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Key news reports  (Go to all news reports by topic )   H
 ENVIRONMENTAL  01/11/09 – Scotland: Dung guidance issued by The British Horse Society Scotland

The British Horse Society Scotland (BHSS) admits that it is receiving a growing number of complaints about the increasing amount of dung deposited on paths and driveways on the fringes of urban areas.

Concerned that the conflict may fuel calls for legislation, the education and lobbying body has now launched a campaign urging riders to clean up the dung left by their mounts.

The 4,880-member BHSS's "Dung Guidance" leaflet – to be distributed to agricultural shows and riding schools - outlines key steps riders should take to minimise upset.

Source: NEWS.scotsman.com

Read the “Dung Guidance” leaflet


 RACING  07/10/09 - UK: Remounting during horseraces banned from November

Remounting horses during a race will be banned from next month under new rules set out by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) for the safety of both horses and jockeys.

Source:  Horse & Hound


HSE  05/10/09 - County Durham - UK: Riding instructors saddle up for safety training

Riding school owners and instructors from across County Durham saddled up for a free training day to get their health and safety knowledge up to date.

Representatives from 16 riding schools across County Durham attended the special event on 5 October at South Causey Equestrian Centre in Stanley which was organised by Durham County Council in partnership with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The aim of the event was to provide business owners and instructors with practical, common sense guidance on health and safety at riding schools.

This covered areas such as complying accident reporting, manual handling, personal protective equipment and the general safety and welfare of staff and visitors.

There was also a session on how to prevent the health problems dust can cause and an equine fire safety expert offered advice on how to protect against arson and general fire prevention.

Ian Bousfield, Senior Environmental Health Officer, who helped organise the event, said: "We are delighted with the take up and interest shown in the event by local businesses. It has been both informative and enjoyable for everyone concerned and we hope to run similar events in the future."

Paul Spurrier, Partnership Manager for HSE in Yorkshire and the North East, said: "It is great to see councils taking the initiative and working with us to provide free events for small businesses and individuals so they can benefit from up to date sensible health and safety advice. We hope that the riding schools owners and instructors got a lot out of the day and that more free events like this can be provided in the future."

Source:  HSE


 PUBLICATIONS  21/09/09 - UK: New welfare compendium launched

The National Equine Welfare Council has launched the third edition of the Equine Industry Welfare Guidelines Compendium at this year’s British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) Congress in Birmingham.

Equine Industry Welfare Guidelines Compendium

This third edition reflects the significant changes in animal welfare legislation as well as improved scientific knowledge of welfare issues.

Whilst previous editions were used extensively in supporting welfare investigations and legal proceedings, the new edition is designed to assist anyone responsible for the welfare of horses, ponies and donkeys in meeting their obligations under the new welfare legislation in England, Wales and Scotland.

NEWC Chairman and Head of Welfare at Redwings, Nicolas de Brauwere MRCVS, says: “The Compendium is designed to underpin the Codes of Practice for the Welfare of Equines by providing a greater level of detail and information to enable people to understand how they can best meet the needs of the equines under their care.”

The Compendium was funded, written and produced by the industry, with the full support of Defra and HRH The Princess Royal.  It has been made available to the public for no more than the cost of postage. Uptake so far has been very strong, in particular by equine educational institutions such as the vet schools.  The industry is keen to also see the Compendium in the hands of horse owners and others responsible for the day to day care of equines

President of BEVA, Chris House said, “The Compendium is an excellent tool as a reference to assist in raising equine welfare standards nationwide.”

For your free copy of the Compendium, download here or contact NEWC on: 01926 866655 or by email: info@newc.co.uk

More about NEWC… The National Equine Welfare Council was set up in 1977 with the aim of uniting the equine welfare industry and raising welfare standards nationwide. It now has a membership base of over 60 welfare organisations, including equine welfare charities large and small throughout the United Kingdom as well as a multitude of organisations from the equestrian and veterinary sectors of the horse industry. Its work includes support for small welfare organisations, making representations to Government and advising individuals. It also produces a Code of Practice for those organisations involved in the keeping of horses, ponies, asses, mules & donkeys and supports members by providing up to date information, running annual seminars and representing them to Government and other bodies. Member organisations include involved in the keeping of equines can be relied upon to achieve excellent standards of care for their animals. Many operate loan schemes whereby horses and ponies go out on loan to inspected homes whilst remaining the property of the charity and being protected for the rest of their lives. Visit www.newc.co.uk for more information.

