Welfare guide helps cruelty cases

  • A new equine care guide, produced by the horse industry and funded by the Home of Rest for Horses, is proving invaluable in helping achieve the prosecution of individuals in cruelty cases.

    The Equine Industry Welfare Guidelines Compendium was born of a long-recognised need — particularly among lawyers — for guidelines for the welfare of horses, irrespective of where they are kept and how they are used.

    Launched last year, it was produced in consultation with the British Horse Society, British Equestrian Federation, Jockey Club and International League for the Protection of Horses, among others. It is based on scientific knowledge and best practice, and is a guide to standards of husbandry and management.

    Previously, a prosecuting counsel would wade through various textbooks and reference books such as the Blacks Veterinary Dictionary before presenting an argument.

    Cases of cruelty to animals are usually heard in a magistrate’s court, presided over by ordinary members of the public with no knowledge of the 1911 Animal Act, and often no yardstick of what cruelty is.

    David Nichols, senior partner at the prosecuting firm of Harris, Cuffaro and Nichols, which has dealt with a number of cruelty cases, says: “With this easy reference, matters are clearly laid out and understood.”

    The Home of Rest for Horses would like every livery and competition yard, riding school and horse owner in the country to receive a free copy of the compendium.

    For your free copy, contact the Home of Rest for Horses (tel: 01494 488464) or e-mail: info@homeofrestforhorses.co.uk

  • This article was originally published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (26 February 04)

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