New Equine Welfare Code Takes Effect in New Zealand

The code includes standards for food and water requirements, husbandry practices, equine health, and more.
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New minimum standards and best practice guidelines for the management of domestic horses and donkeys in New Zealand have been developed in a new code of welfare.

The new code came into effect Jan. 28 and includes standards for equine management, food and water requirements, handling, training and equipment, husbandry practices, and equine health.

The code was developed by the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) and applies to horses, ponies, and donkeys and their hybrids kept for any purpose including those kept as companions (pets), for breeding, sport, entertainment, or as working animals. The code also applies to foals and any horse captured from the wild.

The chair of NAWAC, John Hellström, ONZM, BVSc, PhD, said the code of welfare expands on the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act 1999 with minimum standards and recommended best practice guidelines designed to provide for animals’ overall physical health and behavioral needs

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