BELL EQUINE ambulatory vets Sarah Smith, Helen Dagg and Chloe O’Sullivan, along with veterinary nurse Alice Irons, joined a team of volunteers at an equine healthcare clinic at Ashford Cattle Market last week. The Princess Royal, who is Vice-Patron of The British Horse Society (BHS) who run the clinics, visited the clinic see first-hand how the initiative supports horse owners and carers, to prevent welfare issues.
Our team were part of 217 BEVA Trust veterinary volunteers who have shown their passion for horse welfare by helping make a difference to the lives of more than 1000 horses in the UK. This has been achieved through participation in a total of 30 Education and Welfare Clinics and is in addition to those BEVA members who have volunteered their services for overseas work with the BEVA Trust.
The BEVA Trust provides opportunities, support and funding to allow BEVA members to volunteer for projects that enhance equine welfare both locally and globally.
The BEVA Trust and BHS have worked together for the past six years. Vets, nurses, students, and farriers have so far helped a total of 1339 horses by volunteering their time and expertise at special clinics around the country. Coordinated by the British Horse Society, and with practical support from a number of other equine welfare charities, these clinics provide dental care, farriery, worming, microchipping and passporting for horses identified to be in need, as well as castration if required. A total of 663 horses have now been castrated.
One of the veterinary surgeons volunteering their time commented: “It was an amazing experience to be part of the Education and Welfare team at Ashford, Kent. The team approach to the way everyone works at these clinics is inspiring, with younger colleagues being nurtured and supported despite the high volume and pressure of the work that needs to be completed on the day. It is the reason so many of us want to keep volunteering. We had 21 horses attend this clinic, with 19 castrations carried out.”
Many of you will remember Julian Samuelson (who we still class as our own!), who is also the BEVA Trust Chair and said: “Our BEVA Trust volunteers show a real passion for horse welfare with their support for these clinics and their willingness to donate their time is very admirable. By providing health checks, castrations, passports and micro-chipping, and also dental health checks and farriery when possible, we are able to make a real, practical difference for horses identified to be in need. We are immensely proud that HRH The Princess Royal has shown such an interest in our work and her level of engagement and understanding is truly impressive. We thank her for taking the time to visit our clinic.”
The clinics have been generously supported by Zoetis, Bransby, Blue Cross, Redwings, World Horse Welfare and the RSPCA.