A good life for horses: Conference to explore welfare and social licence

Back-to-back conferences from the International Society for Equitation Science and Companion Animals New Zealand will look the latest research aiming to improve quality of life for animals.
© Horsetalk.co.nz

The upcoming conference of the International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) in New Zealand in March 2024 will explore the topic of “A Good Life for Horses”.

Running from March 14 to March 16 in Cambridge in the Waikato region, the three-day conference will feature keynote speakers and scientific presentations.

“In order to continue to justify equine involvement in sport and leisure and maintain a social license to operate, there is an urgent need to understand and address the changing views, equine welfare concerns, and to ensure horses involved in sport and leisure can live a good life,” organisers say.

Surveys of public and equestrian stakeholders such as those carried out by equine sport industry groups including the Equine Ethics and Wellbeing Commission (EEWC) recently established by the FEI to address Social License to Operate, animal welfare agencies, and researchers, have highlighted the growing unease of the public and equestrians alike, with questions regarding the ethics of horse use and concerns about equine welfare. EEWC Chairperson Professor Natalie Waran is also an honorary founding trustee of ISES.

The conference is an opportunity for researchers, veterinarians and practitioners involved in a variety of disciplines to explore the concept of a Good Life for Horses. Specific questions will be addressed:

  • Why a Good Life is necessary for horses, and whether it is possible?
  • What a Good life is for a horse involved in sport and leisure? – What do we know, what more do we need to know?
  • How a Good Life can be provided for horses in sport and leisure?

» Register for the ISES conference A Good Life for Horses, from March 14 to 16, 2023.

Companion Animals in a Changing World

In the days before the ISES conference, Companion Animals NZ is holding its 29th annual conference “Companion Animals in a Changing World” in nearby Hamilton.

Run over three sessions on March 12, Changing Expectations, Changing Climate, and Changing Lifestyles, the event is hosting world leaders in animal behaviour and welfare.

Speakers include Professor Kathalijne Visser, Professor of Human-Animal Interactions, Aeres University of Applied Science in The Netherlands; Dr Orla Doherty from the University College Dublin and The Animal Behaviour Clinic in Ireland; Dr Susan Hazel from the University of Adelaide in Australia; Dr Helen Beattie from Veterinarians for Animal Welfare New Zealand; and Professor Madeleine Campbell, Professor of Veterinary Ethics, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, at Nottingham University in the UK.

The conference is also offering a half-day workshop the next day. Abstract submissions are being taken up to November 30.

Discounted tickets are available for those wishing to attend both conferences.

» Register for Companion Animals in a Changing World, on March 12, 2023.

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One thought on “A good life for horses: Conference to explore welfare and social licence

  • November 22, 2023 at 1:23 pm

    Sounds excellent. Hope they can live as naturally and have as much space and habitat of the appropriate sort as possible!


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