Source: Equestrian Canada
Ottawa, ON, June 15, 2020 – Equestrian Canada (EC) is launching the #SaveCanadasHorses campaign to increase pressure on government for immediate coronavirus (COVID-19) relief programs for those equine businesses that need it most.
As the financial impacts of COVID-19 are felt across the country, Canada’s equine industry and equestrian community is coming together to rally for the businesses and horses that keep our sport alive.
What is the need?
Estimates based on EC’s national survey indicate there are 46,501 horses and 8,455 equine facilities in Canada that ran out of financial reserves and supplies as early as April 6, 2020.
Equine and equestrian businesses have already suffered permanent damage from loss of income. Without urgent government support, many equine owners are now or will soon be facing the horrendous decision to offload perfectly healthy, capable animals into a marketplace in which supply far exceeds demand.
While many provinces are beginning to lift restrictions related to COVID-19, most lesson programs, summer camps, and events are still not operational at pre-pandemic levels due to social distancing, gathering size restrictions, and other disease transmission prevention methods.
Equine and equestrian businesses need relief funds now to provide basic care and maintenance for the horses in their care. Specifically, we are calling on Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to provide $12.9 million in funds to cover 75 percent of maintenance costs for Canada’s active equines for one month.
How can I get involved?
EC will host a webinar reviewing the Response to COVID-19 for Canada’s Active Equine Summary Report on June 18, 2020, at 11:00 am EDT.
In this webinar, Bronwynne Wilton of Wilton Consulting Group will walk through the report in detail, outlining the impacts of COVID-19 on equine and equestrian businesses and EC’s specific asks for government support. Afterwards, Peter Seemann of Grassroots Public Affairs will connect the report findings to EC’s advocacy plan and what you can do to help.
Once you’re ready to participate, we invite you to follow these steps:
Step 1: Share how your equine or equestrian business has been impacted by COVID-19 on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram. Use the hashtag #SaveCanadasHorses and tag your government representatives.
Step 2: Write your government representatives and tell them that you support EC’s urgent appeal. Visit this link for more information.
Step 3: Share this email and the #SaveCanadasHorses campaign with friends and family.
Since March 18, 2020, EC has been tirelessly advocating on behalf of equine and equestrian businesses to various government bodies and representatives. A full report on our interactions with government to-date can be found here.
While we have received acknowledgement and pledges of support from various offices and individuals, it has not been enough. Real action is needed NOW and we need the help of every single member of the Canadian equestrian community to help reinforce that message with our government.
For questions, contact: Kristy House, Manager of Welfare and Industry, Equestrian Canada. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.