A CAMPAIGN has been launched by the RSPCA to find homes for horses as the number rescued in Gwent increases.

A national equine crisis over the last five years, caused by falling horse prices and rising feed and care costs, has led to thousands of horses being neglected or abandoned putting a strain on charities.

Figures released by the RSPCA from the last five years show significant increases in the number of rescues and the number of calls to the charity from people complaining about equine welfare in Gwent.

In 2009, the RSPCA was rescuing one horse every eight days in Wales. This has now increased to every other day.

Five horses in Blaenau Gwent were rescued by the RSPCA in 2013 compared to one in 2009, and nine horses in both Caerphilly and Monmouthshire were rescued last year compared to none five years earlier.

Newport saw 11 neglected animals rescued by the RSPCA last year, compared to four in 2009.

Jenny MacGregor, chairman of the Society for the Welfare of Horses and Ponies (SWHP) based in St Maughan’s, Monmouth, said the horse crisis was a national issue, but that South Wales had the biggest problem.

She said: “Nothing’s going to change until the law is enforced to ensure every animal has a passport and is micro-chipped.

“That’s the reason we’re having this crisis.”

The SWHP is currently looking after 75 horses at its horse hospital – 35 more than usual.

The Homes for Horses campaign is being launched to help meet the demand to home hundreds of RSPCA rescue horse and ponies.

The SWHP horse hospital in St Maughan’s will also be holding an open day on Sunday, July 6, to showcase the horses it has on site.

To find out more about rehoming visit rspca.org.uk/homes for horses or for more about the SWHP visit swhp.co.uk