STANDARDS OF EQUINE CARE

Go & Play Stable follows the Code of Practice for the Care & Handling of Equines, as found on the National Farm Animal Care Control website. A copy of this Code of Practice must be kept in all facilities managed by Go & Play Stable members.

 

A summary of the code requirements includes, but is not limited to, the following;

-        Principal caregivers must be familiar with and provide the basics of care as stated in the Code

-        At a minimum, each horse must have enough space to move easily, walk forward, turn around with ease, and lie down in a normal resting posture. There must also be sufficient space for subordinate horses to escape aggression.

-        In muddy conditions horses must, at a minimum, have access to a mud-free, well-drained area in the pasture/yard on which to stand and lie down.

-        Horses must have access to shelter that protects them from the harmful effects of extreme weather conditions.

-        Promptly assist individual horses that are showing signs of heat or cold stress.

-        If blankets are used, the condition of the horse beneath the blankets must be examined at least weekly, and preferably a minimum of twice per week.

-        Blankets must be appropriate for the weather conditions and not result in heat stress.

-        Horses kept in groups must be managed in a way that minimizes the risk of injury.

-        Fences must be constructed and maintained to minimize the risk of injury and must be strong enough to contain horses. Refer to municipal fencing by-laws, if applicable.

-        Electric fences must be installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications. All power units for electric fences must be designed to prevent short circuits and/or stray voltage.

-        Owners must have the ability to segregate sick or injured horses for treatment.

-        If sick pens or stalls are used, they must be equipped with a source of feed and water and be cleaned between uses.

-        For indoor facilities: each horse must have enough space to lie down in a normal resting posture, stand with the head fully raised, walk forward and turn around with ease. For tie stalls, each horse must have enough space to lie down in a normal resting posture, stand with the head fully raised, and step forward in comfort.

-        For horses kept indoors without natural light, artificial lighting must be provided during the day. Keeping horses in continuous darkness is not acceptable.

-        Provide non-slip surfaces in stalls and alleyways to reduce the risk of horses slipping or falling.

-        Ensure stalls are kept clean. Horses must be provided with a dry lying area. The area must also be of a design or texture that will not bruise, cut or otherwise injure the horse. Concrete or hard rubber mats without bedding are not acceptable surfaces.

-        Bedding must be non-toxic.

-        Air quality in barns must be maintained to prevent the buildup of noxious gases, dust and moisture.

-        An emergency plan must be developed in each facility.

-        Toxic materials must be securely stored such that horses cannot gain access to them.

-        Horses must have access to safe, palatable and clean water in quantities to maintain health and vigour.

-        In extreme weather conditions (cold or hot), special attention must be paid to ensure water availability, access and intake.

-        Water troughs, containers and any automatic watering devices must be cleaned regularly and maintained in working order with no sharp or abrasive edges.

-        Horses must have daily access to forage that is free from visible mould and has minimal dust.

-        Concentrates must be stored in a secure manner that prevents horses from overeating.

-        Horses must receive a diet that is adequate for maintaining health and vigour.

-        The daily ration must address the horse’s maintenance and activity needs and other factors relevant to individual horses and the environment.

-        Purchase medications and veterinary pharmaceuticals from regulated, reputable sources.

-        Records or receipts of treatments provided must be available.

-        A parasite control program to prevent parasite related disease must be in place. This Requirement applies to internal and external parasites.

-        Equines that are sick, injured or in pain must receive appropriate treatment without delay or be euthanized without delay. Refer to the Euthanasia Policy.

-        Appropriate authorities must be advised of suspected or confirmed cases of federally reportable disease, such as Equine Infectious Anemia. 

-        Horses showing signs of dental problems must be examined and treated.

-        Lameness must be addressed either through specific therapies or changes in management or workload.

-        For horses and ponies: corrective action must be taken at a BCS of 3 or lower and at a BCS of 8 or higher (on the 1-9 scale).* Veterinary advice must be obtained if animals do not respond to the corrective action. 

-        Veterinary advice must be obtained for geriatric equines that are emaciated 

-        Equines must not be starved or prevented from eating for prolonged periods

-        Horses must have some form of exercise or turnout unless under stall rest for medical reasons or severe environmental conditions make this temporarily impossible.

-        Handlers must be familiar with equine behaviour and competent in humane handling techniques either through training, experience or mentorship.

-        Horses must be handled in a manner that does not subject them to avoidable pain or avoidable injury.

 

-        Corrective action must be taken if restraint devices or equipment cause injury to horses.

-        Tethering must not cause injury and must only be used if the horse is under supervision. The person applying the tether must be knowledgeable in its use.

-        Horses must not be trained in a manner that subjects them to avoidable pain or that causes them injury as a direct result of the training method used. They must never be subjected to training methods which are abusive or intentionally injure the horse. This includes, but is not limited to, soring, excessive use of whips or forcing the horse’s head position by tying the horse to a fixed object. 

-        Horses must only undergo training that matches their physical capabilities and level of maturity.

-        Equipment in use must be maintained in good repair and must fit the horse correctly.

-        Hooves must be trimmed and/or shod as often as is necessary to maintain hooves in functional condition. Whether shod or unshod, hooves must not be allowed to grow to excessive lengths causing injury or discomfort to the horse.

-        Horses must be free of debris where the saddle and harness are placed. The tack must also be free from debris before being placed on the horse.

-        Burdocks causing discomfort or injury must be removed without delay.

-        The welfare of the horse must be of paramount importance when making change or end of career decisions.

Go & Play Stable is proud to have a long term sponsorship with the following businesses:

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