There is an increase public demand for assurance that horses are being cared for and that standards are being followed. The goal for the welfare of horses in Canada begins with an assessment (benchmarking) of the equine industry use of the Code of Practice for equine.
Through this project the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada, working with equine sector participants, will develop a survey of awareness, implementation and compliance to Canada’s standard of animal care, the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Equines.
This project is a precursor to the development of an animal care assessment program for equine that will follow the Animal Care Assessment Framework (ACAF) developed through the National Farm Animal Care Council. In order to build an assessment project we need to learn more respecting the real circulation, acceptance and use of the Code by equine sector participants.
- Program development: develop a survey based on 122 requirements within the equine Code.
- Outreach: collaborate with provincial and national equine associations, breed, discipline and other equine organizations to identify, distribute and solicit survey feedback.
- Analyze and summarize findings: develop the baseline for criteria respecting the animal care assessment program.
- Quantify awareness, implementation and compliance to the equine Code.
- Identify risk areas pertaining to the welfare of horses and the common deviations from compliance to the Code.
- Build the foundation to prepare for the development of an animal care assessment program for equine that will follow Canada’s ACAF and promote use and adherence of the Code.
- Provide a platform for industry working together with the goal of the welfare of horses in Canada.
The survey is estimated to reach an average of 31% of Canadian equine business participants in categories including but not limited to: boarding/guest ranch/riding/training facilities; feedlots; racetracks, rodeo contractors; auction markets, and; PMU operations. It is estimated that this survey will involve 13% of the Canadian equine industry horses.
We need your support
HWAC continues to look for supporting partners for this important industry initiative for improving the health and welfare of the Canadian equine herd.
The success and future of Canada’s equine industry depends on the public and industry participants’ confidence that responsible animal health and welfare practices are in place and being followed. Therefore there is a real need currently to determine and assess the understanding and use of the current equine Code of Practice. It is vitally important to the sustainability and profitability of the Canadian equine industry that owners and custodians are knowledgeable and adherent to the highest standards of animal care.
Assessing awareness, implementation and compliance of the equine Code of Practice is the proposed approach to promote the Code at the owner, custodian and participant level of the industry and to determine other needs or requirements of a sustainable equine industry.
Health and welfare is the cornerstone of a successful equine industry. The identification and demonstration of best practices as scripted in the equine Code of Practice will provide confidence to the public and industry participants as well as providing a track to the sustainability of the Canadian equine sector. As equine industry participants increase their focus of animal welfare and responsibility as owners and custodians the industry will be recognized locally, provincially, nationally and globally with confidence.
Other livestock species groups have provided example and precedent by assessing animal welfare against their respective Code. This project responds to the public need for assurance that equine owners and custodians maintain the highest standards of care possible. This is vital to the sustainability and profitability of the Canadian equine industry.
Please contact any of us to discuss support for this project: