World Horse Welfare

An international horse charity improving the lives of horses in the UK and around the world through education, campaigning, and hands-on care.

We are an international horse charity that improves the lives of horses in the UK and around the world through education, campaigning, and hands-on care. Our vision is a world where every horse is treated with respect, compassion and understanding.

When our founder Ada Cole witnessed a procession of work-worn British horses unloaded at the docks of Antwerp and whipped for four miles to slaughter, she was determined to stop the appalling cruelty of these journeys. Ten years later our campaign succeeded, and more than 90 years on World Horse Welfare is still driven by the same desire to stop unnecessary suffering, using a practical approach and scientific evidence to deliver lasting change across the full spectrum of the horse world.

We believe that horses and humans have evolved a unique partnership and that horses have an important role in society which is as relevant today as it was 100 years ago. Whether working animals, family pets, equine athletes, conservation grazers or companions, horses contribute to our lives, cultures and economies. This partnership is right so long as people take full responsibility for their welfare.

In all of our work we strive for lasting change, aiming to treat the source of a problem as well as the symptoms.  Our focus is finding long term, sustainable solutions that raise welfare standards in the short term as well as over time.

More than 100 million working horses fuel economies across the globe, but they often do not receive the treatment or care they need. World Horse Welfare helps to relieve the suffering of these horses in Africa, Central America and Asia. We do this by sharing our knowledge and skills with horse-dependent communities, raising standards of hoof care, tack fitting, theft-prevention, wound care and nutrition with programmes tailored to local needs.

We are the UK’s largest horse rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing charity with four Rescue and Re-homing Centres across the country.  Our national welfare hot line is a charitable public service that receives thousands of calls each year from members of the public reporting horses in distress. These reports are investigated by our nationwide network of local Field Officers who assess horses, advise owners on how to improve their care or – when necessary – rescue horses by bringing them into one of our Centres. In extreme cases we assist with prosecutions.

Everyone at World Horse Welfare recognises that what we achieve for horses is only possible because of our supporters.