Horse welfare law

World Horse Welfare is committed to protecting Britain's horses. We work at every level to ensure legislation meets the needs of horses and we follow this through by informing the public about their duty of care. Our combination of expertise, from how the legislative process works to practical considerations, ensures we recommend sustainable solutions.sales

We are actively involved in every aspect of UK horse welfare law, which is aimed at protecting the greatest number of horses.

Priority areas currently include:

  • Animal Welfare Acts

The Animal Welfare Act (England and Wales) and the Animal Health and Welfare Act (Scotland) place a duty of care on those responsible for horses. To find advice about caring for horses, please visit our Advice Library.


  • Codes of Practice

These provide guidance, clarification and help in interpreting the Acts. The Welsh Equine Code of Practice was launched in November 2008, and the Scottish and English Codes were launched in 2009. We have been in close consultation with decision-makers to ensure that these properly reflect the needs of the horse.


  • Secondary legislation

This refers to laws made after the introduction of the Acts. We are currently working with other leading organisations, such as the British Equine Veterinary Association, to establish whether secondary legislation covering livery yards would  benefit horses suffering because of poor standards.


  • Monitoring enforcement of the law

We work closely with enforcement agencies on a day-to-day basis to ensure a joined-up approach.


  • Protecting horses against export for slaughter from the UK


  • The Equine Health and Welfare Strategy

Launched in 2007, this initiative is designed to recognise the importance of high standards of equine health and welfare to the success and viability of the UK equine industry. We are actively involved in the welfare elements of this important strategy.


A number of our team also sit on national and international committees, as experts on UK horse welfare issues.