4 AAWS Education and Training Stocktake Work, Sport, Recreation on Display FINAL REPORT – 1 February 2008 1. Horses Introduction The number of horses in Australia is estimated to be 1.2 million.
Of these between 10–50% are registered with various equine industry bodies.
There are estimated to be 300,000 feral horses – mostly in the north of Australia. 1 In the 2005/06 breeding season, 29,070 thoroughbred mares were covered by 883 stallions.
The mares produced 17,854 foals (64% success rate) of which 13,618 were registered.
Considering all sectors of the horse industry, breeding and racing (particularly thoroughbreds) contributes the greatest gross value of production.
In 2005/06 the thoroughbred industry in Australia had 379 race clubs maintaining 355 racetracks.
These clubs held 2,752 race meetings during which 19,963 races were conducted with 195,720 starters.
The majority of elite thoroughbred stallions, mares and horse farms are owned by a relatively small number of individuals or corporations.
Future growth of the thoroughbred industry is directly related to prize money which is in turn related to wagering.
Both have continued to increase annually and as such the racing industry is likely to continue to expand.
Australia has the second largest number of registered thoroughbreds in the world (USA is first).
The international market for high quality thoroughbred horses is robust and Australia is likely to continue to be a net exporter of horses.
In 2005/06, 1695 thoroughbred horses were exported from Australia (with 892 being imported).
In addition to the thoroughbred industry, there are many other smaller but important components of the horse industry.
There are more than 70 individual horse breed associations in Australia.
Significant examples are the Australian Stock Horse Society, the Arabian Horse Society of Australia Australian and the Australian Quarter Horse Association.
Australia has a long tradition of elite performance in Olympic equestrian disciplines, particularly in eventing but also Dressage, Show Jumping, Vaulting, and Carriage Driving.
All the activities are under the overall auspices of the Equestrian Federation of Australia (EFA).
Australia has several horse and rider combinations participating in each of the prestigious European show jumping, dressage and eventing competitions.
Australia is expected to field teams in each of these disciplines at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
The EFA also oversees the FEI (Fédération Equestre Internationale) aspects of endurance riding competitions which continue to increase in number and popularity in Australia.
There is a growing international market for Australian-bred endurance horses (mostly Arabians).
The Pony Club movement in Australia is a grass roots organisation that underpins the social fabric of a large sector of Australia’s junior and youth constituency.
Pony Club in Australia is a world leader in encouraging young people to ride, offering a well structured curriculum for young riders, an efficient central administration and a comprehensive insurance system to highlight just a few features.
Since 2001 the number of horses registered by the Equestrian Federation of Australia has increased by 59%, and the number of Federation members has increased by 22%.
As at 30 July 2006 there were 61,819 registered members of pony clubs across Australia.
Riding for the Disabled Association of Australia (RDA) is a voluntary, not for profit, organisation which provides riding instruction and other activities associated with riding and harness driving for people with disabilities. 1 RIRDC Horses Research Program, website home page: www.rirdc.gov.au/programs/hor.html Prepared by Mal Brown, Scarlet Consulting and Carolyn Munckton, CM Communications 5 AAWS Education and Training Stocktake Work, Sport, Recreation on Display FINAL REPORT – 1 February 2008 There are hundreds of horse riding centres around Australia which offer training and instructors to children and adults.
In Victoria alone, there are about 170 clubs registered with the Horse Riding Clubs Association of Victoria (HRCAV) and more than 4000 individual members.
Trail riding is also a popular pastime in Australia and despite insurance-related issues, there are many businesses offering trail rides in picturesque locations and natural environments such as State forests.
There are many other significant equestrian disciplines in the horse industry, including cutting, reining, rodeo, showing/dressage/jumping (non EFA), Arabian racing, Quarter horse racing, polo and polocrosse. Welfare issues for horses Current welfare issues/concerns identified as part of this Education and Training Stocktake are: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Horse Handling Over-feeding/founder (laminitis) Inadequate feeding (quantity and quality issues) Saddles not fitted properly Girth galls Heavy riders for small horses Chronic injuries/conditions from horse falls, poorly fitted/used gear, poor riding and poor training.
Inexperience/lack of knowledge of new owners in horse management and riding skills.
