Public comment period for draft equine Code of Practice closes February 14

REMINDER NOTICE: The draft Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Equines is available for public comment until February 14, 2013. Equine Canada and the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) announced the launch of the public comment period on December 3, 2012.

The draft Code can be viewed and submissions made through NFACC’s web site at All submissions must be made through the online system and easy to follow instructions are provided.

A Scientists’ Committee report summarizing research on priority welfare topics for equines can be found alongside the draft Code online. This peer-reviewed report aided the discussions of the Code Development Committee as they prepared the draft Code of Practice.

Codes of Practice serve as our national understanding of animal care requirements and recommended practices. The equine Code is one of eight farm animal Codes of Practice currently under revision as part of a multi-year NFACC project. The equine Code is intended to promote sound management practices for responsible horse, pony, donkey and mule ownership, health management, feeding, housing, feedlot management, principles of training, euthanasia and other husbandry practices.

The draft Code was developed over 22 months by an 18-person Code Development Committee comprised of nominated individuals from eight provinces. The Committee includes equine owners, caregivers, animal welfare and enforcement representatives, researchers, veterinarians and government representatives. The Scientists’ Committee includes researchers with expertise in equine behaviour, health and welfare. The final equine Code of Practice will be released in June 2013. More information on the Code development process is available at

Funding for the Codes of Practice is provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Agricultural Flexibility Fund, under the Addressing Domestic and International Market Expectations Relative to Farm Animal Welfare initiative, as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan.

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