The Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Equines was released in 2013. The equine Code’s 5-year review was completed in 2018, and the outcome of the review can be found here. An update to the equine Code was initiated in 2023.

Code update timeline:

  • Start: January 2024
  • Public comment period: January - February 2026
  • Projected completion: January 2027

Timeline for all Codes of Practice being amended or updated.

Current Code of Practice and related resources are below.


Code Committee members

The Code Committee is populated in accordance with Step 1 of NFACC’s Code development process. 

RoleCommittee MemberOrganization
VeterinarianBettina Bobsien (Chair)Canadian Veterinary Medical Association
Producer representative Glenn FlewellingFeedlot sector representative
 Charlotte Nagy Canadian Sport Horse Association
 Calandra van MassenhovenDonkey representative
 Geoff MaltbyRacing representative
 Renée LévesqueCheval Québec
Animal welfare advocacy associationSusi Cienciala Humane Canada 
Provincial animal protection enforcement authorityLisa Joachim Manitoba Agriculture 
Provincial government representative with responsibilities in animal welfareAlison MooreOntario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Federal government   Angela RouillardAgriculture and Agri-Food Canada
 Corrie Rot Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Technical expertJennifer WoodsHorse Welfare Alliance of Canada
 Erica CheungNominated by Equestrian Canada 
 Allister GrayNominated by Equestrian Canada 
Researcher/academicKathleen MacMillan (Chair of the Scientific Committee) University of Prince Edward Island

Scientific Committee members

The Scientific Committee is populated in accordance with Step 2 of NFACC’s Code development process.

NameNamed by
W. Michael Scott, DVM, MVSc, DACVS & DACVSMRCanadian Veterinary Medical Association
Kathleen MacMillan, MSc, DVM, DABVP (Eq)Canadian Veterinary Medical Association
Katrina Merkies, PhDInternational Society for Applied Ethology & International Society for Equitation Science
Carissa Wickens, PhDInternational Society for Applied Ethology & International Society for Equitation Science
Robert J. (Bob) Coleman, PhD, PAS

American Society of Animal Science

There are various ways to view the Code:

  • HTML version (or select from the Table of Contents below)
  • PDF version (1.9 MB)
  • EPUB (please note that you will need an application on your device [phone or tablet] to download and open the book)

There are a limited number of hard copies of this Code. NFACC encourages use of the electronic version and does not store hard copies. If hard copies are required, please contact Equestrian Canada.

Please note that content in the transportation section of this Code, along with additional transportation-related content (e.g., glossary terms) that had referenced or reflected the outdated version of Part XII (Transport of Animals) in the Health of Animal Regulations (HAR), or the now archived Compromised Animals Policy, has been updated to align with the amended regulations, which took effect on February 20, 2020. Hard copies of the Codes that were printed prior to this alignment will not include these updates. For clarity, Codes that have been updated will include a statement on the front cover that reads “Alignment with Part XII (Transport of Animals) of the Health of Animals Regulations: 2021”.

This update process was strictly aimed at revising existing text that no longer aligned with the amended HAR. Every effort was made to respect the original priorities and decisions of the Code Development Committee (e.g., text from the HAR was not added if it was not covered in the original Code). In case of a discrepancy between the hard copy and online version of a Code, the online version shall take precedence.

Other resources:

Table of Contents

Section 1 Duty of Care
Section 2 Facilities and Housing
Section 3 Feed and Water
Section 4 Health Management
Section 5 Feedlot Management
Section 6 Husbandry Practices
Section 7 Reproductive Management
Section 8 Transportation
Section 9 Change or End of Career
Section 10 Euthanasia
 Appendix A - Template Budget for Horse Ownership
 Appendix B - Sample Water Intakes
 Appendix C - Vital Signs in Horses and Donkeys
 Appendix D - Body Condition Scoring - Horses and Ponies
 Appendix E - Body Condition Scoring - Donkeys and Mules
 Appendix F - Key Points for Owners of Donkeys or Mules
 Appendix G - Understanding Flight Zone, Point of Balance and Field of Vision
 Appendix H - Transport Decision Tree
 Appendix I - Anatomical Landmarks for Euthanasia
 Appendix J - Technical Guidelines for Euthanasia Methods
 Appendix K - Resources for Further Information
 Appendix L - Participants

Appendix M - Summary of Code Requirements

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