Climate change is making horses fat as it’s causing an abundance of grass to grow, top vet warns
29 November 2019 • 4:39pm
Gillies Moffat, director of a veterinary centre in Hythe, Hampshire, said the wetter and warmer climate has meant the animal’s staple food has grown more rapidly than in the past.
Horses should be moved into bare paddocks, vets have said, because an abundance of grass caused by climate change is making them fat.
The vet warned a “significant” percentage of horses he treats are overweight because of a range of modern “socioeconomic pressures” including climate change.
It comes after the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) found in a study of 792 horses last year that 31 per cent were overweight, with vets citing a lack of facilities such as stables and bare paddocks (48 per cent) as reasons.
Their report’s top recommendation to reducing their animal’s weight was keeping horses in bare paddocks and giving them a weighted food diet.
Mr Moffat believes as a result of the pressures horse owners are struggling to control their animals’ weight, leading to a number of painful physical conditions.
He said: “A significant percentage of the horses we see are overweight. It is partly a reflection on socioeconomic pressures.
“Owners are working longer hours so find regularly exercising their horses hard to do.
“Also, the term ‘good show condition’ has historically and subconsciously implied a more ’rounded’ horse rather than a fit well muscled horse.
“Warmer and wetter climates also mean greater grass availability.