Potential Dangers from Illegal Horse Transportation and Posting on Social Media
Professional horse transporters are continuing to warn of the dangers of hiring illegal, uninsured inexperienced horse transporters.
Jo Gardiner from www.horsetransportnetwork.co.uk has spoken to her network of professional DEFRA registered horse transporter who have many concerns with the growing problem within the industry. Posting on Social Media for quotes has become increasing popular. No matter how well organised the groups are , the Admin's cannot control the personal message requests to people and many are from those without any qualifications or insurance. So often people are too eager to take the cheapest option. Martin Dewar from MRD Horse Transport has seen too many sad cases with sometime fatal consequences, "All too often I have been called to pick up the pieces, it makes me so angry to see horses injured and stressed, after many years in the industry I am saddened by how this is being allowed to happen".
Unlicensed transporters do not have the overheads to maintain and often the quotes are much cheaper tempting horse owners away from the safer, reliable option. There are many professional transporters being driven out of business by the illegal trade. Some of these illegal transporters may even promise to have the necessary qualifications and insurance, it is easy to check and if proof of documentation is not forthcoming then it is best not to book them.
Not only the dangers of hiring an unlicensed transporter, there is a trend for posting openly on social media groups destination postcodes. This is a danger in itself, some of these groups have thousands of members and there are many "trolls" and "false identities" on the internet. How easy is it to find horse establishments from these post code revelations? Making these premises a target for theft of tack, vehicles and even horses. Not only theft of property this is also opening identity theft possibilities, especially when we are constantly reminded to guard carefully our personal details.
When looking for horse transport personal recommendation should come high on the list. Always ask for proof of DEFRA approvals and insurance. A reputable transporter will be proud to help with these. There are complicated rules for journeys over 8 hours where a DEFRA type 2 approval will be required. More information can be found on DEFRA website Animals in Transit section. However, a long standing professional transporter will be happy to help you with what you need to know.
Personal recommendation may not always be forthcoming for the journey you have to plan, and to save time Horse Transport Network offers an online service where one simple form will contact the transporters for you. Feedback and information of the transporters is available on the website and many have websites where you can view and build an idea of the business you may hire. Above all talk to your transporter, a conversation can say so much more than a text or an email before you book. Tell them what you require and be honest about your horse to give them the best chance to offer the most suitable transport.
Make sure your transporter has accurate directions to your yard and access is suitable for the size of vehicle, being flexible with dates for transport will help you gain the best possible price.
I am not saying social media is a bad thing, Horse Transport Network not only has a website but also a Facebook page and group. We are careful not to allow any requests for transport on these pages, all quotes go through the website, which is part of My Horse Network. The Facebook page is linked to the website and has the same leaping horse logo. It is easy for new groups to take the same or similar name and these are appearing on a regular basis. Please be careful and make sure you use a reputable transporter.
Your horse is precious, would you put your child in a car with someone you have taken at random from a message on Social Media? Why do that to your horse?