26 September 2023

New rules to rein in horse management

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The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is urging horse owners and carers to have their say on proposed new standards to support the wellbeing of horses in the State.

The Department has developed draft Standards and Guidelines for the Health and Welfare of Horses in Western Australia for public comment.

The document sets out the minimum standards for owners and people in charge of horses to ensure the health and welfare of the animals in their care.

It also provides guidelines and additional information to further promote positive animal welfare outcomes.

In a statement, the Department said the document encompassed general care, including health and management; the conditions under which horses are kept and handled; events; and natural disasters.

“Separately, national standards and guidelines are being reviewed which cover the transportation of horses,” it said.

Minister for Agriculture and Food, Alannah MacTiernan said that as working and companion animals, horses had an important place in the lives of many Western Australians.

“The horse standards and guidelines aim to promote humane and considerate treatment of horses, set a minimum industry standard, and inform all people in charge of horses about their responsibility,” Ms MacTiernan said.

“These proposed standards and guidelines have been developed in consultation with experts in horse management, welfare, and veterinary science to help ensure all animals receive appropriate husbandry and care.”

She welcomed the help of the community in improving the health and welfare of horses in the State.

“There have also long been calls for a uniform set of national standards and guidelines for horses, and I look forward to working with my State and Federal counterparts to implement this in the future,” Ms MacTiernan said.

The consultation period closes on 19 December and to see the proposed horse standards and guidelines as well as provide feedback, readers can access the Department’s website at this PS News link.

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