UKRAINE EMERGENCY - World Horse Welfare

Project location: Ukraine
Project start date: March 2022 - Project end date: This project covers various years
Project number: 2022-004
Beneficiary: World Horse Welfare

In response to the Ukraine crisis, World Horse Welfare (WHW) established the British Equestrians for Ukraine. This is a combined force of several bodies including the British Equestrian Federation, British Equestrian Trade Association, World Horse Welfare and other partners to support the equestrian sector in Ukraine.

The Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation has awarded a grant to World Horse Welfare to carry out the following tasks:

• Coordination of supplies (feed, forage and bedding) donated from the UK and other European countries and their transport out to designated drop off points in Poland through the Ukrainian Equestrian Federation. Supplies have started to be transferred into Ukraine – initially to a warehouse (through the national Olympic Committee) in Lviv. It is difficult to ascertain with any certainty how effectively supplies are being distributed within the country – and this will clearly remain a huge challenge until there is some form of ceasefire – but there has been distribution of some supplies to Odessa and Kviv.

• In addition to the Ukrainian Equestrian Federation WHW is working to build trusted partners in the region/country – internally this includes the Ukraine Horse Union (which has a database of riding stables in the country – and so hopefully a better with the much larger leisure horse population outside the sport horse population) and externally with the regional Federations (in Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia).

• There is also a focus on supporting equines and their owners that are fleeing the conflict across borders. Unlike the situation with cats and dogs there has been no EU lifting of the health requirements for importing equines into the EU from Ukraine – although some countries like Romania and Slovakia have made temporary changes to remove the testing requirements before export so long as animals fulfil a 30-day quarantine requirement on arrival. The reality is that there is a significant cost in exporting equines from Ukraine (~€1,000 per animal) so this won’t be relevant to many horse owners (estimated to be 200k+ horses and 10k+ donkey – with 1,200 FEI registered horses – in Ukraine). There are potential costs for temporary stabling if this movement of animals stepped up significantly – so that situation is being kept under careful review
The Ukrainian Equestrian Federation (UEF) is prioritising relocating equines to holding camps in safe areas over trying to get them across the border into Poland and beyond. The wait times for paperwork to be checked, even for microchipped horses, is generally 20 to 40 hours on the border. The camps provide housing and support for any horse and any people who travel with them and BEU has been providing logistics and financial help to set up and run the camps.

• WHW is working in conjunction with the FEI who have pledged support through their Solidarity Programme.

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