Appendix M

CANADIAN  CODE  OF  PRACTICE  FOR  EQUINES



Summary of Code Requirements

   The following is a list of the requirements within the equine 

    Code of Practice. 


   SECTION 1 Duty of Care

   Owners must have the resources for and knowledge of the basics 

   of care as stated in this Code and ensure such care is provided.

   Principal caregivers must be familiar with and provide the basics 

   of care as stated in this Code.


SECTION 2 Facilities and Housing

Pastures and Yards


At a minimum, each horse must have enough space to move easily, walk forward, turn around with ease, and lie down in a normal resting posture. There must also be sufficient space for subordinate horses to escape aggression.

In muddy conditions horses must, at a minimum, have access to a mud-free, well-drained area in the pasture/yard on which to stand and lie down.

The amplication of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and farm manure must be timed to prevent any health risks to grazing horses or contamination of ground water.


Shade and Outdoor Shelter

Horses must have access to shelter (constructed or natural) that protects them from the harmful effects of extreme weather conditions.

Promptly assist individual horses that are showing signs of heat or cold stress.

If blankets are used, the condition of the horse beneath the blankets must be examined at least weekly.

Blankets must be appropriate for the weather conditions and not result in heat stress.


Mixing and New Arrivals

Horses kept in groups must be managed in a way that minimizes the risk of injury


Fences and Gates

Fences must be constructed and maintained to minimize the risk of injury and must be strong enough to contain horses. Refer to municipal fencing by-laws, if applicable.

Electric fences must be installed according to the manufacturer's specifications. All power units for electric fences must be designed to prevent short circuits and/or stray voltage.

Temporary electric fences used for strip grazing or pasture rotation are not an acceptable permanent perimeter fence for horses.


Sick or Injured Horses

Owners must have the ability to segregate sick or injured horses for treatment.

If sick pens or stalls are used, they must be equipped with a source of feed and water and be cleaned between uses.


Indoor Housing

Facilities must be designed and maintained to minimize the risk of injury.

Appendix M


                  Indoor Space Allowance

   

                   For indoor facilities: each horse must have enough space to lie 

               down in a normal resting posture, stand with the head fully 

               raised, walk forward and turn around with ease. 

               For tie stalls, each horse must have enough space to lie down 

               in a normal resting posture, stand with the head fully raised, 

               and step forward in comfort. For group housing, there must 

               also be sufficient space for subordinate horses to escape aggression.


             Indoor Lighting

             For horses kept indoors without natural light, artificial lighting 

          must be provided during the day. Keeping horses in 

          continuous darkness is not acceptable.


          Indoor Flooring 

          Provide non-slip surfaces in stalls and alley-ways to reduce the 

          risk of horses slipping or falling.


            Indoor Bedding

   Ensure stalls are kept clean. Horses must be provided with a 

   dry lying area. The area must also be of a design or texture that 

   will not bruise, cut or otherwise injure the horse. 

   Concrete or hard rubMr mats without bedding are not 

   acceptable surfaces. Beading must be non-toxic.


             Indoor Air Quality and Humidity

              Air quality in barns must be maintained to prevent the 

           buildup of noxious gases, dust and moisture. Ventilation 

           must effectively maintain good indoor air quality.


    The concentration of ammonia in the air must not exceed 25ppm.   


              Safety and Emergencies

    Develop an emergency action plan for emergencies that may 

    occur in your area.

    Toxic materials must be securely stored such that horses cannot 

         gain access to them.


           SECTION 3 Feed and Water

               Water

     Horses must have access to safe, palatable and clean water 

     in quantities to maintain health and vigour.

     In extreme weather conditions (cold or hot), special attention 

     must be paid to ensure water availability, access and intake.

    Water troughs, containers and atxy automatic watering devices 

          must be cleaned regularly and maintained in working order with

          no sharp or abrasive edges.


                Safety of Feedstuffs

     Horses must have daily access to forage that is free from 

     visible mould and has minimal dust. Horses must only 

     receive feedstuffs that are appropriate for the species.

    Concentrates must be stored in a secure manner that prevents 

         horses from overeating.

