Don’t Starve Ponies to Death at Popular National Park

Target: Lea Wermelin, Director of Denmark’s Ministry of the Environment

Goal: Increase grazing opportunities for potentially malnourished Exmoor ponies.

An initiative marketed as a rewilding and biodiversity conservation project may actually be putting vulnerable animals in harm’s way. Exmoor ponies at Denmark’s Mols Bjerge National Park are reportedly severely underfed and at risk of starvation. Images have emerged of the ponies with apparent emaciation so severe that bones protrude from their bodies.

Since human hunters killed off nearly all the wild horses in Europe, breeds like Exmoor ponies have become popular picks for rewilding projects. The ponies also help graze and maintain land. Unfortunately, problems arise during the winter because the ponies’ grazing grounds are much more limited, diminishing their health. Making matters worse, the ponies must stay inside fenced-in enclosures, so they cannot roam to access food and ensure their well-being and survival.

The park authorities in charge of this project, Molslaboratoriet, refuse to make needed changes. They will not take down the fencing and free the animals to roam freely within the park. Despite the fact that the ponies must stay inside these very man-made enclosures, the organization reportedly will not even provide supplemental food on the argument that they are trying to maintain “wild” conditions. Instead, Molslaboratoriet leaders divert the blame to supposedly overreacting animal activists.

Sign the petition below to demand this park take better care of the animals under its care.


Dear Director Wermelin,

Molslaboratoriet of the Mols Bjerge National Park claims the Exmoor ponies within this park are well-nourished and healthy. Stirring images of these animals with apparent bones apparently sticking from their skin tell a different story. Molslaboratoriet also lays the blame for criticism on animal activists sowing misinformation. Is the insinuation that the Exmoor Pony Society, whose sole mission is the protection of these animals, makes up tales…tales backed by photographic evidence?

Rewilding is supposed to be about promoting the welfare and the spread of wildlife and plants endangered by human intervention. Such a conservation effort should never become a source of controversy about animal welfare itself. The excuses that additional food cannot be provided because of a need to maintain wild conditions hold no water when these animals are imprisoned by very unnatural fences. Further, other similar initiatives have succeeded without the need for these artificial barriers.

As the overseer of Denmark’s national parks, please encourage removal of the restrictive fencing and help make this park a true natural wonder. In the interim, ensure these ponies clearly under the care of the park are provided the proper sustenance. Give the resilient Exmoor ponies a fighting chance.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Nestor Montagu


  1. No animal or child or elder should be starving

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