Presumably a sugar tax will solve this – or banning Coca Cola perhaps

Half of horses in the UK are overweight because owners have forgotten how to keep them healthy, leading equine vets have warned.

Experts from the British Equine Veterinary Assocation (BEVA) said obesity is the gravest threat facing horses, which is resulting in hundreds being put down every year.

David Rendle, a member of BEVA’s ethics and welfare committees, said studies showed around half of all UK horses are now overweight, while research from the Royal Veterinary College found as much as 70 per cent of native pony breeds were obese.

If it’s happening to the horses then perhaps it’s not evil industry causing us human to get fat?

26 comments on “Presumably a sugar tax will solve this – or banning Coca Cola perhaps

  1. “Putting rugs on horses during winter in order to keep them warm had inhibited their ability to efficiently burn calories by using energy in cold weather.”

    Ditto humans. If we made people run about the streets during winter wearing only their underpants our obesity problem would be solved. It would also relieve the pressure on welfare spending and the NHS.

  2. There are two problems here. One is that sugar is now part of the ingredients of so many food products one way or another. The second is the lack of awareness that foods that are starchy products, and there are a lot of them, convert to sugar in the body, so you do not realise just how much you are getting.

  3. “had inhibited their ability to efficiently burn calories by using energy in cold weather”

    Huh? More efficient ‘burning’ of calories would tend towards obesity. Less calories needed so more stored. And vice versa less efficient burning would lead to leanness. So inhibiting efficient calorie burning i think would see the horses getting thinner.

    If what they were trying to say was rugs make horses burn less calories in winter, it was rather a poor way of doing it.

  4. If we made people run about the streets during winter wearing only their underpants

    Didn’t you know this was a libertarian blog?

  5. Campaigners market themselves. This isn’t about horses; it’s about the British Equine Veterinary Assocation.

    They just managed to get themselves in the Tele.

  6. ‘“Putting rugs on horses during winter in order to keep them warm had inhibited their ability to efficiently burn calories by using energy in cold weather.”

    The reason for rugs… all year round actually, with different weights… is because horses that are in work are clipped out. That means the hair that would naturally keep them warm is cut off. In Human terms like being stripped down to underwear.

    This is done so that when horses are worked, their internal body temperature does not go up and cause heat exhaustion.

    Horses outside need water-proof rugs to protect from rain scalds, that is rain water or melting snow or frost saturating the hair and skin on their backs. This is similar to ‘trench foot’ suffered by soldiers in WWI because their feet were constantly wet.

    Over- eating. Horse feed and hay is expensive. The supposed obesity possible comes from horses being turned out and allowed to gorge on grass to cut down the cost of feed and hay. Too much grass causes other problems too.

    Obesity crises seem to be contagious. Humans have infected house-hold pets, now horses and ponies… what’s next, perhaps fish gorging on plastic straws abs cotton buds?

  7. Many horses are not ridden or worked as much as they were during the era before the auto, truck, tractor, etc.

  8. I read a story in a paper recently about some donkeys which had become overweight, largely due to passing members of the public giving them lots of biscuits, and other sweet treats. They had to be taken away from the field and put on a strict diet. I wonder what the owners will do to prevent a repeat occurrence when they are let back into the field?

  9. Blimey, there I was thinking that horses and ponies were Vegan, thus practising the answer to obesity, global warming, poverty and Brexit …

  10. Its anthropomorphism at work. The women who own these horses (and its 90% women) think ‘Ooh poor horsey, all cold out in the rain in his field, I’ll stuff him full of oats and hay and keep him in a nice warm stable at night, and all day if its wet.’ Then wonder why he’s a fat as a barrel and they’re calling the vet out constantly because its got laminitis.

    I know one women who literally killed her horse with kindness – it was a cob, which means it needs two blades of grass per day, any more and it’ll get fat, and she gave it so much hard feed and good hay that even though it was only about 5 years old it had to be put down, its joints were so f*cked with laminitis. Plus she did the other thing middle aged horse owners do – never rode it, so it got no decent exercise either.

    I have a lady who rents a field from me for her 3 horses. They eat only grass, they stay out 24/7 with no coats, they get penned in a small bit of the field in the summer to restrict their grass intake, and they might get a bit of hay chucked in during the winter if its snowed and they can’t get at any grass. They all look very well on it.

    Compare to my livery customers who keep their horses inside if its so much as a wet day, stick rugs on them all the time, even when inside, feed them loads of green hay and other hard feeds, and maybe ride them once a week, if that. Its no wonder they’re fat.

  11. Spectator’s Melissa Kite frequently writes about stupid women owning horses and not treating them like horses, but pets.

    There was one where she lamented on them taking their dog horse for a walk. Result – fat.

  12. Exactly Gamecock.
    Works too doesn’t it.
    Initial scrutiny should be on the British Equine Veterinary Assocation’s motives and where that could lead, then move on to the minutia squabbling about the claim..

  13. Bernie G. said:
    “If we made people run about the streets during winter wearing only their underpants…”

    Isn’t Tim’s usual only restriction on libertarianism “don’t frighten the horses”?

  14. My friend and his wife had a couple of horses, and one stallion got an infection in the penile sheath (aka foreskin) due to taking in grass seeds (which are spiky) when his erect penis had dangled in the grass. The Vet prescribed a large bucket of the relevant ointment, and it fell to the wife to administer it. After a few days of having to chase the horse round the field, the irritation had passed, and the horse grew to like the administration of the ointment. So much so, in fact, that towards the end of the treatment, the horse would await her arrival, standing with forelegs on the gate, and with the offending article already exposed!

    Nothing to do with a horse being overweight, but I couldn’t resist the telling of the tale.

  15. After having a bad day at work, that story put a much needed smile on my face and made me laugh.
    Thanks Mr. Excavator Man

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