Equine 5-year Code Review

The equine Code was released in 2013.  A 5-year review was completed by a Code Technical Panel in 2018. 

The Code Technical Panel’s recommendation for the equine Code of Practice is: Code be reaffirmed.

*Proposed timeline for a Code update: 2023.

Comments from the Code Technical Panel

Code amendments that have been identified by the Code Technical Panel as major and moderate cannot be appropriately addressed within the parameters of the code amendments process. The castration issue requires significant industry consultation and review of research. The panel decided it would not be the best use of industry resources, nor would it be possible to ensure a truant process to attempt to address the amendments within the time restraints of the amendment process. The code technical Panel will be preparing to address the amendments, communication and educating industry in advance of the 10 year scheduled Code update to ensure the issue, and others, can be addressed in a timely and thorough manner.

Major challenges identified that warrant Code amendments include:

  • Equine castration

Moderate challenges that should be addressed at some point include:

  • Unintended consequences of over anthropomorphizing as it related to decision making around euthanasia. The equine Code is missing a euthanasia decision tree for both veterinarians and producers to refer to when making end of life decisions.
  • Codes are a key part in the assessment of animal welfare and as such need to complement that process. Codes need to be designed in a way that truly helps facilitate maximum welfare.
  • Carcass disposal.