Calling for a Thorough Investigation into the Practices of Welsh Pony Rescue & Rehoming Charitable Trust
This petition is raising the questionable practices of Welsh Pony Rescue & Rehoming Charitable Trust (WPRRCT) Charity Number: 1171060, as the Trustees collectively fail to meet the principles of Government Guidance as laid down by the Welsh Senedd, specifically in regard to the 'Environmental Conditions and Removal and Keeping of Equines in Rescue'. This Charity continues to ignore Legislation and to the Law in general, and this is why there needs to be a Multi-Agency investigation.
Caerphilly County Borough Council, Trading Standards, Animal Health and Welfare
Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, Trading Standards, Animal Health and Welfare
Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, Trading Standards, Animal Health and Welfare
Cardiff City Council, Vale and Bridgend. Shared Regulatory Service, Animal Health and Welfare
Monmouthshire County Council, Trading Standards, Animal Health and Welfare
Torfean County Borough Council, Trading Standards, Animal Health and Welfare
Chief Constable of Gwent Police
Chief Constable of South Wales Police
The Charity Commission
Senedd Cymru: Luke Fletcher MS, Natasha Asghar MS
South Wales Fire & Rescue Service
BACKGROUND & CURRENT SITUATION with this CHARITY:-
Only Designated Inspectorates of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 have the right to take possession of an Equine. These are the Police, Trading Standards and Animal Health and Welfare of a Local Authority. Powers most often used are Section 9, Section 4, Section 18, 18 and 18. The Police will often call the RSPCA or the Local Authority for assistance and it’s these Organisations that conduct the formal investigations and bring prosecutions to court.
Any Charity (and including the Charity referred to herein) has NO right to remove or take possession of any Equine owned by another. There is NO protocol for a Charity to seize or take possession under The Control of Horses Act 2014 Wales. Any Charity would require the PERMISSION of one of the above Authorities. This would require an incident number logged with either the Police or the Local Council for the purposes of a Chain of Evidence/a Record and even then, for anyone other than the Authorities to take possession of an Equine, a Police Officer and/or an Animal Health Officer would need to be present along with a VET. There has been many incidents reported to the Police and by many individuals, citing how this Charity, is regularly involved with removing and attempting to remove Equines WITHOUT any formal permission. The Police often take the standpoint of labelling these acts as a “Civil Matter”, but this is simply not the case. Removing an equine without the permission of the Police or a local Authority and/or the Owner is simply an act of THEFT and this can be researched under the Theft Act 1968 Section 1 and Section 2.
If people want to give their unwanted equines to any Charity/Rescue on a voluntary basis they can, as long as it is that: ie a “voluntary” decision. The Charity then has 30 days to change ownership details on an Equine Passport to their details OR re-passport “if” the equine is without documentation. Once that equine is within the Charity’s domain it should NOT be transported [with the exception of requiring medical help] OR rehomed until the Equine Passport is UP TO DATE.
Despite strict regulations, this Charity continues to attended premises and locations throughout South Wales, WITHOUT the permission of any Authority and has removed HEALTHY, as well as injured/ neglected equines [in their unqualified opinion] and continues to do so, but WITHOUT calling a duty Vet to the scene and this has resulted in equines suffering further under Section 9 and 4 offences under the AWA 2006. Evidence exists, that demonstrates how this Charity’s Chair advises people “NOT” to call the Police or RSPCA to these incidents, opting instead to remove said equines WITHOUT permission into their care. Furthermore, this charity does not abide by Passport and Microchip Legislation when rehoming and transporting equines, and in one case I know of they not only removed a MARE, but the Chair even managed to change the microchip and passport details which would have involved the services of a Vet? The owner of that Mare still fights for justice in getting her property returned [this case was registered and logged with Dyfed Powys Police]. All Local authorities have a DUTY OF CARE TO ENFORCE THIS LEGISLATION as it is an integral part of identifying the Equine (and its Owner), and importantly, to establish whether a Crime has been committed.
There is evidence of how those representing this Charity have stated they act on behalf of the Authorities in dealing with RTA'S, but they do NOT have any authority. A dead Equine requires the POLICE to seize/take possession of underSection 19 and Section 17 of PACE. It is also the Police that should be arranging the removal of the carcass/vehicle as an RTA is an accident and/or a crime scene. If the animal is injured, again, it is the responsibility of the Police to call Fire and Rescue [if needed] and an emergency Vet to treat or prevent further suffering under the AWA 2006 Section 18  or 18 . The equine may need transporting to hospital immediately and the Owner informed [if known]. The Trustee's/Officer’s of this Charity declare on its Accounts - which are a matter of public record - how they work with, and are requested by all Authorities for their assistance [No evidence of this exists]. The same is also represented on their Facebook Group, with claims of how on many occasions they were given Police permission to act. Again, these entirely false claims are simply misguiding and encouraging the unsuspecting public into donating, believing that the Charity have [legal] powersunder the AWA 2006, when in fact they DO NOT!
