Amersham Horses - Update

We are pleased to report that the immediate future of all the Amersham horses is secure.

On 14th April at Oxford Magistrates Court the District Judge who ruled that the horses be returned and sold, suspended his original decision and ordered a ?stay?.

This means that all of the 111 horses will remain in the care of the RSPCA and other equine charities including the ILPH pending a high court appeal by the RSPCA to overturn the original decision.

A date has yet to be set for the high court appeal but it will be within 21 days of the original ruling on 4th April. James Gray was also ordered to pay ?3,000 costs.

Thank you to everyone supported this campaign and signed the petition.. We will keep you updated with further information as we get it.



Amersham Horses - Sign the Petition
13 April 2008

The British Horse Society is calling on all of its members to sign the National Equine Welfare Council?s online petition in protest at the recent court ruling which will see 29 ponies and donkeys returned to the Gray family and a further 82 horses removed from sanctuaries and sold at public auction.

All our members should be familiar with the story of the Amersham horses that were seized by the RSPCA in January. The operation brought together many equine charities and was one of the largest of its kind in the United Kingdom.

Since the January seizure, four members of the Gray family have been charged with offences under the Animal Welfare Act (2006) but no trials have taken place as yet.

The 111 horses, ponies and donkeys involved in the case have been cared for by a number of different sanctuaries since they were seized. The British Horse Society fully supports the view that these animals should remain in the care of equine welfare charities until such time as a trial has taken place, and their future can be decided in accordance with the trial verdict.

We therefore call upon all of our members to sign the NEWC petition and ask for help in publicising it beyond the boundaries of the equestrian community.

Welfare Senior Executive Lee Hackett said: ?The more people that sign this petition, the greater the chance that we may actually change something. We are fully behind NEWC with this petition.

?Meanwhile, I would like to assure you that BHS Welfare is doing absolutely everything it can to reverse this baffling court ruling. We will not give up without a fight.?

The British Horse Society is a full member of the National Equine Welfare Council.

Click here to sign the petition.

More information on the Amersham Horse incident:

BBC News story - RSPCA staff find 32 dead horses (9 January 2008)
BBC News story - Neglected foal 'showing recovery' (10 January 2008)
BBC News video report - Horses to be returned to owner (12 April 2008)

National Equine Welfare Council -
British Horse Society -
International League for the Protection of Horses -