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Equine groups sign new welfare charter
World Horse Welfare, The British Horse Society, and British Showjumping are among the organisations which have signed the charter.
The new charter will be followed by changes to the BEF rule book next year.

The 19 member bodies of British Equestrian (BEF) and associated industry leaders have signed a new horse welfare charter.

Those signing the Charter for the Horse pledge to treat all equids in their care in an ethical and fair way to ensure their welfare and wellbeing. Six areas are covered: empathy, care, respect, consideration, ethics, and learning.

The charter, created by the BEF, was inspired by the work of the Fédération Équestre Internationale’s (FEI’s) Equine Ethics and Wellbeing Commission (EEWC), which published the FEI Equestrian Charter in April 2023.

While that charter is aimed at those involved in international equestrian sport, the BEF charter is aimed at anyone who interacts with horses in the UK.

As well as producing the charter, the BEF’s board and Equine Wellbeing and Ethics Advisory Group (EWEAG), chaired by Madeleine Campbell, have been working on extensive revisions of the BEF’s rule book and Equine Ethics and Welfare Policy.

The proposed revisions are set to be reviewed in consultation with member bodies and the rule book is planned to be published in 2025

Jim Eyre, BEF chief executive, said: “In our privileged position to live and work with horses, we must champion the very best standards and excellence levels for their welfare – it’s non-negotiable, and the support for bringing this overarching Charter for the Horse to fruition has been outstanding.

“There’s been a real passion and sense of determination to make it happen and now we look forward to working with our member bodies, their members and the wider British equestrian community to upholding the charter, with equine welfare at the fore of all activity.”

Prof Campbell added; “As chair of the EWEAG, I am delighted that British Equestrian and its member bodies are leading the world in implementing the recommendations of FEI’s EEWC at national level. Such proactive, collaborative sharing of responsibility across disciplines and uses is just what we need to safeguard the welfare of horses from elite to grassroots levels of equestrianism.”

Image © British Equestrian

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RCVS Knowledge appoints Veterinary Evidence editor-in-chief

News Story 1
 RCVS Knowledge has welcomed Professor Peter Cockcroft as editor-in-chief for Veterinary Evidence.

A world-renowned expert in evidence-based veterinary medicine, Prof Cockcroft will lead the strategic development and editorial quality of the open-access journal. He was previously in the role from 2017-2020.

Katie Mantell, CEO of RCVS Knowledge, said: "We are excited about the extensive knowledge of evidence-based veterinary medicine and clinical veterinary research that Peter brings, and we look forward to working with him over this next phase of the journal's development." 

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Defra to host bluetongue webinar for vets

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will be hosting a webinar for veterinary professional on bluetongue on Thursday, 25 April 2024.

Topics covered will include the transmission cycle, pathology and pathogenesis, clinical signs (including signs seen in recent BTV-3 cases in the Netherlands), and control and prevention.

The session, which will take place from 6pm to 7.30pm, is part of Defra's 'Plan, Prevent and Protect' webinar series, which are hosted by policy officials, epidemiologists and veterinary professionals from Defra and the Animal and Plant Health Agency. The bluetongue session will also feature insights from experts from The Pirbright Institute.

Those attending will have the opportunity to ask questions. Places on the webinar can be booked online.