World Horse Welfare Statement in response to the FEI Sports Forum 2024 

A statement following the FEI's response to the Equine Ethics and Wellbeing Commission's report 'A Good Life for Horses - A vision for the future involvement of horses in sport'

Posted on 30/04/2024

World Horse Welfare Statement in response to the FEI Sports Forum 2024 

With representation on the FEI’s Equine Ethics and Wellbeing Commission we have released the statement below following the FEI’s response to the Commission’s report ‘A Good Life for Horses – A vision for the future involvement of horses in sport’ at their 2024 Sports Forum. The independent commission was established in June 2022 in response to growing public concern over the welfare of horses involved in sport. 

World Horse Welfare Statement following the FEI’s response to the Equine Ethics and Wellbeing Commission’s report ‘A Good Life for Horses – A vision for the future involvement of horses in sport.’ 

The FEI’s adoption of the Equine Ethics and Wellbeing Commission’s vision that all sport horses should have a good life was heartening, as was their commitment to base this on the Five Domains Model for animal welfare assessment. And it is encouraging that the FEI is taking action on the six immediate priority areas identified by the Commission.  

We fully recognise that this is a marathon and not a sprint, but maintaining a real sense of urgency in addressing all 30 of the recommendations is vital. These include developing a wider welfare strategy to ensure a good life for horses over the long term – from birth to death, and both inside and outside of competition – and collaborating with others to fill the many research gaps to ensure we truly listen to the voice of the horse.  

We believe it is also fundamental for there to be independent external oversight of the FEI’s action plan and wider strategy, as experience shows this is central to the maintenance of social licence, and more importantly should reap faster and more effective improvements to horse welfare. We look forward to working further with the FEI to help bring the Commission’s recommendations to reality.”  

Roly Owers, Chief Executive of World Horse Welfare  

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