Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Happy Ponyversary!

Today it's Margaret and Gill's 10 year anniversary of their first ever visit to P4P...and they been amazing supporters ever since...thank you ladies!!  A good excuse for tea and cake to celebrate!  Happy Ponyversary!

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Monday, 23 January 2017

Ponies At Play

We love to see the ponies running around at play - Wolfie in particular is very playful and last week was captured on video playing with Arthur!

Thank you to Faie who came to help on Saturday and donated £20 from her violin playing to the ponies!  Thank you also to Thea who has been busy helping us!

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Thursday, 19 January 2017

Somerset Council Grants Planning Permission For Slaughter Yard For Dartmoor Ponies

Despite opposition from many parties, including welfare groups, last week Sedgemoor District Council in Somerset granted retrospective planning permission for a slaughter yard for wild ponies.  The slaughter yard was promoted as being needed for the survival of ponies on Dartmoor.  The building blocks a public footpath which is in contravention of planning rules.

This abattoir is not an essential service needed for ponies on Dartmoor and should not have been proposed or recommended as such.  Devon itself had already rejected previous planning attempts for a slaughterhouse for ponies.  

Research has continually shown that the vast majority of pony owners want stallions to be removed from Dartmoor to prevent the annual mass over-breeding and culling of hundreds of ponies.  Sedgemoor making this decision supports a minority who refuse to remove stallions from the moor, intent instead on pursuing an abattoir for ponies in a drive to promote them for human and animal consumption.  This effectively sabotages the whole pony population because responsible owners (who had removed or vasectomised stallions to prevent mares from getting pregnant) are forced to breed foals when they have tried their best to avoid breeding unwanted animals.    It is not necessary for over-breeding to happen in order for conservation grazing of Dartmoor to take place.

To read more about the situation on Dartmoor, including the removing stallions and the contraceptive scheme please go to the following link: http://www.people4ponies.co.uk/dartmoorponies.html

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Sunday, 15 January 2017

Daily Mail and BBC Spotlight Cover P4P Research into Heavy Metals on Bodmin Moor

BBC Spotlight filmed with us at the yard this afternoon about our research into heavy metals on Bodmin Moor.  The research P4P conducted last year revealed a particularly toxic water source at Minions - a level of arsenic of 1826 ug/l when the livestock limits are set around 25-200 ug/l.  It also revealed an extremely high toxicity of arsenic in a deceased pony and levels of bioaccumulation in others.  The full results of the research are available on our website http://www.people4ponies.co.uk/bodminresearch.html

The BBC reporter did a great job of explaining the situation in such a short piece.  They were able to cover our research into the toxicity and also appealed for owners (and not the public) to feed their ponies hay during the winter to prevent pony deaths this winter.  The piece is available on BBC Iplayer for a short period of time.  Thank you to Margaret, Roy, Jas and Ted and Jenny for their help this afternoon!

The national newspaper The Mail on Sunday published a shortened version of the Bodmin story that we've been working on with them for a couple of months.  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4121142/Moor-ponies-fatally-poisoned-waste-old-tin-mines-claims-charity-raises-arsenic-fears.html

As part of Nick Constable's research he contacted APHA who claimed that tests they conducted on ponies showed no evidence of heavy metal toxicity - but we questioned this as the tests APHA conducted wouldn't be able to reveal heavy metal toxicity.  When the journalist went back to APHA to question this, they conceded they had not tested ponies for heavy metal toxicity at all!

Also as part of his research, Nick contacted a Professor of Physiology and the full article stated:

"David Gardner, Professor of Physiology at the University of Nottingham Veterinary School, said: 'For sure, this would be a toxic level of arsenic in water.

‘It's very high, it would be absolutely awful for the pony.'If the animals were drinking this they wouldn't be anything to warn them. It wouldn't taste any different.

‘A high amount reduces the function of the kidney and liver. It can mess up the ability of the animal to process other minerals and affects the metabolism.’

A research study published in May 2016 conducted by a University of Manchester PhD student discovered toxic exposure to arsenic in Cornish private water supplies. 5% of the Cornish private supplies tested had concentrations of toxic arsenic exceeding 10 micrograms per litre - exceeding World Health Organisation guidelines.  The study concluded there was strong evidence that people were being exposed at concentrations potentially detrimental to their health. The researchers suggested that installing suitable water treatment or using alternative supplies for drinking water could reduce their exposure, and any consequent health risks.

Comparing the results, the levels of arsenic and iron returned in the pony drinking pools were much higher than those found in the Manchester University study. To compare…The Manchester University arsenic results that were above recommended levels ranged from 11-233 ug/l – our sample 1 result came back as 1826 ug/l.

The Manchester University readings for iron above recommended levels ranged from 200 to 4210 ug/l units. The comparable unit reading from our sample 1 result was 12,100 ug/l.

From our research last year we have been calling for 3 simple measures to prevent the annual problems on Bodmin Moor:
 Compulsory winter feeding of hay by owners
 Provision of minerals all year around
 Clean water supplies with toxic water sources fenced off.

The campaigning continues...

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Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Thank you...And Rain!

Our sincere thanks to all the lovely people from The Associated Free Spirits who have donated the proceeds from their 2016 meetings - tonight we were presented with a cheque for £200 - thank you so much everyone - we really appreciate it! 

We've had rain every day for the last 6 days now so we are very pleased to have the yard and hard standing for the ponies...and all that hard work our volunteers put into making hay last July means that they have plenty of food.  They don't even really want to be out in the field that long!  We could have snow later this week...!!

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Tuesday, 3 January 2017

We Do Love This Weather...Frosty Weather Ponies!!

Morning Room Service Please!

Super Fluffy Coats!

Arthur and Munchie

Munchie's Getting Better!


Thank you everyone for donating the ponies' herbs - they do look amazing - this weather always shows their coats at their fluffiest!  A special thank you to Thea for sending Munchie his very own New Year special box of herbs to help get him better...and to Roy and Archie for coming to help today!

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Sunday, 1 January 2017

January 2017 - Happy New Year!

Those of you with your 2017 People4ponies calendars will be greeted with this beautiful image taken by Claudia Mellor - this is Ebony, one of the adult mares rescued in the original P4P herd. She has an earnotch as you will see in the photo of her ears below.  Ebony is very elegant.  She was fiercely protective of her young. Munchkin was one of her foals - though he seems to have more the build of his Exmoor dad (probably Tunny).

Ebony now lives conservation grazing with another of our ponies - Apache - and they live with Larry the pet sheep.  The calendar photo was taken on a frosty day on the nature reserve.  Such lucky ponies!  Ebony is one of our sponsor ponies.

Ebony in the herd field

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