Horse Welfare Concerns

If you are concerned about a horse in the UK, there are a number of organisations that you can contact for advice and assistance.

If a horse or horses are loose on any road or highway, please call the police and report the location immediately.


Concerns about ongoing welfare:

As we are such a small charity, unfortunately we are not able to provide an on-call service ourselves, but we can refer you to a few organisations who will be able to help in cases where you are concerned about the welfare of a horse or horses.
All organisations need to talk directly to the person raising the concern as they will require certain information in order to determine the best action to be taken.


What information they would like to know:

  • Details of why you are concerned
  • The location of the horse(s). The more information you can give the better, even if the precise address and postcode is unknown. Please try to give additional local information such as nearby main roads and landmarks.
  • Photos are helpful if you can take some pictures of the horse(s) safely and without trespassing
  • Horse(s) details – number, colour, sex (if known), age (if known)
  • Name of owner and/or landowner (if known)
  • Your contact details.  These will be kept confidential but will allow the organisation to update you on the situation or contact you for more information should they require it. 

Should you report a situation?

Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act places a duty of care on people to ensure they take reasonable steps in all the circumstances to meet the welfare needs of their animals to the extent required by good practice.

In short it means they must take positive steps to ensure they care for their animals properly and in particular must provide for the five welfare needs, which are:

  • Need for a suitable environment
  • Need for a suitable diet
  • Need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns
  • Need to be housed with, or apart, from other animals
  • Need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

These five welfare needs will be taken into account by organisations when determining how best to deal with any report made.  If you believe that any one of the above needs is not being met, then we would recommend that you do report it.
We would also advise you not to share images on social media sites without extreme caution, as you may prejudice an ongoing investigation by official authorities that may be already be aware of the situation and taking action.

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Horse Welfare Helplines

Please choose one the options below to see details of the phone numbers you can call and the times that the helplines are open.

World Horse Welfare


0300 333 6000

08:00 - 17:30 - Monday-Friday

Answerphone at weekends

British Horse Society

Welfare Team

02476 840517

08:35 - 17:00 - Monday to Thursday

08:35 - 15:00 - Friday


Cruelty line

0800 1234 999

24 hours per day

7 days per week


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