Steven Spielberg’s movie “War Horse” – the story of a horse in the British cavalry in World War I – was released in the UK over the weekend, attracting thousands of cinema-goers in a country that prides itself on being a nation of animal lovers.
But a specially commissioned report by the Independent on Sunday newspaper shows the mistreatment of horses is on the increase. The country’s largest equine charity says it’s at breaking point, with thousands of horses abandoned, starved or worse.
The costs of caring for the animals is partly to blame, with hay and straw prices rising, and the value of the horses on the open market dropping. Horses aren’t the only animals to be suffering in the economic downturn, with all Britain’s major animal charities (of which there are many) reporting an escalation in dumped animals.
Perhaps the British don’t love their animals quite as much as they like to think.