Make Sure your Horse Is Safe – Stop Horse Theft it’s a growing problem in the UK and the USA.
Every day horse’s are reported missing or stolen, with approximately 40,000 horse thefts taking place annually in the United States.
And over 10,000 horses stolen each year in the Britain.
Horse’s also disappear following natural disasters such as hurricanes, fires and floods and once lost horses are very difficult to recover.
Many horse thefts result in the horse being sold quickly through auction houses or to slaughterhouses.
Follow these simple horse theft prevention steps and keep your horse safe.
Freeze Mark or micro-chip your horse
Have your horse permanently identified. You can have your horse permanently identified by microchip or freeze brand. If you have your horse micro-chipped be sure to register the microchip with a national registry or your horse breed association.
Equine Passports and other documents
Keep proof-of-ownership documents in a secure place. Photos, registration papers and health records will help identify your horse and prove your ownership in the event of horse theft. The photographs should be clear and current and show your horse from all four sides to highlight his identifying marks.
Head collars and halters
Don’t leave a halter or head-collar on your horse. Head collars make it easy for thieves to catch horses. This is a safety issue too: A head collar can get caught on things like gates and fence posts and trap your horse. Also, don’t leave halters hanging near gates where thieves can enter.
Gates and Barn Doors
Lock all gates and barn doors. Locked gates and barn doors will often deter a thief, but be certain that they do not create a fire hazard.
Proper Horse Fencing
Erect good quality, sturdy fencing around your horses paddock or pasture and ensure there is no direct access through the fence from a roadway. Wire fencing is easily cut by thieves and electric tape held by plastic posts can easily be laid flat and covered by a trailer ramp.
Access to paddocks
Restrict access to your property. To prevent easy access to your horse by unauthorised vehicles, use gates to block farm lanes and driveways that are in remote areas or far from your home.
Whenever possible, move your horse to an area where they can be seen from your home or from the roadway. This is particularly important at night, when theft is most likely to occur.
Lighting & Alarms
Install infra-red or motion-activated yard lights to illuminate areas where you keep your horse at night. Mount the lights on stables or barn buildings or fences. Set them to switch on if anyone approaches the barn, stable or field.
Consider purchasing monitors or alarms. Video monitors and alarm systems can be wired to a room in your house and CCTV can be recorded to help identify the horse thieves.
Always Inform Your Animal Control Agency …
Inform your local animal control agency and police department of any suspicious activities or of an actual horse theft. Be sure to give them a description of the people and vehicles involved, including the vehicle license plate number. Encourage your neighbors to watch for suspicious activity.
- Always report a horse theft or disappearance immediately to the appropriate law enforcement agency in your area.
- If you are a victim, provide a full written description and photographs of your horse to livestock auctions in your area and in surrounding towns and districts.
- Always distribute flyers offering a reward, if you can, for information leading to the safe return of your horse.
- Contact local media and ask them to publish your story.
Finally, consider visiting equine slaughterhouses in your area and in neighboring areas; there have been several cases of horse theft recovery at these facilities when horse owners have acted quickly enough.
The Humane Society of the United States will provide you with a list of equine slaughterhouses or contact DEFRA in the UK.