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Seminars bring horse health to communities

Photo: Christina Weese.

Vaccinations, deworming, hoof care and equine nutrition are among the topics that will be covered during the backyard horse health seminars. Photo: Christina Weese.

A series of six “backyard horse seminars” this spring will deliver vital equine health management information to Saskatchewan horse owners right in their own communities.

The Farm Animal Council of Saskatchewan (FACS) is organizing the seminars in partnership with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), Saskatchewan Horse Federation (SHF) and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture.

The seminars aim to educate horse owners on basic standards of care and to introduce Canada’s updated Equine Code of Practice.

“The seminars are partly to raise awareness about the code but also to provide education about the care and handling of horses for everyone from the beginner horse owner to the person who has been in the industry for a long time,” explains Dr. Steve Manning, an associate professor at the WCVM and a member of the FACS board of directors.

Two WCVM veterinarians will attend each seminar to give presentations and to answer horse owners’ questions.

Everyone is welcome to attend the free seminars. Registration begins at 6:30 p.m. and presentations will run from 7-9 p.m. Each seminar will feature four half-hour segments on the following topics:

  • routine equine care including deworming, vaccinations and dental work
  • hoof care
  • equine nutrition
  • the revised Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Equines that was released in 2013

The National Farm Animal Care Council of Canada (NFACC) produces Codes of Practice for most livestock industries including the equine industry. The equine code was updated in 2013 with input from the WCVM as well as from other universities, horse owners and equine organizations across Canada.

The comprehensive document covers all aspects of horse care from duty of care to facilities and housing, feed and water, health, feedlot and reproductive management, husbandry practices, change or end of career and euthanasia.

The code sets out both minimum requirements and recommended standards of care.

Copies of the updated Equine Code of Practice will be available for attendees, or horse owners can download an electronic version of the code from the NFACC website.

The equine seminars, which will take place over a six-week period beginning on April 3, will be held at the following locations:

  • April 3, Swift Current, Days Inn. Speakers: Drs. Katharina Lohmann and Kate Robinson.
  • April 10, Estevan, Days Inn. Speakers: Drs. Steve Manning and Kate Robinson.
  • April 17, Lloydminster, Days Inn. Speakers: Drs. Steve Manning and Anne Marie Guillemaud.
  • April 24, Regina, Executive Royal Hotel. Speakers: Drs. Katharina Lohmann and James Carmalt.
  • May 1, Porcupine Plain, Community Hall.  Speakers: Drs. Julia Montgomery and James Carmalt.
  • May 8, Saskatoon, Ryan/Dubé Equine Performance Centre (WCVM, U of S). Speakers: Drs. Julia Montgomery and Anne Marie Guillemaud

Manning adds that horse owners who attend the final seminar in Saskatoon are invited to tour the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre’s Ryan/Dubé Equine Performance Centre after the presentations.

For more information, email FACS at facs@sasktel.net or call 306-249-3227.

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