Correct transportation practice Worming Feeding and watering horses in dry conditions Teeth care Hoof care Geriatrics Animal Interest Organisations’ welfare concerns Some • • • • animal interest organisations (eg RSPCA) seek the banning of: jump races the use of the whips in horse racing, and the use of horses under 3 years old that have not physically matured, and rodeos. — Prepared by Mal Brown, Scarlet Consulting and Carolyn Munckton, CM Communications 8 AAWS Education and Training Stocktake Work, Sport, Recreation on Display FINAL REPORT – 1 February 2008 3. Conditions of racing should not prejudice horse welfare Racecourse conditions Racecourses and racing surfaces should be designed and maintained to reduce risk factors which may lead to injuries.
Particular attention should be paid to crossings, uneven racing surfaces and extremes of surface quality.
Steeplechasing and hurdling Participation in these races should be restricted to horses with demonstrated jumping ability.
Weights to be carried, race distance, number, size and design of fences should all be carefully assessed when planning these races.
Extreme weather Due care and attention should be paid to the welfare of horses racing in extreme weather.
Provision should be made to cool horses quickly after racing in hot and/or humid conditions.
Misuse of the whip Excessive, unnecessary or improper use of the whip cannot be condoned, for example, on a beaten horse, a horse unable to respond or a horse clearly winning.
Any post-race whip weals clearly indicate injury.
Medication One purpose of the rules controlling medication is to protect the welfare of the horse and the safety of riders.
After any veterinary treatment, sufficient time should be allowed for recuperation before competition.
Drugs should not be allowed to influence the racing performance of the horse or to conceal genetic or acquired conditions.
Racecourse accommodation Racecourse accommodation for horses should be safe, hygienic, comfortable and well-ventilated.
Fresh drinking water and washing-down water should always be available.
Starting gates/barriers Horses should be educated so as to be familiar with loading procedures.
Barriers should be properly designed and safe.
Aids to loading should be humane. 4. Racehorses should receive proper attention after they have raced and be treated humanely when their racing careers are over. Veterinary treatment When a horse is injured during a race the jockey should dismount.
Veterinary expertise should be available on the racecourse.
Injured horses should be given full supportive treatment.
If required the horse should be transported to the nearest referral centre for further assessment and therapy.
Racing injuries The incidence of injuries sustained in racing and training should be monitored wherever possible.
Track conditions, frequency of racing, age and any other risk factors, should be carefully examined to indicate ways to minimise severe injuries.
Euthanasia If injuries are sufficiently severe the horse may need to be euthanased.
Euthanasia should be undertaken as soon as possible with the sole aim of minimising suffering.
Retirement Owners should attempt to ensure that their horses are sympathetically and humanely treated when they leave racing.
Racehorses should be permanently identified and registered, so that instances of mistreatment during retirement can be pursued. Prepared by Mal Brown, Scarlet Consulting and Carolyn Munckton, CM Communications 9 AAWS Education and Training Stocktake Work, Sport, Recreation on Display FINAL REPORT – 1 February 2008 Racing in hot weather Horses are occasionally affected by heat stress after racing horses in hot weather.
In general, most horses easily adjust to conditions of high heat and humidity.
Thoroughbred and harness races are conducted over relatively short distances, so maximal exertion in the heat only occurs for a short period.
The amount of heat generated and body water lost is minimal compared to other endurance horse sports.
Heat stress after exercise is most likely to be seen on days when both the ambient temperature and relative humidity are high, and wind speeds are low or absent (conditions of high environmental thermal load).
Horses cool themselves efficiently by evaporative cooling.
As sweat and water molecules evaporate from the skin these molecules absorb and remove body heat causing the horse to cool.
If ambient temperature and humidity are both high this will slow the rate of transfer of heat from the horse’s body into the environment, and cooling will be delayed, increasing the risk of heat stress.
Signs • • • • • • of heat stress include: Rapid shallow breathing Flared nostrils Staggering gait/Weakness Elevated core body temperature Irrational behaviour such as lashing out with hind limbs Collapse — 23 AAWS Education and Training Stocktake Work, Sport, Recreation on Display FINAL REPORT – 1 February 2008 Recreation – Horse Breeding Associations Australian Stock Horse Society www.ashs.com.au/website/default.asp Established in 1971, the Australian Stock Horse Society (ASHA) is one of the largest of more than 70 individual horse breed associations in Australia.
