FEI measures to address horse welfare in endurance
A package of measures to address serious health and welfare issues in UAE Endurance has been announced by the FEI.
The news follows the deaths of seven horses in the UAE in the last four weeks. Six of which took place at national Endurance competitions and one at an FEI event.
The series of measures, which have now been put in place by the UAE National Federation, include:
• A requirement for stables involved in equine fatalities to provide full medical history for each horse and any medication administered; details of the horses’ nutritional programmes and training schedules, including the methods used, the hours of training and distances covered, the timing and venue conditions
• A study of each Endurance course in the region, including a detailed assessment of track conditions
• Inspections at all remaining Endurance events in the 2017 UAE season conducted by an expert panel of Endurance course specialists and experienced veterinarians, including the FEI Veterinary Director
• Working directly with local organising committees to investigate equine injuries at their venue
• Increased sanctions for those responsible for injury to horses, including imposing maximum permissible fines (€15,000 per offence) and penalty points
• Expanded scope of individuals that can be held accountable, in addition to trainers and veterinarians
“I asked the UAE National Federation to urgently put in place measures that would specifically address the situation in the UAE and we welcome the speed with which they have responded to these very serious issues,” said FEI secretary general Sabrina Ibanez.
“We have already expressed our concerns that the fatal bone fractures we are seeing in the UAE are possibly the result of over-training and are likely to be pre-existing injuries that haven’t been given sufficient time to heal.”
“The studies that the FEI is undertaking and which will be first presented to the Sports Forum and then in more depth during the Endurance Forum in Barcelona on 23 and 24 May will help determine the causes so that actions can be taken to prevent similar tragedies in the future.”