France introduces new law to licence horse owners

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Three new laws in France relate to a "knowledge certificate" requirement for horse owners, the compulsory identification of "nerved" horses, and non-payment of fees to professionals.
Three new laws in France relate to a “knowledge certificate” requirement for horse owners, the compulsory identification of “nerved” horses, and non-payment of fees to professionals. Image by David Mark

New laws in France that aim to combat animal abuse have been welcomed by the equine sector and will include a “knowledge certificate” for horse owners.

It is one of three new laws that aim to improve equine welfare.

Private horse owners not already licenced under a governing body will be required to undertake education to demonstrate their knowledge about equine management.

A decree will define the content and the methods of issuing the certificate, which will be required by all private horse owners within a year.

Such a licencing system was introduced in 2019 by the French Equestrian Federation (FFE), requiring its members to show they had the knowledge and ability to protect the welfare of their horses.

Since the establishment of this initiative, FFE President Serge Lecomte had argued for a legal framework to be established for non-professional holders.

The new law was published in the Official Journal of the French Republic on December 1, 2021.

• It will also be compulsory to register in identification documents that a horse has undergone a neurectomy. Neurectomy involves cutting a nerve or rendering it insensitive to treat horses with chronic, or severe, foot conditions.

In France, it is considered as a treatment, but it is prohibited in competition and racing.

• Non-payment of the lease or boarding fees where the facility owner is left to care for the horse, is to now be considered a form of abandonment. After a formal notice to the owner and a period of three months, the facility owner can apply to the judicial court, which has the power to authorise the auction of the horse.

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3 thoughts on “France introduces new law to licence horse owners

  • January 6, 2022 at 1:38 pm
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    My condolences to anyone living in France.

    Reply
  • January 11, 2022 at 11:34 am
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    As we see more ‘people with horses’ than ‘Horse men & women’ these days we shouldn’t be surprised to see new laws such as in in France which mean that anyone who wants to own a horse will have to have a certificate of knowledge, to “make it possible to fight against mistreatment and ensure the well-being of equines”. Prior to becoming law the knowledge certificates were introduced in 2019 by the French Equestrian Federation to ensure owners had the necessary knowledge of horses’ needs.

    Reply
  • January 18, 2022 at 4:00 pm
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    Would hope all countries implement this. The USA needs it badl

    Reply

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