Responsible Re-homing’ and ‘Cutting Cost without Compromising on Welfare’ are two leaflets that have been produced by NEWC in response to the high number of requests for help that our members are receiving from horse owners struggling financially across the UK.  The leaflets have been produced as a result of collaboration between members of the National Equine Welfare Council.


 HSE  Dorset – UK: Free health and safety training workshop for equestrian businesses

Local Councils in Dorset are working in partnership with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and Kingston Maurward College to bring those in the equestrian industry a free health and safety training workshop.

The workshop will take place at Kingston Maurward College, Dorchester (DT2 8PX) from 10.30 – 3.45 on Thursday 12 November 2009.

Topics during the day will include how to comply with legislation and the supporting role of the HSE and Local Authorities. At a practical level there will be a focus on manual handling, ATV (quad bike) and machinery safety, human and equine personal protective equipment, supported by ridden demonstrations from the equestrian department at the College.

Those attending will have the opportunity to ask questions in a friendly and relaxed environment.

To register to attend this event e-mail Glenda Treneary at shads.glendatreneary@hse.gsi.gov.uk or call 01752 276300 and ask for Glenda Treneary or Paul Webber.  Closing date for registration will be on 1 November 2009.

Click on the picture to find out more details
Poster with details of event

 UK: When do the clocks change?  Information to 2011



The third edition of the Equine Industry Welfare Guidelines Compendium has just been launched.  I’ve not yet met a horse owner who knew of the existence of the previous editions, first launched in 2002. They’re an absolute gem and I suggest everyone involved with the care of horses download a copy, and hang a hard copy in every yard.  The guidelines represent good practice and can act as a basis for any other country wishing to set up guidelines of its own.  They’re there to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our horses, ponies and donkeys.  We owe it to them to read and act on them.


Ken Law


Check out the latest local, national and international weather forecasts from the Met Office


UK: Get detailed weather forecasts for where you live (by postcode)

 UK: DEFRA / AHT / BEVA Equine Quarterly Disease Surveillance Report - Volume 5, No.2: April – June 2009

Highlights in this issue:

• Borna Disease

West Nile Virus Lineage

   "In sicknes and in health"

BHS in sickness and health campaign

   Breaking the Strangles hold

In February 2007, the Animal Health Trust (AHT) and British Horse Society (BHS) launched a nationwide Strangles Campaign, which has two aims. The first is to raise awareness of this dreadful equine plague, and the second is to gain support for the research programme.

For this, the target is to raise 250,000 to fund research into the next stages of the development of improved means of diagnosis and prevention – ultimately to eradicate this terrible disease.

The campaign was launched by the President of the AHT, HRH The Princess Royal, at the Royal Society of Medicine in London. It continues to make great progress, with the total raised so far standing at 159,000.

For more information about Strangles and the campaign visit www.strangles.org


   World Horse Welfare (formerly ILPH) 'Make a Noise' campaign


Rider Protection
Riding Hats/Helmets
    Riding hats and helmets are just different terms used to describe the same thing - protective headwear.
    Wearing properly fitted and secured hats saves lives. 
    The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) consider that hats to the British PAS 015 1998 offer the best in terms of shock absorbency, penetration and retention.

Other hats also considered to offer a high level of protection are:

The European Standard EN 1384
The ASTMF 1163-95
ASTM Snell E95 (SEI)
Australian/New Zealand SNZ 3838 1998

    A high performance helmet standard offering greater protection from side impacts and aimed at competition riders was launched in 2005.  Helmets in accordance with BSEN 14572:2005 are intended for use in high-risk activities, and not to supersede the current standards.

    Some organisations and competitions impose certain hat standards - check before you ride.

    To work properly hats must must be fitted correctly by someone competent. In the UK, this will preferably be by someone who has received training in hat fitting through BETA or manufacturers such as Charles Owen. It is usual for anyone who has attended  training to receive a certificate.
    You'll probably buy your hat through a saddlers, tack shop or riding school. Ask if the person fitting it has been trained.  Very often certificates are displayed. Remember your life may depend on having a properly fitted hat.
     A riding hat is lined with microscopic bubble wrap. When a hat hits the ground or a hard surface the bubbles burst absorbing the impact. The hard shell spreads the area of contact over a much larger load bearing area. Anyone who has ever played with bursting bubble wrap knows that once all the bubbles are burst it's no longer any good for its intended purpose. That's why a hat should be replaced after being dropped on the ground or following a blow to the head, especially if the wearer loses consciousness.
     Don't buy or use a second-hand hat  - you don't know its history.
     Look after your hat carefully. Don’t leave it on the back shelf of your car exposed to the sun during summer – excessive heat can damage it. Similarly, leave it in a warm, dry place overnight after riding. Don’t be tempted to dry it in front of a fire or on a radiator. To reduce the risk of rusting of the metal components don’t store it in a plastic bag before it is dry. he expected
     The expected life span of a hat for the average rider is five years.
Body Protectors
    Coming soon...
    Coming soon...
Protective equipment used in the workplace
    UK: Any personal protective equipment (PPE) used by staff in the workplace is subject to the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations. The main requirement of the Regulations is that PPE is to be supplied and used at work wherever there are risks to health and safety that cannot be adequately controlled in other ways. Examples of “PPE” include: riding helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and clothing affording protection against the weather.
Riding Out  

    Always wear a helmet

...it make sense to do so. Make sure it is fastened securely and meets current standards. For children under the age of 14 when riding on roads this is a legal requirement. 

    Always wear high visibility clothing

For both you and your horse. This will help drivers and pilots of low flying military aircraft see and avoid you. It can also help the emergency services locate you in the event of an accident. Consider a mix-and-match of pink and yellow that can help you be seen better in differing lighting and weather conditions. 

British Horse Society poster advises ‘Be Seen – Be Safe’

    Ride out with someone
...when possible.
    Tell someone where you are going
...and when you expect to be back.
    Carry a mobile phone
...switched to silent for outgoing emergency calls only.  Make sure you keep it on you and not in an attached saddle bag.  Think about keeping it away from your major bodily organs that your phone might damage in the event of an accident.
    Identify yourself
...consider carrying some form of personal information that can identify you in the event of an accident.  Include emergency contact numbers.  If you carry a mobile phone include in your contacts "ICE" - in case of emergency.  This can help the emergency services to quickly contact friends or relatives - but do let them know that you've stored their details as ICE1, ICE2 etc. for this purpose.
    Identify your horse
...consider getting an disc engraved with telephone contact details of your yard, yourself and your vet to attach to the D rings of your saddle. In the event of you getting separated from your horse these contact details will help a finder to make contact.  Remember to make sure that the contact numbers you give will always be answered promptly by someone who can take action. You can get engraved (large dog) discs from your vet.
    Avoid using roads where possible
    Always use approved routes
...only ride where you have been given permission or are legally entitled to do so.
    Follow the Highway Codehighway_code.jpg

An updated Highway Code was launched in September 2007.

The Official Highway Code is published by The Stationery Office Ltd (TSO) and is priced at 2.50. Copies are also available from High Street and online bookstores.  An adapted online version of the Code is also available.  There are rules that relate to horses and animals in the code but the British Horse Society has produced its own guide for the rules that specifically apply to horses. Further background information from the Department for Transport

    Consider taking the British Horse Society's Riding and Road Safety training

The BHS Riding and Road Safety Test is taken by over 4,000 candidates a year and helps to educate riders in road safety in order to minimise the risk involved when riding on the roads.

    Make sure that you're insured

...in case you or your horse cause damage or injury.  If you're a horse owner your insurance may already provide cover but do check. One of the benefits of BHS Gold Membership is that it provides up to 10 million Personal Liability Insurance Cover for all the horses you own, look after and ride.

    If you have an accident...

The BHS is working to improve horse and rider safety on the roads. Please help them by reporting any horse/rider related traffic accidents or near misses.

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