Equine welfare cases in Wales stand a chance of more prompt investigation, thanks to recent training of local authority staff.
The one-day course, funded by the Welsh Assembly Government’s Companion Animal Welfare Enhancement Scheme (CAWES), gave inspectors hands-on training in how to safely approach a horse, fit a headcollar, lead a horse and assess its health, welfare and environment to decide whether there are welfare concerns.
Courses were hosted on three separate days at the Society for the Welfare of Horses and Ponies in Monmouth and Bransby Home of Rest for Horses in Stoke Prior, Herefordshire.
Wrexham Trading Standards officer Steve Jennings attended the course at Bransby.
“It was very hands-on — we were able to put headcollars on and learn how the horses reacted to strangers,” he said.
“We have an equine specialist on our team, but, over the winter, half of the complaints we dealt with were about horses, so we all need the knowledge.”
Horse Trust chief executive Paul Jepson said Wales is “leading the way” in animal welfare by giving its local authority inspectors the resources to enforce the Animal Welfare Act.
He added: “Their proactive approach will improve the welfare of horses across Wales.”
This article was first published in Horse & Hound (17 June, 2010)