Supports Get Tough Stance With Dartmoor Commoners
Recent press reports
on a possible RSPCA cull of Dartmoor ponies has yet again
highlighted the perennial problems caused by overbreeding of the ponies
The ILPH (International League for the Protection of Horses) have spoken
support of the Commoners Council who, following a meeting in Tavistock
15 October, announced a new get tough approach to stop the commoners from
overbreeding with their moor ponies.
Says Jeff Herrington, ILPH Field Officer for the South West, "These
poor ponies are in
a 'no win situation', the public don't want them, even the meat men don't
supply is outstripping demand and something had to be done.
"Last year there was little or no demand for ponies and those sold
were only fetching
50p. It's then left to the charities to pick up the pieces - unsold ponies
by the side of the road - others ended up in garages and gardens on urban
estates, rescued by well meaning people with little or no knowledge of
From 1 January 2002 all Dartmoor commoners will have to comply with the
Guidance, or face legal action.
John Hodge, Chairman of the Commoner's Council, comments "Up till
commoners have been flouting the Code by turning unaccredited stallions
out on the
moor and leaving foals out with the mares after the lst January. This
inbreeding and pulls the mares down which causes welfare problems.
"Any unaccredited stallions or foals found on the moor after 1st
January will be
impounded and the owners taken to court."
Jeff Herrington adds, "We wholeheartedly support this get tough action
to improve the
quality of these ponies. The emphasis of the ILPH has, and will always
be, that the
farmers must improve their breeding stock in order to produce a quality
pony that will
"Now that the Commoners Council is to enforce their powers this will
mean that in
three or four years time we will finally start to see ponies produced
that will have a