New set of rules for horse owners

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A new set of government guidelines on animal welfare have recently been passed which include important requirements for horse owners.

  • Fields should be kept clear of dangerous objects.
  • Water troughs and containers should be cleared regularly to prevent the build up of algae and other debris. Any cleaning substance should not be toxic to horses.
  • Stabled horses should receive appropriate exercise daily, unless contrary to veterinary advice.
  • Horses prefer to live in social groups and ideally they should be socialises with members of their own species but, where this is not possible, other animals may be used to provide company.
  • Saddlery and harness should be correctly fitted, preferably by a qualified saddler or harness fitter.

The new welfare code of practice has been backed by several charities including the RSPCA.  RSPCA superintendent Tim Minty said: “The codes will be an invaluable educational tool for everyone involved in animal welfare but they will also play a vital role to help RSPCA inspectors identify problems of neglect or cruelty under the Animal Welfare Act. The codes will also help inspectors to advice the person responsible for the animal on how to look after their pet so the RSPCA and owners can work together to make sure that animals are happy and healthy.  Go to for more information.

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