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Horse Welfare

Breeding for a Good Reason

January 2013

Breeders should be the first to assume the long term responsibility for every foal produced. Self-regulation is the key, and in the following article, Jane Myers and Jeanette Gower highlight some of the considerations to make in advance if we are to give those future foals the best possible chance.

'Elf' the little grey pony

August 2012

I cannot comment on how the little grey pony we now call ‘Elf’ was treated before Christmas Day 2010 when he made the news after being cruelly dragged behind a car. The Police have documented that he was dragged from the passenger side on a bitumen road up to speeds of 60 kilometers per hour for about 3 kms. He then fell into a ditch on the side of the road where very concerned onlookers called the police. The driver and passenger were identified at the time by the onlookers.

Letting Go,

July 2012

Humane destruction is possibly the least discussed topic of horse ownership, and by far the most sensitive. Even so, every horse owner should give this issue some considered thought so they will be prepared if the time comes. What do you need to know? It is difficult to accept death at any time, and this becomes even more painful when you must decide to end a beloved animal’s life.

Responsible Horse Care

June 2012

Everyone who owns or cares for horses should know at least the basics of horse care. Correct horse care is essential for the well-being of a horse - by owning a horse you take on a duty of care. The basics are introduced here and will be expanded on in future articles.

Why Clone?

May 2012

Most people are against the cloning of animals. Nevertheless, animal cloning is still carried out, and has become accepted as a useful and beneficial technology in some animal breeds. Why is this so? The negative aspects of animal cloning

A Racing Future? or a grim outlook

December 2010

    “Once the horses, rather than the profits, are put first, the flow-on effect will be felt by trainers, owners, riders, breeders and punters; in other words, the entire racing community. It always has to be horse first, people later.” Bart Cummings1.  

Unwanted: Options for responsible horse owners

December 2010

What options do owners have when they face the difficult decision of dealing with an unwanted or unusable horse? Nobody likes to think about it, but the issue needs to be considered.   It would be ideal for every horse to retire to rolling green paddocks with horsey companions and an attentive owner, but regrettably this is often not possible. Responsible owners wish to provide a rosy future for their charges, but sometimes may be unable to do so. Others simply want to offload an animal seen as a liability that they no longer want to take responsibility for.

Unwanted: The Disposable Horse

December 2010

UNWANTED: THE DISPOSABLE HORSE We live in a materialistic society with a culture of disposability. Many of us seem to be caught in an endless cycle of consumption; tiring quickly of our clothes, cars, electrical goods, and even our companion animals. Then this ‘property’ is tossed aside and we replace them. Throughout our history horses that have been no longer required have been sold or discarded, but it is only in the last few years that this section of the horse population has been termed ‘unwanted’.

The Last Hurdle? Jumps racing in Australia

November 2010

Is the writing on the wall for the 177 year old Australian jumps racing industry? Animal welfare groups have been campaigning for around 30 years to abolish hurdle and steeplechase events in Australia as horses that fall during jumps racing events often suffer serious injuries or death. What is jumps racing? In jumps racing, thoroughbred horses generally run longer distances than they do in flat races, jumping a series of fences along the way. There are both hurdles (generally shorter with lower obstacles), and steeplechases (longer, run at lower speeds with higher obstacles).

Whips in racing

November 2010

  Whips in Racing - the AVA Conference Debate   At the 2010 Annual Conference of the Australian Veterinary Association a debate on the use of whips in racing was organized between Andrew Harding, CEO of the Australian Racing Board, and Dr Andrew McLean, who is well known to our readers and was presented to the conference participants as one of Australia’s leading behaviourists.


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