Statement of Welfare
Animal welfare for breeding sport horses is a critical issue that involves ensuring the physical and mental well-being of horses used for sport or competition. As athletes, sport horses require proper care, nutrition, exercise, and rest to perform at their best and stay healthy. Here are some ways to ensure animal welfare for Breeding sport horses:
1. Provide appropriate housing: Breeding horses require clean, safe, and comfortable housing that protects them from the elements and provides enough space to move around.
2. Proper nutrition: Breeding horses require a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs. Their diet should include sufficient amounts of hay, grains, and fresh water. Additionally, supplements can be added to their diet to ensure they are receiving all the necessary nutrients.
3. Regular exercise: Breeding horses need regular exercise to keep their muscles toned, prevent injury, and maintain their mental well-being. They need access to well-maintained pastureland with appropriate and safe fencing.
4. Appropriate company: Horses are herd animals and in the wild would live in relatively stable social groups. They should be able to socialise with members of their own species. Isolating a horse from other horses can have a negative psychological impact. Where this is not possible, other animals may be used to provide company; however, the company of other horses is by far the better option.
5. Veterinary care: Regular veterinary care is essential for maintaining the health and welfare of breeding horses. Horses should be vaccinated, dewormed, and receive routine dental care. Additionally, any injuries or illnesses should be promptly treated.
6. Proper training: Training and education should be conducted using humane methods that avoid causing harm or undue stress to the horse. Proper treatment of horses, by appropriately trained and experienced personnel, will not only protect the wellbeing of the horses but will also safeguard individuals that come into contact with these animals. With correct handling and care, horses experience less stress and fear, thus reducing the risk of injury to all parties.
7. Competition management: Competitions (mare shows, foal shows young horses’ classes) should be managed in a way that minimizes stress and ensures the safety and well-being of the horse. Horses should be properly rested and hydrated before and after competitions, and they should be given adequate time to recover from the physical demands of the competition.
Overall, animal welfare should always be the top priority when caring for Breeding sport horses. By providing appropriate housing, nutrition, exercise, company, veterinary care, and training, we can ensure that breeding sport horses are healthy, happy, and able to perform at their best.
Issues: based on public perceptions – real or perceived – about the safeguarding of animal welfare. The population now expects more compassionate and ethics-based approach to the welfare of animals used in recreation than previously, not only in equestrianism i.e., dog fighting, animals in zoo, animals used in circuses and aquaria. The understanding of good equine welfare browns and some traditional methods of training and welfare need to change as the visibility of all aspects of horse care, management, training, and competing is greatly increased by use of mobile phones and cameras and content disseminated instantly and widely and public reaction can be strong and widespread. Also changing public attitudes, technological advances and scientific progresses are all needed to be paid attention to, to maintain its social licence.
Emerging threats as public doesn’t trust us to look after the key stakeholder, the horse. Headlines, social media, global.
Survey of British public –
• 1 in 5: didn’t support the continuation involvement horses in sport under any circumstances.
• 2 in 5: said only support if horses’ welfare improved.
• 3 in 5: should be more safety and welfare in horse sports.
• 1 in 6: confidence in horse welfare in sport has been impacted negatively in the last 2/3 years due to media coverage.
Over half said horse welfare should be prioritised more in communications.
Responses by people with little or no contact with horses therefore taken as uniformed options of horses in sport although regular experience with horse people felt the same. Low statistical number of surveys (World Horse Welfare).
What to do?
Establishing public trust with positive change which is made and reported.