World Horse Welfare Background and Role with the FEI

Lately there has been a lot of interest in the organization World Horse Welfare.

Public Relations Officer, Hannah Colbourn is a long-time Barnmice member and World Horse Welfare has their own group with us which all are welcome to join.

Hannah was kind enough to forward me the following information, as well as answer some questions about World Horse Welfare's role with the FEI.

About World Horse Welfare:

· World Horse Welfare is a leading international horse charity dedicated to caring for the horses of today and tomorrow. Its values are based on a compassionate and pragmatic approach to improve the welfare of horses throughout the world.
· The charity invests around £7.5million a year in its work and employs around 150 staff, who collectively know about horses, both as sport/leisure and working animals.
· World Horse Welfare was founded in 1927 by Ada Cole to prevent British horses being exported for slaughter. It was originally known as the International League Against the Export of Horses for Butchery, but was quickly renamed the International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH). In May 2008 the charity changed its name to World Horse Welfare.

How World Horse Welfare helps horses today:

· By rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming horses in Britain. The charity’s Head Office in Norfolk receives over 33,000 calls a year and from these calls a nationwide team of 16 Field Officers investigate around 1,700 individual welfare concerns. The charity operates four Recovery and Rehabilitation centres: Hall Farm, Norfolk (opened in 1987), Belwade Farm, Aberdeenshire (1990), Penny Farm, Lancashire (2001) and Glenda Spooner Farm, Somerset (2006). These centres rescue, rehabilitate and rehome over 250 horses a year. There are currently over 1,700 horses out on the charity’s Loan Scheme.
· Through the veterinary care provided by treatment teams in Mexico, a project carried out in conjunction with the Donkey Sanctuary. The charity is also part of the WSPA Disaster Alliance enabling it to provide emergency relief if natural disasters threaten horses in the countries where it works.

How World Horse Welfare helps horses tomorrow:

· By campaigning to achieve major input into horse welfare legislation in the UK and Europe and to change practice and attitudes towards horse welfare. The charity is actively campaigning for an end to the long distance transportation of horses for slaughter in Europe and has achieved welfare improvements impacting upon 100,000 involved in the trade every year
· By educating horse owners in the UK about horse welfare, through its network of Field Officers and Recovery and Rehabilitation Centres and through its advice line and website.
· Through worldwide training programmes in saddlery, farriery, nutrition and business skills. The charity is currently operating in seven countries: Lesotho, South Africa, Senegal, Romania, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Mexico, and trains over 100 saddlers and farriers a year.
· Through research into the major horse welfare challenges. The charity is committed to establishing and treating the root causes of horse welfare abuse.
· No other organisation in the world does more for horses than World Horse Welfare. The charity makes a lasting difference to the lives of thousands of horses worldwide every year.

World Horse Welfare and the FEI

Barbara: What is your new role with the FEI?
Hannah: It is not a new role as such. As a charity we have had an association with the FEI for around 20 years. Up until this year, when we became Associate Members of the FEI (a new category for the FEI), the association had no formal basis.

BF: What types of insights and advice do you hope to be able to provide? Can you give specific examples?

HC: Our association with the FEI has always been to provide an independent viewpoint and support into horse welfare issues relevant to horse sport. Specific examples: a) we were involved in the publication of the FEI's Code of Conduct for the welfare of the horse b) we are currently joint-funding a research project reviewing riding school surfaces.

BF: How, specifically, will World Horse Welfare be involved in future decisions regarding Rollkur, doping and defining abuse? Are you advising the FEI in how to proceed in these areas? Will they consult with you on the findings?

HC: We have always liaised with the FEI on an issue by issue basis. You will have seen that we are working with the FEI on their review of Rollkur. Part of this process will be identifying what, if any, research needs to be carried out to look at the outcomes of Rollkur. We anticipate that the FEI would consult us on the outcomes of any research.

BF: How do you hope your relationship with the FEI will impact everyday riders and horses?

HC: Our impact on everyday horses and riders is far more likely to be through our education and awareness role. The rationale for being associated with the FEI is to illustrate that we deal with the full breadth of the horse world, from those being transported long distances to slaughter in Europe to the top sport horse.

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Comment by Susan on November 24, 2009 at 10:53am
Has the FEI committed to doing research on Rollkur?

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