New transport regulations drive changes to online awareness and education training series

Source: Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada

The Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada (HWAC) has launched an updated version of our online training program for equine owners, caregivers, industry professionals, and general horse enthusiasts. First released in April 2020 with the goal of keeping horses safe and healthy, the free educational series is structured around the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Equines (the Code).

“The training provides a timely refresher about important management and welfare practices,” says HWAC project coordinator Mikki Shatosky. “We’ve designed it to be convenient but also to follow the distinct sections of the Code including appropriate care, housing, feed, water, health management, transportation, as well as change of career and end of life. It’s really a great resource for industry, but is also being used by animal welfare inspectors and livestock investigators.”

While the online, self-paced training has been available for a year, HWAC recently updated the transportation section to reflect recent regulation changes. 

“Safe and humane transport of animals was actually one of the main motivators for the establishment of HWAC more than a decade ago, so this is an area that is extremely close to our hearts,” explains Shatosky. “These new federal regulations provide clarity around the best practices for loading, transport, and unloading of equines in Canada.”

Since its inception, HWAC has worked diligently to raise awareness and provide industry-endorsed information, guidance, and practical tools. In fact, in addition to the virtual training program, the group has developed a number of tailored assessment checklists to help equine owners, custodians, industry specialists, and professionals evaluate, improve, and manage the welfare of equine on their property and/or in their care.

The assessment checklists can be found here, and are customized for equine at public venues, boarding stables, on-farm, feedlots, racetracks, and rescue facilities. Not only do the assessment checklists prompt owners to ask key questions, they also facilitate continuous improvement within the industry itself.

For more information about HWAC initiatives or to register for Code of Practice Training on the HWAC website, or e-mail design@declercq.ca

About the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada

Established in 2008, the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada has a proven track record of working within the equine sector to educate and promote humane care, handling, and welfare of equines throughout their lifetime. The Alliance includes provincial equine organizations, farm animal care groups, producers, and other segments of the animal agriculture industry.

The Equine Code of Practice Awareness and Education initiative is managed through the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada and funded partly through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriAssurance Program — a federal, provincial, territorial initiative.

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