More than 40 local authority inspectors from Wales have received training in how to handle horses and assess their welfare to help them investigate alleged cases of equine cruelty and neglect.

More than 40 local authority inspectors from across Wales have received training in how to handle horses and assess their welfare to allow them to investigate complaints from the public about alleged cases of cruelty and neglect involving horses, ponies and donkeys.

Trainers Nicolas De Brauwere and Liane CrowtherThe trading standards and environmental health inspectors were given hands-on training in how to safely approach a horse, fit a head collar and lead the animal. They were also shown how to assess a horse’s health and welfare, and its environment to decide whether there are any welfare concerns.

The training was funded by the Welsh Assembly Government’s Companion Animal Welfare Enhancement Scheme (CAWES) and was facilitated by the Welsh Animal Health and Welfare Panel. The one-day courses, which were organised and run equine charities The Horse Trust and Redwings, took place on May 19 and 20 at the Society for Welfare of Horse and Ponies in Monmouth, and on 27 May at the Bransby Home of Rest for Horses in Stoke Prior, Herefordshire.

Huw Jones, head of the animal welfare branch of the Welsh Assembly Government, said: “One of the key outputs from the Welsh Assembly Government’s CAWES programme is the provision of education and training. This will help in consistent delivery of high quality welfare provision across Wales.”

Paul JepsonPaul Jepson, chief executive and veterinary director of The Horse Trust, praised the Welsh Assembly for its proactive approach on animal welfare.

He said: “Wales is leading the way in animal welfare by giving its local authority inspectors the resources to enforce the Animal Welfare Act. Their proactive approach will improve the welfare of horses across Wales, ensuring that welfare cases are dealt with effectively and minimising the suffering caused to horses. We are delighted to support the Welsh government in this initiative by providing training to their inspectors.”

The training was carried out by Nicolas De Brauwere, head of welfare at Redwings, and Liane Crowther, welfare and education officer at The Horse Trust.

Jenny MacGregor MBE, chairman of the Society for the Welfare of Horses and Ponies, which hosted two of the inspector training courses, said: “This training course is very welcome as we have seen a lot of equine welfare problems in South Wales. It will be great to have the support of local authority inspectors to improve the welfare of horses in this area.”

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