The Highveld Horse Care Unit is one of the largest equine welfare organisations in South Africa. The organisation was established in 1991 and has grown from strength to strength since then.
We get involved in any matter relating to equine welfare.
Re-homing horses and donkeys to suitable homes on a special adoption policy.
Investigating and resolving cruelty/neglect complaints.
Owner education and equine medical clinics in underprivileged areas.
Hospitalizing and treating horses and donkeys where owners cannot afford treatment.
Average statistics over a year:
- We assist about 8000 horses and donkeys.
- Stable on average 600 needy animals throughout the year.
- Carry out Outreach clinics in many provinces.
- We educate the owner of every horse or donkey we assist.
- We teach horse owners how to shoe their horses correctly and assist with harness repair and cart manufacturing.
- We hold workshops for hundreds of owners, teaching them how to better care for their working animals.
- Deworm over 3000 rural equines per year.
- We hold gelding, dental and farrier clinics in underprivileged areas.
- On average we care for 30 - 35 horses at our base on any given day.
- We travel 150000 to 200,000 kilometres to help horses and donkeys in need per year.
Our Outreach Programme
A major focus of our activities is the concern for working horses and donkeys in the townships and rural areas throughout South Africa. Animals are often poorly treated as a result of lack of education and poverty rather than deliberate neglect or abuse. The Unit sends trained inspectors into the townships and rural areas to educate owners and to provide them with support in the care of their animals, including help with harnessing, feeding, vaccinations, farrier, and basic wound management and de-worming.
The Unit also collects old and unwanted tack from the horse community and gives this to under-privileged owners to ensure humane use of riding and harnessing equipment on their animals.
South Africa has a large population of donkeys, many of which are used for work purposes delivering water, firewood and building materials to the various communities. The Unit has special programmes to care for these animals relying on the goodwill of the horse community and specific overseas charity organisations for funding of these projects.
The education of owners, drivers and children in townships and rural areas where we work is a vital part of our organisation’s operations. We regularly hold training workshops in all the provinces in which we work and teach skills that not only benefit the working horse and donkey, but also empower the owner.
We give talks to make our children aware of the welfare and basic care of the working animal. We assist Government Agricultural Departments with the training of their staff by giving lectures on equine welfare, teaching equine handling skills and encourage trainee vets and Animal Health Technicians to become involved in our Outreach Clinics in their Provinces.
Courses at our Unit: First Aid Course and Grooms Course
We conduct regular inspections of facilities where horses are housed for sporting, recreational purposes and in security. We rely on the general public to report cases of alleged abuse for investigation. In cases of blatant abuse, the inspectors will confiscate the horse and take legal action against the owner. Unfortunately, the legal process is often very slow, and the Unit has limited the resources for extended legal action.
We have numerous shops that have collection bins for used tack, which we then either sell in our tack shop or use to make better harnessing and bridles for the working horses and donkeys. Presently Midfeeds, Western Shoppe, Equestrian Affair and Riders have donations bins.
We provide a re-homing service for equines whose owners no longer can afford or want. We locate and investigate suitable homes for these horses and place them where they are best suited. All re-homed horses are monitored on a regular basis and they will be returned to the Unit if not kept at our required level of care. Where horses are not suitable for re-homing, we unfortunately have to make the difficult decision to have them humanely put to rest.
The organisation is a charity which is funded entirely by donations. It is as a registered Public Benefit Organisation and a not-for-profit organisation in terms of the Companies Act, 2008. It is exempt from the payment of income tax and has a Section 18A exemption which provides a tax deduction opportunity to donors.
Due to the high number of equines in need and passing through our stables, we urgently need additional funding to ensure our commitment to the well being and dignity of our equine friends.
- Building a hay store room
- Paddock upgrades – poles & tape needed
- Expansion of our Outreach target areas