Appendix M


         Nutritional Content and Feed Management

  Horses must receive a diet that is adequate for maintaining 

  health  and vigour.

  The daily ration must address the horse's maintenance and 

  activity needs and other factors relevant to individual horses 

  and the environment.

  Horses must have access to salt either provided in the ration 

  or free access (a block or loose salt).


      Growing Horses

   Growing horses must receive a diet that is adequate 

  for maintaining health, growth and vigour.


       Horses in Work

    Horses in work must receive a diet that is adequate 

   for maintaining health and vigour.


       Stallions

    Stallions must receive a diet that is adequate for 

   maintaining health and vigour.


       Reproductive Mares and Jennets

     Pregnant and lactating mares/jennets must receive a diet that 

     is adequate for maintaining health and vigour and that allows 

     the mares/jennets to provide adequate nutrition to the foal.


        Geriatric Horses

        Geriatric horses must receive a diet that is adequate 

      for maintaining health and vigour.

      SECTION 4 Health Management

         Health Management Plans

    Horses must be observed as often as required to maintain 

    their health and well-being.

    Purchase medications and veterinary pharmaceuticals 

    from regulated, reputable sources. Refer to provincial and 

    federal regulations.

    Records or receipts of treatments provided must be available.


         Parasite Management

A parasite control program to prevent parasite related disease must be in place. This Requirement applies to internal and external parasites.


          Sick, Injured or Compromised Horses

     Equines that are sick, injured or in pain must receive appropriate treatment without delay or be euthanized without delay; Refer also to Section 10-Euthanasia.

     For sick, injured or compromised horses that are not showing improvement, horse owners or caregivers must, without delay, obtain veterinary advice on appropriate care and treatment or make arrangements for euthanasia.

Records or receipts for treatments provided must be available.

Appropriate authorities must be advised of suspected or confirmed cases of federally reportable disease, such as Equine Infectious Anemia. (www.inspection.gc. ca).


         Dental Care

     Horses showing signs of dental problems must be examined 

     and treated.

     Dental care procedures must only be performed by a veterinarian or competent individual working under direct veterinary supervision. Refer to provincial regulations.


             MLameness

                  Lameness must be addressed either through specific therapies 

                   or changes in management or workload.


                           Laminitis (Founder)

              Horses with larninitis must receive appropriate 

              lifelong management and treatment, which may 

              include medications, dietary management and hoof care.


                             Body Condition Scoring

For horses and ponies: corrective action must be taken at a BCS of 3 or lower and at a BCS of 8 or higher (on the 1-9 scale). Veterinary advice must be obtained if animals do not respond to the corrective action. Refer to Appendix D.

For donkeys and mules: corrective action must be taken at a BCS of 2 or lower and at a BCS of 4 or higher (on the 1-5 scale). Veterinary advice must be obtained if animals do not respond to the corrective action. Refer to Appendix E.

Veterinary advice must be obtained for geriatric equines that are emaciated (i.e. BCS of 1 or 2 out of 9 for horses and ponies; BCS of 1 out of 5 for donkeys and mules).

Equines must not be starved or prevented from eating for prolonged periods in order to reduce BCS - the change in feed to reduce BCS must be gradual.

With the exception of horses in feedlots that are free from health conditions associated with obesity.


                             SECTION 5 Feedlot Management

                               Handling at Loading and Unloading

               The ground in the holding pen must be well-drained and 

                non-slip.

                    Horses must be handled in a manner that does not subject 

                    them to avoidable pain or avoidable injury.


                              New Arrivals

                Upon arrival to the feedlot, horses must be 

                individually assessed for health and well-being and must 

                be provided with water and good quality forage.

                Horses in groups must be managed in a way to minimize 

                    the risk of injury.


                                Feeding

                      Feedlot horses must receive a diet that is adequate 

                     for maintaining health and vigour.
                 Feedlot horses must have daily access to forage that is 

                     free from visible mould and has minimal dust.


                                Health Management in the Feedlot

Feedlot owners must establish and maintain a Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR) with a practicing veterinarian.

A written biosecurity and disease management plan must be in place and developed with a veterinarian.

Feedlot horses must be observed at least once a day for health and well-being.

