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Bell Supports welfare project

BELL vets Tim Mair, Sam Morley and Michael Duggan recently volunteered their time to help with a charity project organised by the British Horse Society (BHS). The welfare castration day, held at the Kent County Showground, was one of a series organised by BHS to help improve equine health and welfare in the UK.

The BHS has joined forces with British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) Trust, with the added support of the Blue Cross, Redwings Horse Sancuary, Bransby Donkey Sanctuary, RSPCA and World Horse Welfare, to run a series of educational, healthcare and castration clinics to help tackle the huge indiscriminate breeding problem currently facing the UK. The scheme's aim is to try to reduce the incidents of accidental breeding, improve welfare, help with identification and traceability of horses, and enable new groups of horse owners to have access to veterinary care and engage with vets with any equine health concerns.

Tim, Sam and Michael were part of a nine strong veterinary team supported by 3 nurses.  All the vets and nurses donated their time via the BEVA Trust to work alongside volunteers from other charities. Suitable horses were identified and recruited from the surrounding area by charity welfare officers in advance of the clinic.  In total, 56 horses attended the clinic.  Along with worming, passporting, microchipping and dental checks, 34 colts and stallions were castrated throughout the day by the veterinary team.

Hospital intern Michael Duggan said: 'These events not only reduce the opportunity for unintentional breeding but, more importantly, have also proven to be a great way of getting new groups of horse owners to engage with veterinary care. I was proud to be able to give a day of my time, via the BEVA Trust, to help such a worthwhile and well organised initiative'.

The BEVA Trust is the charitable arm of the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) and has been established for almost 50 years. In the past it focused on small grants related to travel and education, but following a review last year, the Trust's focus has changed. BEVA members expressed a desire for the Trust to focus on voluntary veterinary participation in charitable welfare projects.

Further healthcare and castration clinics are being planned during the autumn and winter at various venues around the UK. The project is supported by Zoeteis, the Animal Health Company who are providing wormers.