Membership approaches 9,500 individuals with in excess of 170,000 registered horses.
Possibly the world’s most versatile horse, the Australian Stock Horse is often referred to as ‘the breed for every need’.
The Australian Stock Horse is a fine working and performance animal, renowned for its toughness, endurance, resilience and strength.
It also has high speed and agility.
The Society aims to preserve and promote the bloodlines of the Australian Stock Horse, recognised for its versatility and superior performance amongst work and leisure breeds.
The Society has 66 Branches throughout Australia.
Branches conduct competitions and activities for members in their area and assist in promoting the breed within the horse industry.
Australian Stock Horses are recognised worldwide and are exported to the UK, USA, Africa, New Zealand and Asia.
The Society conducts a National Championships on an annual basis to emphasise, highlight and record the success of the breed in the competition area.
The ASHA produces a bi-monthly, full colour magazine that is distributed to approximately 8,000 of our members throughout Australia and overseas and readership extends to around 20,000. The Australian Quarter Horse Association www.aqha.com.au The Australian Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) was founded in 1972 and over the years has expanded to serve a rapidly growing and diverse industry.
AQHA aims to preserve the breed through registration guidelines and record keeping.
AQHA receives approximately 7,000 new registrations every year.
Whether Australian Quarter Horses are still being used in traditional grazing operations, sporting disciplines such as Western Pleasure, Cutting, Reining or Working Cowhorse, the Australian Quarter Horse continues to increase in popularity.
The Australian Quarter Horse can be found in more traditional areas like Pony Club, Hacking, Dressage, Show Jumping, Polo, Polocrosse and through its natural cattle sense, Campdrafting.
AQHA statistics: • 6,000 members nationally and internationally • More than 139,000 horses registered.
There is no specific information on AQHA’s website about horse welfare, however it could be contained in the official AQHA Rule Book.
AQHA publishes a monthly magazine which all members receive and which may contain articles on horse care, health and management. Prepared by Mal Brown, Scarlet Consulting and Carolyn Munckton, CM Communications 24 AAWS Education and Training Stocktake Work, Sport, Recreation on Display FINAL REPORT – 1 February 2008 Arabian Horse Society of Australia http://www.ahsa.asn.au/ The Arabian Horse Society of Australia (AHSA) was founded in 1957 and the first Stud Book was published in 1960.
Over a period of 44 years the Society has published 26 Stud Books for Purebred Arabian horses, and has expanded its Derivative Registries to include Partbred Arabians, Anglo Arabians, Arabian Ponies, Arabian Riding Ponies, Arabian Warmbloods, Quarabs and Arabian Stockhorses.
It has registered over 50,000 Purebred Arabian horses, and well over 100,000 horses altogether, including Derivatives.
It has approximately 5OOO members Australia-wide (currently the breeders of Derivative Arabians are not compelled to be members].
All States have Affiliates or Clubs which run Shows and other events at grass-roots level.
An Electronic Stud Book is now available on the Society’s website free to all.
AHSA produces a monthly bulletin for members and tenders out the publication of its flagship magazine, The Arabian Horse News – glossy and colourful quarterly magazine that is for sale at newsstands. Prepared by Mal Brown, Scarlet Consulting and Carolyn Munckton, CM Communications 25 AAWS Education and Training Stocktake Work, Sport, Recreation on Display FINAL REPORT – 1 February 2008 — Australian Horse Industry Council http://www.horsecouncil.org.au/default.asp The Australian Horse Industry Council (AHIC) represents the interests of all persons, and the health and welfare of all horses, in the Australian horse industry.
There are many groups within the horse industry with each group having special interests.
However many issues facing these groups are not unique and affect large parts of the industry.
These issues are more appropriately and effectively addressed by a single national body rather than a multitude of organisations representing different industry groups.
The AHIC in conjunction with State Horse Councils aims to address these issues.
