Free online training is the latest initiative out of the gate to raise awareness about Canada’s standard of care for horses, ponies, donkeys and mules
(10 SEPT 2020 Cochrane, AB, Canada) – The Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada (HWAC) has launched an online training program in an effort to increase awareness around nationally developed guidelines for the care and handling of equines.
“This new video series provides a timely refresher about management and welfare practices for the animals in our care,” says project coordinator Mikki Shatosky. “Be it housing, health management, transportation or other animal husbandry practices, there are requirements and recommendations that must be part of our everyday routines.”
“The online program is designed for participants to work through sections at their own pace,” adds Shatosky. “The modules vary in length from five to 40 minutes each for more in-depth topics such as health management and husbandry practices.”
Recognizing differing learning goals and priorities, HWAC offers two convenient training options. Participants can choose to explore individual components and move through training units on the HWAC website at no cost. Those looking for a more structured approach and certification may opt to access the training via the HWAC learning portal for a fee of $25. The latter path includes testing upon course completion as well as a certificate.
In addition to the informative videos, HWAC has developed a number of tailored assessment checklists to assist owners, custodians, industry specialists and professionals. The content will inform and educate authorities involved in welfare inspections, cruelty investigations and aid in determining outcomes for accepted standards of care.
“The intent of our support tools is to provide access to the latest information while encouraging the highest quality care,” she adds. “Not only do our checklists prompt owners to ask key questions before a care arrangement is established, they also facilitate continuous improvement within the industry itself.”
Established in 2008, HWAC has a proven track record of working within the equine sector to educate and promote humane care, handling and welfare of equines throughout their lifetime. The Alliance includes provincial equine organizations, farm animal care groups and other segments of the animal agriculture industry.
“Anyone who has experienced the joys of equine knows it is a great privilege and enduring responsibility,” she adds. “These are special connections that often last for many years, so it’s important to confirm your practices are keeping pace with evolving care and handling techniques.”
The Equine Code of Practice Awareness and Education initiative is managed through the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada and funded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriAssurance Program – a federal, provincial, territorial initiative.