Annual Conference Set to Challenge Status Quo in Horse World
World Horse Welfare 2015 Conference to debate effects of tradition on horse welfare
World Horse Welfare’s Annual Conference (10th November) at the Royal Geographical Society promises to be a thought-provoking and potentially controversial day as a host of experts from across the equine sector challenge the status quo across sport, law, horse care and management plus a host of other issues.
The increasingly influential Conference is being sponsored by Betfair for the fifth consecutive year.
Titled ‘Challenging the Status Quo’, the conference will be attended by World Horse Welfare President HRH The Princess Royal and will feature a range of presentations and a debate around whether traditional attitudes and practices need to be challenge in the interest of welfare.
Former Defra Minister, Sir Jim Paice will consider whether our horses are better off inside or outside of the EU, whilst celebrated jockey and author, John Francome, will reflect on traditions in racing. Spanish veterinary surgeon, Josep Subirana, will address the tricky issue of attitudes to equine euthanasia around the world and head of equine clinical orthopaedics at the Animal Health Trust, Sue Dyson, will focus on the widespread problem of increasingly overweight horses.
A debating panel which will consider whether traditional horse management and training practices are best will be chaired by journalist and editor, Lucy Higginson, with the panel including President of the International Dressage Trainers Club David Hunt, Professor of Veterinary Behavioural Medicine Danny Mills, author and Contributing Editor of The Spectator Melissa Kite and equine vet specialising in internal medicine Celia Marr.
Further equestrian myths will be challenged through World Horse Welfare’s Charity in Action presentations including: a view from the international team on how best to encourage working horse owners to change misplaced horse care practices, discussion from the UK welfare team on how traditional management techniques like worming may be putting the UK’s horses at risk and consideration of whether authorities too often simply pay lip service to enforcement from the campaigns team.
World Horse Welfare Chief Executive, Roly Owers said: “Our annual conference is a fantastic opportunity to take a look at some of the important issues in the world of horse welfare and this year should certainly challenge our perceptions. The discussions surrounding whether traditional equine management and training practices are still the best approach is something which everyone in the equestrian sector faces on a daily basis and we want to consider the huge impact these differing practices can have on horse welfare across the globe.
“World Horse Welfare is always striving to remain ahead of the curve and be forward-thinking in our approach, with our conference an important forum to not only raise and address questions around horse welfare but to provoke new thinking.”