This year’s annual World Horse Welfare conference will consider the horse-human partnership and ask “What’s in it for the horse?”.
An array of speakers including Princess Anne are taking part in the annual conference, which is being run virtually this year.
Horses and humans have a long and multi-faceted history together, stretching back in history, with horses being seen as food, a means of transportation, working animals, comrades-in-arms during war, sporting partners, companions, and, increasingly, a type of therapy or simply animals that we choose to spend our leisure time with. The line-up of speakers will explore this complex and evolving relationship and consider how much horses actually, or could, benefit from their partnership with people.
- Dr Madeleine Campbell, Senior Lecturer in Human-Animal Interactions and Ethics at the Royal Veterinary College, on the ethics of involving horses in sport and leisure
- Peter Thornber, Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland, Australia, on how governments can and should do more for the benefit of working horses, donkeys and mules
- Meta Osborne, Thoroughbred breeder and vet, on the balance of the horse-human partnership in racing
- Debbie Matthews, Founder of Go Racing Green and rehomer of World Horse Welfare Rosie, on the transformational nature of the horse-human partnership
- Charlie Bain, Chief Operating Officer of Digitalis, a technology company that specialises in online reputation management, crisis communications and digital privacy and risk will speak about the other pandemic: fake news.
A discussion panel will take questions from the audience via Slido, is being chaired by Mike Cattermole, awell-known horse-racing journalist and broadcaster. Also on the panel is Scotland’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Sheila Voas; Andrew McLean, a prolific author on the science and ethics of horse training; Zimbabwe’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Josphat Nyika; Caroline Nokes MP for Romsey and Southampton North who is a World Horse Welfare Trustee and former Chief Executive of the National Pony Society; and Paris-based equine and science journalist, Christa Lesté-Lasserre.
The charity’s President The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, will provide her views on the theme at 1pm, and after a short break there will be three presentations demonstrating how World Horse Welfare works to improve the benefits of partnership to horses. This includes how the charity lays the foundations of a positive partnership with an abused or feral horse; how they work with governments and policymakers to influence real change to improve equine welfare during transport and how their international teams provide immediate support to the horses and their owners affected by emergencies and natural disasters.