I was shocked to hear that Exmoor ponies as young as five months old are being branded with red hot irons, not just once but a number of times . As well being branded with a four point star, as many as seven numbers are seared on to the horses shoulders. One brand is bad enough but up to seven is nothing but torture.
Miriam Geraghty, a vet and breeder of Exmoor ponies, has stared a petition calling on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Exmoor Pony Society to ban this barbaric practice. Branding has been banned on horses and ponies in Scotland and Northern Ireland but it continues in England and Wales.
The RSPCA have condemned the 19th century practice as "unnecessary and cruel" but despite this the Exmoor Pony Society claim that the practice is still needed as a visual identification for wild ponies living on the moor.
Please add your signature to Miriam's petition calling for the outdated and cruel branding of Exmoor ponies to be banned. Please be aware that this link leads to website containing an image of a freshly branded pony which may cause distress to sensitive readers.