NEWC has made significant progress in strengthening links with Government. This has been most notable in Wales where NEWC has played a leading role in debate, education and training; as well as delivery of co-ordinated assistance in welfare cases by NEWC members. NEWC has engaged directly with the Welsh Assembly Government and the Local Authorities through the Companion Animal Welfare Enhancement Scheme, providing a central point of access to the equine welfare sector for bodies and people unaccustomed to working with our sector before the introduction of the Animal Welfare Act.
NEWC has continued to play an active part in the projects to develop proposed regulatory schemes using the secondary legislation framework of the Animal Welfare Acts. These aim to enhance welfare protection for equines. In Wales the project is investigating the regulation of animal sanctuaries. The second group is working on possible regulation of livery yards and other commercial equine establishments for consideration by the Scottish Government.
NEWC has successfully co-ordinated the joint effort of its Members to provide welfare support at Appleby Horse Fair over the last few years and develop a complementary education programme for future Fairs. Overall welfare continues to improve at successive Fairs as does the relationship between the Fair-goers and the attending NEWC Members.
The Equine Health and Welfare Strategy, now known as the Equine Sector Council, has undergone refinement in recognition of the work done to date and the incorporation of the Protocol. NEWC and its members have dedicated resources towards fulfilment of a number of the objectives of the Strategy, in particular those that were key parts of the Protocol.
NEWC members have again been very active in dealing with equine welfare cases and the NEWC facilitated partnership approach to a series of medium and large scale welfare problems resulted in effective resolution of these situations.
NEWC membership has expanded in recent years. Further potential members are identified and dialogue has been initiated with these.
The third edition of the Compendium has been distributed and used widely to support equine welfare, serving to complement and amplify the Statutory equine Codes of Practice issued in England, Scotland and Wales.
The NEWC General Meetings have significantly increased levels of educational and information content to our Members and resulted in an increased attendance from the membership. NEWC Directors represented NEWC at various local and national equine welfare meetings facilitating the dissemination of information about wider equine welfare issues to frontline operators.
NEWC is very grateful to The Elise Pilkington Trust for funding to produce the revised NEWC Code of Practice for the keeping for horses.
Joint training initiatives developed by NEWC Members disseminated equine welfare expertise from our Members to enforcement personnel working for Local Authorities in Wales and a growing number in England. This arose in response to a demand for training in light of the core curriculum project started under the Protocol.