The situation in Ukraine continues to be severe, with fighting intensifying in the south and east and the need for humanitarian and equine aid grows more desperate. Working in collaboration both in the United Kingdom and with parties in Europe and Ukraine, British Equestrians for Ukraine (BEU) has so far helped see nine lorries of goods delivered on the ground and assisted funding for holding facilities and personnel to help with logistics and coordination. Our collective efforts so far have achieved:
- Donations to the British Equestrians for Ukraine Fund, hosted by World Horse Welfare, now stand at £164,000.
- The food, forage and bedding in our nine-truck convoy sent to Poland at the end of March has now been distributed throughout Ukraine via an established supply chain, to key locations where it’s most needed.
- 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.
- British Veterinary Professionals for Ukraine (BVP4U) is now linked into the British Equestrians for Ukraine Fund for monetary assistance to support the need for veterinary medicine supplies, alongside their own fundraising which has raised £44,000 for humanitarian aid. The British Equestrian Veterinary Association Trust (BEVA) has donated plus a very welcome trans-Atlantic alliance with the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) who, in the spirit of organisations working for the common good, have also made a contribution.
BVP4U team member David Rendle, President Elect of the British Equine Veterinary Association, will travel to the Polish/Ukrainian border this week to assess the situation and veterinary standards. He’s currently coordinating a lorry of much-needed veterinary supplies to leave the UK this week. He’ll work with Claire Williams at the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) to ensure that lorry is full of any additional donated equine, pet and humanitarian supplies. The lorry will travel to Poland and on to Ukraine, where its cargo will be distributed.
- BETA is working on a supply source and transport provider for haylage and bedding in Europe so BEU can fund more economical ways to get supplies to Ukraine efficiently. The UEF and our source in Ukraine have said that the emphasis is on low-protein, small-bale forage and shavings because they currently have good stocks of hard feed.
Roly Owers of World Horse Welfare said; “The situation in Ukraine remains utterly dire but thanks to people’s generosity we are starting to have some impact in getting aid to where it is needed, both through donations of supplies and funding. The initial response to the appeal has been amazing and to have legends like Lucinda Green and Carl Hester supporting our collective effort is incredible.
“However, the stark reality is that the desperate need to support Ukrainian horses and the wider sector will remain for months to come, whatever happens on the ground. So we would implore everyone to continue to donate and to fundraise in support of this much needed initiative.”
British Equestrians for Ukraine was set up by British Equestrian (BEF), The British Horse Society (BHS), the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) and World Horse Welfare with the support of member bodies across the industry to help all horses in need in Ukraine and Poland. To donate to the British Equestrians for Ukraine, visit the dedicated page on World Horse Welfare’s website. Remember, if you’re a UK taxpayer, you can claim Gift Aid on your donation which makes the money go further at no extra cost.