A new guide book for horse organisations and event welfare officers has been launched by the Australian Horse Industry Council (AHIC).
The ‘Australian Horse Welfare & Well-Being Toolkit’ covers all aspects of equine welfare relating to horse events.
In the toolkit’s introduction, the AIHC notes that society is changing its attitudes towards the care and well-being of animals.
“Horse event organisers must be aware of the increased expectations around how horses are to be cared for and treated as valued members of our wider community.
“Welfare includes seeing to the care and well-being of the horse in relation to all of its physical, mental, social and physiological needs both on and off the sport or recreation ‘playing field’.”
The 44-page booklet includes guidance on competitions in hot weather, tips for managing a media crisis and preparing a communication plan, preparing a horse incident management plan, working with riders, and being a successful negotiator.
It also notes that horse organisations are familiar with welfare requirements as found in their rulebooks, but “equally important for a balanced approach are the range of educational, role model and mentoring approaches employed by the club and organisational leaders for their members”.
There are also sample templates for the reporting of incidents, and a checklist for organisers.
Australian Horse welfare & well-being toolkit (PDF, 1.3MB)