Improving equine welfare through changing habits
The 2020 National Equine Forum took place on 5 March with a focus on how changing our own habits as owners can improve equine welfare.
Here at Remus we provide lifetime help and care for horses, ponies and donkeys. We also advise owners of older horses in all aspects of care through our Elderly Horse Campaign and advise members of the public through our Horse Welfare Watch. So we’re very conscious of the need to encourage better awareness within our communities.
Veterinary, equestrian and behavioural change experts came together at the Forum to discuss how the welfare of our horses can be improved by changing our habits in relation to disease prevention and control.
One of the welfare issues they looked at was colic risk. The ‘REACT now to beat colic’ owner campaign was developed by The British Horse Society and the University of Nottingham and is helping to ensure colic cases are more appropriately and rapidly responded to in order to ensure more effective treatment.
Another issue discussed was worming. There has been lots of debate surrounding regular worming programmes and the message from the Forum was that the more we worm, the more resistance we will experience to the drugs we currently use. Instead, if owners turn to targeted worming – in other words, only worming if a faecal worm egg count shows it is needed – then this could decrease the use of the drugs by 80%, therefore delaying further resistance.
You can read more about the discussions from the National Equine Forum on the website: www.nationalequineforum.com/changing-our-habits-nef20/.