Leading experts will discuss the challenges facing Scotland’s equine population at a conference World Horse Welfare’s Belwade Farm centre in Aberdeenshire on 20 April.

The conference is being organised by the British Horse Society (BHS) Scotland with World Horse Welfare and the Scottish government.

Subjects under discussion include: biosecurity and avoiding disease, attitudes towards euthanasia, Britain’s horse crisis and equine handling and behaviour issues.

Speakers include Roly Owers, chief executive of World Horse Welfare, Dr Richard Newton from the Animal Health Trust and Dr Georgina Crossman, who will outline the advancing equine scientific study into equine end of life.

Leading vet, Professor Derek Knottenbelt chairs the conference.

“This welfare conference is an important platform to raise and address the key challenges facing Scotland’s equine population,” said Mr Owers, who will be giving delegates an insight into Britain’s current horse crisis.

The charity’s Scottish centre has taken in over 35 horses in the last four months which is over half of its yearly stocking level.

Centre manager Eileen Gillen said many were abandoned as a result of indiscriminate breeding.

“Not only does indiscriminate breeding result in huge numbers of horse being abandoned, but it can also have a devastating effect on the horses’ conformation,” she said.


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A World Horse Welfare representative will give delegates an update on issues of identity fraud in the trade of low value equines and Nick Ambrose of the Scottish Government will review the implications of the new equine ID regulations and central equine database.

Gemma Pearson of the Dick Vet Equine Hospital will be discussing equine handling and behaviour and Professor Natalie Waran, Jean Marchig Professor of Animal Welfare Education, will talk about the issues of horses as athletes and how they compete in sport.

Tickets cost £50 per person or £20 for members of a charity.

For more information visit: www.bhsscotland.org.uk