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The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA) and the Horse Council of BC is running a series of educational talks on the new Equine Code of Practice. These talks aim to teach owners updated practices for the care of their horses, donkeys and mules.

The old Equine Code contains outdated knowledge that does not result in the best possible care for your animals, so BC SPCA is introducing new standards to help protect horses from neglect and mistreatment.

The BC SPCA recognizes that some of this neglect and mistreatment may not even be something the owners are aware of. The oldest forms of caring for horses, donkeys and mules have been passed down the generations and only now are the negatives of these age old practices are coming to light.

The Equine Code issues standards for nutrition, health care, breeding, space, comfort, air quality, exercise and humane training. It also bans cosmetic mutilations.

Some of the updated topics that will be addressed in the seminars include:

  • Adequate nutrition and water access;
  • Shelter that protects animals from extreme weather conditions;
  • Horses should have enough space in stalls and shelters so that they can lay down in normal resting posture and be able to turn around comfortably;
  • Feet must be trimmed and shod as often as necessary to keep hooves functional;
  • Tail docking for cosmetic purposes, which is considered unacceptable;
  • Lameness must be addressed by therapy or a change in workload; and
  • Horses should have some form of daily exercise or turnout to maintain a healthy body.

The seminars on the New Equine Code will take place at Fort St John (November 13), Kamloops (November 21) and Nanaimo (December 3). There will also be a ‘Mane Event’ in Chilliwack (October 26). Prospective attendants can register at the SPCA BC website.

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