Horse Industry

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A new study will investigate how to optimize the welfare of horses being transported by air. Horses are among the most travelled domestic species, and although there has been plenty of research into road travel, less is known about how they cope with travelling by air.

Developing guidelines for health and well-being of horses transported by air.

By Mark Andrews

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How do you tell if your horse is in pain? You may just know straight away that something is not right. But people are not always able to correctly interpret the signs of pain displayed by horses and donkeys. After all, having evolved as prey animals, it is in their interest not to show signs of pain that might bring them to the attention of a predator looking for its next meal.

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A devastating demand for donkey hides is decimating the donkey population in Africa, and threatening the livelihoods of millions of the world’s poorest and most marginalized people. Kisima is a widow living in Nimalat, Kenya, and raises her nine children alone. She earns money through selling charcoal at the market and, to do so, she is completely dependent on her two donkeys.

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In British Columbia, Howard Jackson, who with his wife, Marylin, owns the BC Appaloosa Centre (BCAC) in Prince George, has enjoyed a lifelong relationship with Appaloosas. Jackson was born in 1948, and in 1955 his father acquired an aged Appaloosa stallion named White Chief #36 ApHCC in a horse trade.

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On August 6, 2020, a cloned Przewalski’s horse foal was born at the Texas veterinary facility, Timber Creek Veterinary, a long-time collaborator with ViaGen Equine in Cedar Park, Texas, a world leader in cloning services. To bring a cloned Przewalski’s foal into the world, they worked together with San Diego Zoo Global’s Frozen Zoo, and Revive & Restore, a conservation organization promoting biotechnology in conservation techniques.

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Severe fires in recent years have exposed humans and animals to unhealthy air containing wildfire smoke and particulates. These particulates can build up in the respiratory system, causing a number of health problems including burning eyes, runny noses, and illnesses such as bronchitis. They can also aggravate heart and lung diseases such as congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, and asthma.

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Aldergrove, BC, June 30, 2020 - Horses generate an estimated $784 million dollars in economic activity in British Columbia, and that translates to over $63 million in tax revenue to the province. The 2019 Economic Impact Study conducted by Horse Council BC (HCBC) with funding through Canadian Agricultural Partnership, indicates more than 88 percent of horse owners say they will be either maintaining or increasing their involvement in the industry in the next five years.

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With the coronavirus pandemic expected to continue for an unspecified length of time, horse industry businesses have been considering how best to reduce the spread of the virus, maintain a healthy environment for staff, horses, and clients, while also operating effectively. In many operations, participants can easily maintain a physical distance of two metres, which provincial and federal governments continue to encourage to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19. However, some businesses have shared spaces — for example, tack rooms at boarding facilities — where riders and owners are more likely to touch the same surfaces. As such, riders, trainers, owners, grooms, transporters, professionals, and caregivers who work in the horse industry are struggling to figure out how to operate in these uncertain times.

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It will be critically important to maintain physical distancing as barns prepare to re-open with a new “normal” for the upcoming months. The maintenance of six feet physical distance will need to be strictly enforced as well as many new cleaning protocols.

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