Litcham Common News
Litcham’s ponies join track and trace scheme
What do our Dartmoor ponies have in common with James Bond? The answer is that they have all now been microchipped “So you can keep an eye on me?” (To quote 007 in Casino Royale). This was done after we discovered that by law all UK ponies and horses should have been microchipped by 1 October 2020. Our two younger ponies, Nigel and Joshua, already had chips when we bought them, but Freedom, Simon and George, who have been with us since 2008, did not.
Fortunately the “boys” did not remain outlaws for too long as the vet was able to join us when we had our latest round-up for the farrier’s visit. At the end of a productive morning’s work they all had trimmed hooves, a dose of wormer, reflective collars and a chip in the neck. Each microchip contains a unique number that identifies the animal and its owner. Unlike James Bond’s microchip, which was later removed by Le Chiffre (the “baddy”) ours should remain permanent, non-removable markers to make tracing and identification easier if a pony is ever lost or stolen.
If only we could find a way to stop them losing their reflective collars!
As well as being rounded up at least three times a year, the ponies are checked on a daily basis by our volunteers to ensure that there are no welfare problems and we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who is involved in caring for the animals.
Finally, although we are now in winter please be assured that Dartmoors are very hardy animals; they can live outdoors in all weather and are able to forage for everything they need to eat. In fact, they need to lose some weight so;
PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE PONIES
Even giving them carrots or apples could lead to the development of conditions such as laminitis, which is a painful and potentially crippling disease that can be fatal.