Equine Sector Council

The Equine Sector Council was previously known as  the Equine Health & Welfare Strategy

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All horses (including ponies, donkeys and other equids) are healthy and are treated humanely with everyone responsible for horse health and welfare fulfilling their duty of care under the relevant legislation, by taking reasonable steps to ensure that these needs of an animal are met through good practice:

  • a suitable environment,
  • a suitable diet,
  • to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns,
  • to be housed with, or apart from, other animals, as appropriate,
  • to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

and that where deliberate cruelty or neglect occur those responsible are held accountable.


To maximise the equine sector’s effectiveness in identifying and managing issues and work-streams cooperatively and coordinating the use of its resources, expertise and effort, using a risk based approach, encouraging partnership working wherever possible.

Strategic Aims

1. Equine Sector – To establish a high functioning and representative sector council in collaboration with the BHIC

a) To map current committee structure of the equine sector as defined by the EHWS Group

b) To publicise  the purpose, membership and outcomes of these committees wherever possible

c) To encourage rationalisation of such committees and structures wherever possible to reduce bureaucracy and duplication of effort.

2. Health – To protect and improve the health of the equine population of the UK

a) To review and improve disease surveillance practices, contingency planning and to improve Bio-security practices across the sector

b) To make recommendations regarding the availability and use of medicines

c) To make recommendations to improve horse identity measures and horse location monitoring

3. Welfare – To protect and improve the welfare standards of the equine population of the UK

a) To develop and implement a standard sector data collection system to enable the collation of information from organisations operating helplines

b) To identify and promote best practice in the receiving, investigation and reporting of welfare concerns

c) To develop a national protocol for handling stray and abandoned animals.

4. Education – To improve equine knowledge and skills of professionals, owners and keepers of equines throughout the UK

a) To review the current training qualifications and how they interrelate and meet sector needs.

b) To identify audiences and strategies to reach those who are not currently engaged.

c) To develop and publicise an EHWS Group website that signposts professionals, owners and members of the public to the most appropriate organisation or body for their enquiry.

EHWS flyer archive