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Groundbreaking Equine Industry Welfare Guidelines Compendium Launched

A growing need for the introduction of guidelines for the welfare of horses has long been recognised. A steering group, chaired by Lord Donoughue and comprising representatives from 17 equine-interested organisations was set up to address this need, resulting in the production of the Equine Industry Welfare Guidelines Compendium, which will enhance the welfare of horses, irrespective of where they are kept and how they are used.

The Compendium, funded by the Home of Rest for Horses and available free of charge, is to be launched on 21st March at the National Equine Forum. It is a guide to standards of husbandry and management, based on scientific knowledge and best practice within the industry. It provides equine welfare guidance based on the current statutory provisions and is intended neither to propose any new statutory provisions, nor to provide a complete explanation of the law relating to horses.

With the ADAS Equine team's expertise in Land Management, Rural Property, Project Management, Expert Witness, Business Management, Buildings and Nutritional Analysis, they were well placed to play an instrumental part in bringing together the Equine Industry Welfare Steering Group. Liz Robson, ADAS Equine Consultant comments, "There was a huge diversity of equine organisations on the steering group and this is reflected in the depth and breadth of the guidelines." The Steering Group's advice on the technical content of the Guidelines was compiled and the drafting process was managed and drawn up by ADAS.

The compendium was then put out for consultation to 170 reputable welfare and equine organisations, helping ADAS to capture the latest technical research the industry has to offer. Useful comments were received from 48 of those organisations, most of which were
incorporated into the final draft. The Compendium, over 40 pages long, was produced by ADAS with a foreword from The Rt Hon Alun Michael MP who supported the venture wholeheartedly.

Lord Donoughue, Chairman of the Equine Industry Welfare Steering Group comments, "I welcome the Guidelines as equine welfare must remain at the forefront of all our minds. It is of vital importance that the whole industry pulls together in a united attempt to prevent abuse to our horses, ponies and donkeys."

The Equine Industry Welfare Guidelines Compendium is to be distributed to Local Authorities, the Police Force, the Equine Lawyers Association, the libraries of Agricultural Colleges & Universities, the Association of British Riding Schools and all the steering group members amongst many others. It can also be accessed through the ADAS website, Any comments to be considered for incorporation into future revisions of the Equine Industry Welfare Guidelines Compendium may be submitted via email,

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