Feedlot horses requiring medical treatment must receive such treatment and be identified. Feedlot horses to be held over for a drug residue withdrawal period must be sufficiently healthy and sound to withstand this period without undue suffering.


       Records or receipts of treatments provided must be available. 

       Drug withdrawal periods must be observed. For information on 

       drug withdrawal periods, consult a veterinarian or the Meat 

       Hygiene Manual of Procedures (Appendix K provides a reference for 

       this manual).

     Hospital pens must be available and must provide' shelter, bedding, dryness, and a source of feed and water. Hospital pens must also be cleaned between uses.

Refer also to the Requirements in Section 4-Health Management.


         Pen Condition and Shelter

Feedlot owners must have a plan for mud management and access to any equipment necessary to implement the plan.

A dry lying area must be available in each pen.


         Stocking Density

At a minimum, each horse must have enough space to move easily, walk forward, turn around with ease, and lie down in a normal resting posture. There must also be sufficient space for subordinate horses to escape aggression.


                     SECTION 6 Husbandry Practices


          Turnout, Exercise and Social Opportunities

Horses must have some form of exercise or turnout unless under stall rest for medical reasons or severe environmental conditions make this temporarily impossible. Section 6.1 provides explanations\ for exercise and turnout.


         Behaviour and Handling

Handlers must be familiar with equine behaviour and competent in humane handling techniques either through training, experience or mentorship.

Horses must be handled in a manner that does not subject them to avoidable pain or avoidable injury.


         Handling and Restraint Equipment

Corrective action must be taken if restraint devices or equipment cause injury to horses.

Tethering must not cause injury and must only be used if the horse is under supervision. The person applying the tether must be knowledgeable in its use. 

Electric cattle prods must not be used for the routine movement 

or handling of horses on-farm or during loading/unloading. 

Discretion must be used in an individual extreme situation when animal 

or human safety is at immediate risk, but prods must never be 

used repeatedly or used on the face, anus or reproductive organs 

of horses.


         Principles in Training and Learning Theory

Horses must not be trained in a manner that subjects them to avoidable pain or that causes them injury as a direct result of the training method used. They must never be subjected to training methods which are abusive or intentionally injure the horse. This includes, but is not limited to, soring, excessive use of whips or forcing the horse's head position by tying the horse to a fixed object. The glossary provides a definition of soring.

Horses must only undergo training that matches their physical capabilities and level of maturity.
Equipment in use must be maintained in good repair and must fit the horse correctly.

Appendix M


         Methods of Identification


         Animal identification must be performed in a manner that causes 

       the minimum of handling stress and pain, regardless of the method used.

       If branding is necessary, do not brand horses on the jaw/cheek.

       When registering new brands, select an approved site other than the 

       jaw/cheek Consult the appropriate provincial regulatory authorities, 

       breed registry or sport council for more information.

       Horses must never be branded when they are wet.


         Castration

 Castration of donkeys, mules, and mature horses must only be 

 performed by a veterinarian.

 Horses with one or more retained testicle or other scrotal 

 abnormalities (e.g. hernias) must only be castrated by a veterinarian.

 Provincial regulations that restrict castration of horses to 

 licensed veterinarians must be followed. Where it is not prohibited 

 by law, castration by a person who is not a licensed veterinarian must 

 only be performed by a skilled operator and must meet the 

 following requirements:


 there is a valid Veterinarjr-Client-Patient Relationship with a 

 licensed veterinarian who is willing to supply training (on the 

 procedure and pain management), prescribe the required drugs for 

 pain control, and provide interventions if needed, the scrotal area 

 must be examined to ensure normal scrotal anatomy. If there is 

 evidence of an abnormality, castration must only be performed by 

 a veterinarian, the handling and restraint methods must not cause 

 injury or unnecessary suffering, pain control must be provided. 

 At a minimum, this must include a local anesthetic and a 

 nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Castration must not begin 

 until the local anesthetic has taken effect.The horse must be 

 monitored during and after the procedure and, if complications occur, 

 a veterinarian must be contacted without delay.


       Alterations of the Tail

Tail nicking and blocking are unacceptable and must not be performed.

