New guidelines on horse welfare

  • An equine code of practice is being published which will provide guidelines on horse management and welfare

    Horse management and welfare guidelines, based on scientific knowledge and best practice within the equine industry, are being launched at the National Equine Forum on 21 March.

    The 44-page booklet called The Equine Industry Welfare Guidelines has been funded by the Home of Rest for Horses and produced by ADAS, an independent consultancy on land-based industry.

    Seventeen equine-related organisations were represented on the steering group for the publication.

    The code has the support of the government and was partially produced by the animal health division of DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs).

    In the foreword, the Minister for Rural Affairs, Alun Michael, writes: “The horse world is very diverse. Historically there has been a potential clash of the commercial interests of the industry with welfare considerations.

    “This new compendium is a triumph of co-operation and understanding between these diverse interests.”

    Chief executive of the Home of Rest for Horses, Brigadier Paul Jepson, said: “The new code is likely to become the yardstick for judging infringements of proposed new welfare legislation.”

    The compendium gives guidelines on every aspect of horse care including:

    • feed and water
    • health
    • management
    • housing
    • transportation
    • livery yards
    • riding schools

    The booklet is being distributed to a number of organisations, including local authorities, police and the Association of British Riding Schools.

    Copies can obtained from the Home of Rest for Horse, Westcroft Stables, Slad Lane, Lacey Green, Buck, HP27OPP or ADAS, Woodthorne, Wergs Rd, Wolverhampton WV6 8TQ.

    The compendium can also be accessed via the ADAS website www.adas.co.uk/equinewelfare from the launch date (21 March).

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