November 26, 2010
Who’d be a horse? One minute you’re happily clopping along the road beneath some nice young lady in jodhpurs. Next thing you know – some maniac in a Golf has taken your legs out, and then some other b*stard turns up and blows your brains out. How can that be right?
Attentive readers of Bankstone News will recall from last week’s issue that 2,222 humans died on Britain’s roads last year. Well brace yourselves, O Nation of Animal Lovers, because the death toll from on-road equine accidents far exceeds this piffling total. Around 3,000 UK horses meet their maker this way each year.
Bankstone News first stumbled upon these shocking statistics in a campaigning article highlighting the plight of the 500 horses killed on Britain’s racecourses each year, which threw in 3,000 equine road deaths as an aside.
Exhaustive research by the BN fact-finding team uncovered data collected by the British Horse Society suggesting that there are an average eight road accidents daily involving horses. This equates to an annual figure of at least 2920 horses injured, allowing for multiple horse hits. Assuming the vast majority of these get the proverbial coup de grace, the two figures tie up nicely. But if Bankstone Readers know better, please be sure to let us know!
Some animal rights campaigners argue for a major extension of the UK’s bridlepath network as a way of reducing this carnage, others have proposed that cars should be banned or that horses should be enclosed in giant plastic bubbles like the ones that hamsters have.
How can it be that more horses than people die on Britain’s roads each year? Probably only because government cost-saving measures have yet to reach the point where ambulances turn up with handguns for human heads in place of drips and stretchers.
Meanwhile if 3,000 horses killed sounds bad, spare a thought for Britain’s badgers, a staggering 50,000 of whom get RTA’d each year – an estimated 1/5th of their total population.