COVID 19 EMERGENCY - Promoting Horses' Welfare during the Emergency: Food and Support for Three Stables in Need in Padua, Rome and Urbino (Italy)

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Project location: Italy, Padua, Rome and Urbino
Project start date: April 2020 - Project end date: June 2020
Project number: 2020-017
Beneficiary: Horse Angels Odv

Horse-Angels ODV is an animal rights non-profit organization founded in 2009 and committed to horse welfare. Volunteers throughout Italy work to protect horses and their environments. Horse-Angels seeks to raise awareness and advocacy on equine cruelty, neglect and abuse. To this end, the organization sponsors an annual narrative writing competition called “Voices for Horses.” The winning piece is published every year by Horse-Angels publisher. 
Through legislative advocacy and strategic litigation, Horse-Angels is dedicated to stopping the neglect of horses and improving their welfare and living conditions, encouraging legal change and enact horse rights legislation. To this end, Horse-Angels collaborates  with a team of experienced and specialized animal and environmental rights lawyers.  

The current coronavirus pandemic is having devastating consequences on the whole Italian society and economy.  The equine sector has not been immune. Horse-drawn carriages are no longer needed for tourists. Horses used in sporting events and for recreational horse-riding are sidelined. Hippotherapy is also affected. All of these changes negatively impact on the economy of housing, feeding and managing the care of horses, as well as on the horse rights adocacy work. In addition, individual  and institutional donations to Horse-Angels and other animal rights non-profits have drastically decreased. This hinders Horse-Angels' ability to support small stables.  

In response to the Covid 19 emergency, the Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation has awarded an emergency relief grant to Horse-Angels ODV in order to mitigate the negative impact of the current crisis on its activities in defense of horses. The NaEPF grant shall allow Horse-Angels to support three horses stables, including but not limited to providing technical support and hay, straw and cereals for the horses. 

PEGASO PONY CLUB in Padua, Veneto 
This non-profit stable runs a riding school for young children and people with disabilities. They also provide a safe refuge for ponies. Horse-Angels plans to provide them with the technical and scientific support they need to become self-sufficient in a few months. Temporary financial support would also be provided for their activities during the coronavirus crisis.

The Botticelle stable houses 44 working horses used for urban transport for tourists. The stable is currently devoid of any tourism business activity and needs financial support to feed the horses in the short term. Horse-Angels would also provide suggestions and options for a new business model and/or assistance finding adoptive homes for some of the horses. 

EDEN MONTE POLO FARM in Urbino, Marche.
This farm offers horse-back riding and also shelter for unwanted and abandoned horses. It is in economic crisis, with its horses at severe risk. Horse-Angels plans to support it to create a recovery plan for its riding/refuge school. 

In addition to supporting the above mentioned horse enterprises, Horse-Angels will continue working to raise the public awareness on the working horse as a fundamental resource. The horses are a vital part of agriculture, tourism, transport and recreation in both urban and rural economies. 

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