Tail docking for cosmetic purposes is unacceptable and must not 

be performed. Refer also to provincial regulations on tail docking, 

if applicable.


  Hoof Care

Hooves must be trimmed and/or shod as often as is necessary to 

maintain hooves in functional condition. Whether shod or unshod, 

hooves must not be allowed to grow to excessive lengths causing injury 

or discomfort to the horse.


    Grooming

Horses must be free of debris where the saddle and harness are placed. 

The tack must also be free from debris before being placed on the horse. 

Burdocks causing discomfort or injury must be removed without delay.


                 SECTION 7 Reproductive Management

    Responsible Breeding

     Do not breed horses unless you are familiar with and able to provide 

    the basics of care as outline this Code for both the mares/jennets 

    and foals.



        Care of the Pregnant Mare or Jennet


        Mares /jennets requiring medical care during gestation must receive 

       such care.

 Pregnant mares/jennets must have some form of exercise or turnout 

 unless under stall rest for medical reasons or severe environ-

 mental conditions make this temporarily impossible.


    Foaling

    A plan must be in place for the foaling process, including a plan 

    for getting prompt expert advice or help if needed. 

    Mares and jennets close to foaling must be observed at least twice 

    a day for health, well-being and signs of foaling.


     Care of the Newborn Foal

      Newborn foals must be monitored to ensure they can rise and 

     suck unassisted. Appropriate care must be provided without delay 

     if  abnormalities in the foal are observed.


     Colostrum

     Foals must receive colostrum or alternative care to maintain their 

     health and vigour.


     Weaning

     Facilities or fencing used during weaning must be safe and made 

     of strong materials free from protrusions. 

     Corrective action must be taken if the foal or mare/jennet 

     injures themselves attempting to reunite during weaning.


                 SECTION 8 Transportation

      Fitness for Transport

Horses must be mdividualfy assessed for fitness for transport before being transported. Evaluate fitness for transport in the context of each trip and all relevant factors (e.g. anticipated total trip duration from farm to final destination and prevailing weather conditions). Unfit horses must not be transported, except for veterinary diagnosis or treatment.

       Preparing Horses for Transport

If the expected duration of the horse's confinement is longer than 24 hours from the time of loading, the horse must be fed and watered within five hours before being loaded.


       Loading and Unloading

The requirements for loading and unloading procedures and equipment as described in the Health of Animals Regulations must be complied with.1

Mares and jennets must not be transported if they are likely to give birth during the trip.

Every mare with its suckling offspring must be segregated from all other animals during transport.

Every mature stallion must be segregated from all other animals during transport.

Horses must be individually assessed before loading and upon arrival back to the farm.


1   The Health of Animals Regulations prohibit loading and

 unloading an animal in a way likely to cause injury or undue

 suffering. The Regulations also require that ramps, chutes

 and other equipment used for loading and unloading animals:


be maintained and used so as not to cause injury or undue


suffering to animals have sides of sufficient strength and


height to prevent animals from falling off the ramp or other


equipment provide animals with secure footing on ramps,


inside the trailer and in the loading area have no unprotected


gap between the ramp and the vehicle.


           On-Farm Management Post-Transport

 Horses must be provided with water upon arrival to the farm.


                 SECTION 9 Change or End of Career


 The welfare of the horse must be of paramount importance 

 when making change or end of career decisions.


                  SECTION 10 Euthanasia

         Timelines for Euthanasia

  Equines that are sick, injured or in pain must receive 

  appropriate  treatment without delay or be euthanized 

  without delay. 

  For sick, injured or compromised horses that are not 

  showing improvement, horse owners or caregivers must, 

  without  delay, obtain veterinary advice on appropriate care 

  and treatment or make arrangements for euthanasia.


          Methods

   An acceptable method of euthanasia must be used.

       Euthanasia must be performed by persons knowledgeable in 

       the method used for equines.

       Disposal must be in accordance with provincial and 

       municipal regulations.


          Confirmation of Death

        Confirm unconsciousness immediately when it is safe to do so.

        Have a secondary euthanasia step or method available.

        Confirm death before moving or leaving the animal.

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