FEI Pledges 1 Million CHF to Deliver New Equine Welfare Strategy Action Plan

Fri, 06/07/2024 - 10:44

The FEI Board has unanimously approved an Equine Welfare Strategy Action Plan and established a dedicated Equine Welfare Fund of CHF 1 million (1.03 million euro) to launch the plan.

The decision was taken during the Board’s in-person meeting at the FEI Headquarters in Lausanne (SUI) on 4 and 5 June 2024.

Final Report

The Action Plan is based on the recommendations outlined in the Final Report of the Equine Ethics and Wellbeing Commission (EEWC) and comprises six priority areas of focus:

  • Training, Riding, Tack and Equipment;
  • Recognised Physical and Emotional Stress;
  • Accountability, Enforcement and Knowledge;
  • The Other 23 Hours;
  • Competitive Drive/Horse as a Number/Object;
  • Not Fit to Compete/Masking Health Problems.

The focus areas were divided into action points and entered into a matrix linking each point to the recommendations made by the EEWC, persons or groups in charge of delivery, finances, and deadlines. A series of other actions not linked to the six focus areas but addressing the EEWC recommendations have also been incorporated into the Action Plan, including education on the Five Domains of Animal Welfare approach, communications strategy, and reporting mechanisms.

"Significant actions have been outlined"

“This is an important day for horse welfare and the FEI,” FEI President, Ingmar De Vos said. “The Board took its responsibility and devoted time to discuss the detailed Action Plan with keen interest. Significant actions have been outlined, which will benefit horse welfare and will have a powerful impact on the sport as a whole. I want to take this opportunity to thank our NFs, stakeholders and equestrian community members for their feedback during and after the dedicated Sports Forum session which has greatly assisted the FEI in producing a tangible Action Plan.”

The Action Plan will be finalised with the suggestions made by the Board and will be published shortly. Implementation will begin immediately with the objective to propose initial rule changes that safeguard horse welfare at the FEI General Assembly 2024. The Plan, which includes scientific research projects, offers an ongoing perspective that will continue to deliver in the coming years.

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