years and the economic climate has changed things very little. We feel it is wrong to blame the recession for this increase in ponies being slaughtered. We have been helping with this appalling situation for years putting out appeals to rehome those ponies with uncertain futures.

Farmers are more than aware of the situation yet seem to carry on with their poor management and continue to allow stallions run the moor for the majority of the year. The overbreeding and slaughter of these ponies has been brought into the press as this horrific problem yet most of the mares on the moor will be in foal already to give birth next year. Will the same story be more horrific next year and what will the numbers be??!! The 700 reported with Andrew Goatman is only a proportion of the real number. How many ponies have gone through other slaughter houses and how many have been destroyed on farms by farmers?

 The answer is not to have a “welfare disposal system”, but to stop the constant breeding. Get farmers to take their stallions off of the moor and then not produce so many foals each year.

SWEP help the ponies it can each year and the majority it takes in are colts. We are a very small charity and what we do help is a drop in the ocean when you think of the numbers in this article. Another issue constantly being raised is the deformities in foals due to inbreeding. Again this is to poor management of the farmers. We will keep up the hard work and ensure that people are aware of these problem.

SWEP will continue to ensure people are aware of the problem and hope that regulations can be brought in to ristrict the breeding of Dartmoor ponies and therefore the number having to be slaughtered will be reduced.

If you can help in any way with our fight please do not hesitate to contact us.