Specific functions currently undertaken by the AHIC and State Horse Councils relate to the following areas: Horse health and quarantine • • Seeking agreement from Government on funding for disease emergencies • Promotion of R&D to benefit the industry • Establishing a funding mechanism for equine R&D and health programs Horse welfare and rider safety • • Maintenance of access to public lands for safe and environmentally responsible horse activities. • Responsible use of grazing areas by horse owners • Dissemination of information concerning the horse industry • Monitoring of legislative and administrative decisions, acts, regulations and proposals which concern or may concern the horse or horse industry • Maintenance of a high level of liaison between the horse industry and governments • Establishment of a database to aid communication within the industry • Taxation issues The AHIC devised the concept of the Horse Emergency Contact Database (HECD) to assist horse owners to protect the welfare of their horses in emergencies.
The AHIC developed and launched in 2003 a Code of Practice for the Horse Industry – HORSESAFE.
The Code of Practice for the operation of horse-related activities sets out requirements that are relevant to the health and safety of spectators, participants and staff and the provision of suitable facilities, including buildings and equipment.
It includes a number of provisions relating to the health, hygiene, amenity and safety of the horses but is not a complete welfare code. Prepared by Mal Brown, Scarlet Consulting and Carolyn Munckton, CM Communications 41 AAWS Education and Training Stocktake Work, Sport, Recreation on Display FINAL REPORT – 1 February 2008 Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) Horse Research Program http://www.rirdc.gov.au/programs/hor.html#top The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) is a statutory Corporation formed in July 1990 under the Primary Industries and Energy Research and Development Act 1989.
It was set up by the Commonwealth Government to work closely with Australian rural industries on the organisation and funding of their R&D needs.
RIRDC manages and funds priority research and translates the results into practical outcomes for industry development.
One of RIRDC’s research programs is the Horse Research Program.
There is currently no industry levy for the Horse R&D Program and all funds are provided as donations, largely from the racing and thoroughbred breeding industries.
Financial support for the RIRDC Horse Program has been received from Racing Victoria, Equestrian Federation of Australia, the Australian Stock Horse Society, the Australian Quarter Horse Association, the Australian Equine Veterinary Association, the Australian Thoroughbred Breeders Club, Hawkesbury, Mr Gerry Harvey, Coolmore Australia, Tyreel Stud, Alanbridge Stud, Logans Insurance, Howard Insurance, Peptech Animal Health, Magic Millions, International Racehorse Transport, the Paint Horse Association, Ms Barb Vial, Dolly van Zaane and the Australian Harness Racing Council.
Racing Victoria Limited contributed $200,000 to the RIRDC Horse Program in 2006–07 with a commitment for three years, contingent on the outcomes of a review of program outputs after the first 12 months.
The research program has been substantially expanded as a result of this investment by Racing Victoria and the Advisory Committee has put in place a plan to maximise the use of the additional funding.
A number of large projects have been initiated including: • Likely support for a range of projects in the 2007-08 covering exercise physiology, safety, breeding, horse health and welfare and genetics.
On the RIRDC Horse Program site is a list of links to fact sheets produced by state agricultural departments and research agencies. (Unfortunately, it seems that a lot of the links don’t work.) The RIRDC Bookshop sells a range of publications produced by RIRDC and includes horse-related publications: http://extranet.rirdc.gov.au/eshop/ Horse R&D Plan 2006 to 2011 www.rirdc.gov.au/pub/hor5yr.html RIRDC is committed to the development of Five Year Plans for each of its Research and Development Programs.
The Australian horse industry is both diverse and expanding with many benefits to be gained in all sectors of the industry from high calibre targeted research.
Since the release of the last Research and Development Plan for the horse industry in 2001, the number of horses registered by the Equestrian Federation of Australia has increased by 59%, and the number of Federation members has increased by 22%.
As at 30 July 2006 there were 61,819 registered members of pony clubs across Australia.
In addition to the now globally competitive thoroughbred breeding and racing sector, this indicates an ongoing capacity to adopt the results of RIRDC research and development in an industry that contributes more than $6.3 billion to GDP.
The Five-Year Plan builds on the outcomes of a stakeholder meeting conducted in early 2006 and wide ranging consultation within the horse industry to determine the key issues and priorities for research support.