Many people have raised their concerns of how this Charity are substantially overstocked with equines, with one of their own ex-Facebook Admin’s declaring on the RSPCA CMYRU Facebook Page recently how that they have, “Over 300 mostly feral ponies in their care with only minimal staff.” Furthermore, equines have been witnessed being advertised for a Rehoming Fee + Donation, which were blatantly in horrific condition: by being visibly emaciated and in need of a Vet, along with a period of good stable management: [irrefutable evidence can be seen/provided by this Charity’s OWN photo’s - posted by themselves - and for all to see on their own public forum]. I have reported this Charity to both the RSPCA and Caerphilly County Borough, Trading Standards, Animal Health and Welfare on many occasions, for the hoarding and neglect of Stallions/Young Colts, which they have removed from various Commons, and then hoarded in fields only to be cruelly left WITHOUT WATER during the long dry summers of 2021 and 2022. I know this for a fact, because along with the help of others, I had to take several 40 litre containers of water to these Stallions: that were in DESPERATE need of a drink. This act alone contravenes Section 9 and 4 of the AWA 2006. This Charity states how it is their policy to NOT geld under 3 years old, yet, this manifests in young colts being left with a complete lack of rehabilitation AND retraining, for significant periods of time and unmonitored. I even found a pony unceremoniously left DEAD and decaying in a field and it transpired his name was Barney: yet this Charity was oblivious to its passing and only became aware after being informed by the local farmer. This Charity continues to remove both male and female offspring of various feral Stallions: which includes 6 identified Stallions - running-free - on Gelligear Common, that belong to the Chair of this Charity! [Indisputable evidence can be provided].
This Charity - and its Chair - is Fly Grazing Equines on Gelligaer Common contravening The Control of Horses Act 2014 Wales. They categorically do NOT have Commoners Rights to be grazing their OWN equines. In my opinion, for a Charity to behave so recklessly is not only immoral, but leads to indiscriminate breeding, and all for continued financial gain. This unethical practice is certainly NOT declared to their Donators, nor to other major Charities, who fund from their own purse to help the feral equines on the Commons. [I have documented evidence for the Authorities]. This significant information is also NOT declared on any of this Charity’s Accounts. Whilst continuing to accept public donations, this Charity have FAILED TO FEED OR CONTRIBUTE TO THE FEEDING OF THE COMMON’S PONIES for the entire winter period Nov 2022 through March 2023, and in fact it was another Charity who has both funded and attended the ponies during the same period, some of which as I have already stated belong to the Chair of this Charity. [Can be evidenced].
It remains a fact how the Chair of this Charity also OWNS the equines on the BIFFA land in Fochriw and has done so for many years. [This too can be evidenced]. Again, in my opinion, it is immoral how that this Charity continue to allow indiscriminate BREEDING, whist they carry on masquerading to the public on their social media platform: by claiming these equines are all feral and WITHOUT an owner, and how they are rescuing the weak and the poor. If these particular ponies are in a poor and emaciated condition, then clearly the Charity and its Chair should be investigated for committing Section 9 & 4 offences of the AWA 2006. Also, ALL of the ponies the Charity takes in should be routinely Chipped and Passported to the Chair, and prudently ALL of the stallions should be gelded as a matter of urgency and/or removed to the Charity’s premises to PREVENT FURTHER INDISCRIMINATE BREEDING.
A major concern are the conditions of this Charity’s main premises at Blaen-Carno Farm, Focriw. The state of these premises have been witnessed by me and others who have attended the yard, and can clearly be evidenced throughout their Facebook Group and Page. (The ponies extremely poor habitat on this farm have even been reported by previous volunteers of this Charity). The [visible] disorder and disrepair falls well below the basic standards for keeping Equines, as set out in the Welsh Government Guidance regarding rescues. Most notably there is NO DISEASE CONTROL or QUARANTINE MEASURES in place; which is reprehensible. The ground and fencing is truly shocking, with baling twine used as a main source of repair. The premises hold makeshift stables/sheds and derelict barns, largely consisting of rotten tin sheets, wood, metal scrap and Harris Rail and look more like shacks than a reputable rescue. The barns and sheds are deep littered, and clean bedding is sometimes sprinkled simply for affect (ie photo opportunities for fundraisers on social media). The structures contain their own very real hazards; jeopardising the safety and to the very real detriment of the ponies held within. Evidence has been disclosed how the barns and the stables have required diggers in the past due to lack of poor stable management. It can be often seen in their own posts how the ponies are kept in makeshift pens between buildings, as this Charity do not have the facilities to cope with the sheer number of equines they continue to remove from the Commons; and all for dramatic effect and publicity in eliciting donations. This Charity has many rented locations throughout South Wales all paid for by unsuspecting donors, who are effectively aiding them, in their behaviour to continuing hoarding and indiscriminate breeding.
Please support this petition with your signature.
Sincerely, Karen Thorpe: Horse Rescues/Sanctuary, The Good The Bad The Ugly
Jane Cartledge Contact the author of the petition