Horse Health and Welfare
Responsible Horse Ownership
Encouraging and supporting responsible horse ownership is the cornerstone of horse health and welfare. At MHC, we want to provide the information and resources horse owners need to ensure that every horse - from companion to elite athlete - thrives throughout their life. We support the work of the World Horse Welfare agency and their work to improve the lives of horses and the horse-human partnership in all of its forms.
World Horse Welfare
Equine Code of Conduct
The Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Equines was released in 2013 by the National Farm Animal Care Council. It is intended to promote sound management and welfare practices in regards to responsible horse, pony, donkey and mule ownership, health management, feeding, housing, feedlot management, principles of training, euthanasia and other husbandry practices. Consequently, it should inspire meaningful discussion on how people operate and improve how caregivers, and the industry in general, deal with grey areas.
The Code clearly identifies “Requirements” as well as “Recommended Practices”. Requirements will refer either to a regulation or an industry imposed expectation. The Code’s Recommended Practices further support the Requirements in conjunction with promoting education and the adoption of practices for continuous improvement in animal welfare outcomes.
Equine Disease Surveillance in Canada
In Canada, equine industry organizations such as MHC work closely with other partners including the Canadian Animal Health Surveillance System, regional animal health networks (Western Canada, Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic), governments, universities, veterinarians, laboratories and others to monitor diseases and share information.
At the moment, these networks are paying attention to:
- Equine infectious anemia (EIA), particularly in western Canada
- Respiratory diseases (Influenza, Equine herpesvirus)
- Antimicrobial use and resistance in horses
- Vector borne diseases and climate change
The interactive Equine Diseases Dashboard
Infographics on EIA in Canada, including what you can do to protect your horses
Good practices for managing snotty noses and minor wounds
Province of Manitoba: Disease Control & Surveillance
Canadian Animal Health Surveillance System (CAHSS) Equine Network
While the role of horses, ponies and mules has continued to evolve over time, our focus on the health and well-being of these trusty animals has remained steadfast. Whether for sport, work or companionship, Canada is home to nearly one million equines. The CAHSS Equine Network brings together stakeholders from across disciplines and across the country to advance disease surveillance for Canada’s equine population. An effective equine surveillance system is essential to protect the health and well-being of horses and humans, safeguard the viability of the Canadian herd, ensure movement of horses and continuance of trade, and enhance the prosperity of the Canadian equine industry.
For information on Federally Reportable Diseases and updates go to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Equine Disease Communication Center
(EDCC) works to protect horses and the horse industry from the threat of infectious diseases in North America. The American based communication system is designed to seek and report real time information about disease outbreaks similar to how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alerts the human population about diseases in people.
Working in cooperation with state animal health officials and the United State Department of Agriculture, the EDCC seeks information about current disease outbreaks from news media, social media, official state reports and veterinary practitioners. Once information is confirmed, it is immediately posted on this website and messages sent to all states and horse organizations by email. Daily updates are posted until each outbreak is contained or deemed no longer a threat.
Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada (HWAC)
The Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada (est. 2008) is an alliance of provincial equine organizations whose purpose is the dissemination of accurate information related to the Canadian horse industry to horse owners and the general public. MHC is currently represented on HWAC by board member, Wanda McFadyen.
Statement of Purpose
- Promote humane handling of horses throughout all of their life stages
- Develop equine education resources and programs
- Inform constituents and partners of matters and issues related to the welfare of the horse population
- Enhance public awareness of matters and issues relating to the welfare of the horse and the horse industry
Equine Transport and Other Resources
Humane Transport CFIA