The Plan identifies key objectives for investment and areas for future consideration, detailing the agreed strategic research and development needs that RIRDC will pursue in partnership with industry. Prepared by Mal Brown, Scarlet Consulting and Carolyn Munckton, CM Communications 42 AAWS Education and Training Stocktake Work, Sport, Recreation on Display FINAL REPORT – 1 February 2008 Informal Education – State Government NSW Government http://www.agric.nsw.gov.au/reader/horses The NSW Department of Primary Industries has extensive information about horse management on its website, including health and disease: Horse management Horses in riding centres and boarding stables • A simple horse crush • Guidelines for minimum standards for keeping horses in urban areas • Commonsense with horses (Primefact 170) • Caring for horses • Fire safety in stables • Horse yards and handling facilities • Foaling – mare and foal management • Horse sense • Judging horses • Feeding and nutrition Feeding wheat to horses in a drought (Primefact 296) • Drought feeding and management for horses • Pastures for horses (Primefact 525) • Feeding the brood mare (Primefact 526) • Practical feeding of horses (Primefact 425) • Feeding the working horse • A bin for storing horse feeds • Feeding horses in Australia • Practical horse nutrition • see also feeding and nutrition (general) Health and disease Equine Influenza • Horses and bushfires • Protecting the welfare of horses competing in bush races in NSW • The do’s and don’ts of moving horses from Queensland and NSW – don’t spread cattle ticks • Crofton weed • Strangles in horses (Primefact 648) • Estimating a horse’s weight (Primefact 494) • Horse health – vaccination against tetanus and strangles (Primefact 495) • Horse health – practical worm control (Primefact 496) • Hungerford’s ‘Diseases of livestock’ • see also health and disease (general) There is also a Fact Sheet (no. 20) on Protecting the welfare of horses competing in bush races in NSW. Prepared by Mal Brown, Scarlet Consulting and Carolyn Munckton, CM Communications 43 — a strong message that animals are not worthy of our respect”. Prepared by Mal Brown, Scarlet Consulting and Carolyn Munckton, CM Communications 73 AAWS Education and Training Stocktake Work, Sport, Recreation on Display FINAL REPORT – 1 February 2008 Appendix 1: Training Package competencies relevant to Animals used in Work, Sport, Recreation and on Display Competencies in the functional area that have specific animal welfare implications related to animals in the wild Greyhounds RGRG102A RGRG206A RGRG208A RGRG309A RGRG314A RGRG315A RGRG104A RGRG312A RGRG313A RGRG316A Horses RGRH102A RGRH209A RGRH310A RGRH317A RGRH207A RGRH319A RGRH205A RGRH313A RGRH414A RGRH420A RGRH421A RGRH422A RGRH423A Handle and control greyhounds safely Handle greyhounds safely Care for greyhounds Maintain greyhounds in a healthy state and safe environment Manage the education of greyhounds Train and race greyhounds Perform basic kennel duties Assess health and first aid for greyhounds Plan training and racing programs for greyhounds Evaluate training and racing programs of greyhounds Catch, groom and handle horses safely under supervision Care for horses Oversee safe handling of horses Maintain horses in a healthy state and safe environment Handle horses safely Assess health and first aid for standardbreds or thoroughbreds Perform basic riding or driving tasks Ride or drive horses at track work Ride or drive horses in industry-regulated competition Plan training and racing programs for standardbreds or thoroughbreds Manage the education of standardbreds or thoroughbreds Train and race standardbreds or thoroughbreds Evaluate training and racing programs of standardbreds or thoroughbreds All other animals RUV3303A Monitor and maintain animal health and wellbeing RUV3410A Capture, restrain and assist in moving animals RUV3411A Care for young animals RUV4203A Identify and respond to animal behaviour RUV2104A Provide food and water for animals RUV2107A Provide basic first aid for animals RUV3305A Carry out simple breeding procedures RUV3406A Prepare and maintain animal housing RUV3407A Maintain exhibits and assist with their design RUV3408A Prepare animal diets and monitor feeding RUV3409A Monitor and maintain animal health RUV3412A Monitor animal reproduction RUV3413A Condition animals RUV3414A Identify behavioural needs and implement improved husbandry RUV3509A Maintain aquascapes and aquatic animals RUV4401A Design and evaluate interpretive and learning programs RUV4402A Implement collection management RUV4403A Manage enclosures and exhibits RUV4504A Manage and maintain aviaries and bird rooms RUV5301A Carry out breeding procedures RUV5401A Design and develop enclosures and exhibits RUV5402A Develop and monitor collection management Prepared by Mal Brown, Scarlet Consulting and Carolyn Munckton, CM Communications 74
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