The Equine Welfare Data Collective (EWDC)—a collaborative effort to accumulate, analyze, and report data to enhance programming for transitioning and at-risk equines—has begun the collection of metrics within the equine welfare industry.
The Collective was created by the Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC), a program of the American Horse Council (AHC), with funding partners being The Right Horse Initiative (TRH), The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and the American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation (AAEPF).
The EWDC said it understands the power of data and how it can vastly shift the dialogue around an issue and drive positive change.
“Solid data is critical to measuring the impact of any large-scale effort,” said Christy Counts, president of The Right Horse Initiative. “As our partners continue to create innovative solutions in equine welfare, we look forward to being able to measure the positive impacts on horses in transition as well as guide future decision-making and strategy.”
This is the first time data of this scale and type has been collected.
“This is a powerful and important milestone for equine welfare,” said Emily Weiss, PhD, vice president of equine welfare for the ASPCA. “If organizations lean in to provide their data we will have a much stronger understanding of the risks and opportunities for equines in shelters, rescues and sanctuaries here in the U.S. Success depends upon groups taking the time to enter data so that we have a robust data set for analysis and future understanding of trends.”
The EWDC said it will measure progress and identify risks and opportunities within the industry on a national scale so organizations helping horses in transition can develop impactful and sustainable programs.
All involved with equids in transition will be able to access to the aggregate data. The EWDC said its success depends upon shelters, rescues, sanctuaries, funders, and other organizations that house, or support the housing of, equids in transition to contribute data to the collective and to encourage all groups to do the same. The funding organizations have committed to work collaboratively to bring this resource to the industry and encourage all to participate.
Participation in the EWDC is free, and all data collected will be aggregated so no individual organization is identified. Organizations that contribute data will be the first to receive the results and will receive an EWDC badge for their website to publicly demonstrate their commitment to the mission. Granting organizations such as the UHC, TRH, AAEPF, and the ASPCA will be looking for an organization’s contribution to the EWDC as part of their funding considerations.
The EWDC said it hopes that all rescues, shelters, and sanctuaries will assist in the effort to collect this much-needed data.
For more information please visit the EWDC visit unwantedhorsecoalition.org/equine-welfare-data-collective or contact EWDC program manager Emily Stearns at EWDC@horsecouncil.org.