The British Equestrian Veterinary Association (BEVA) and the Government are calling on all horse owners to participate in a quick online survey to find out more about dental care, hoof care and musculoskeletal therapy for horses.
The results of the survey will provide the basis for discussions on how equine healthcare services undertaken by non-vets should be managed in order to best protect the health and welfare of horses in the UK.
Over recent years there has been growing concern that the number of individuals offering equine healthcare services, and the breadth of those services, has expanded without there being any system for ensuring that the standards of care offered are what owners expect and horses deserve.
The current regulations covering veterinary and farriery activities were drawn up decades ago before many of today’s services were routinely available and there is now an opportunity to review whether or not the current controls are fit for purpose.
David Mountford, Chief Executive of BEVA, explained: "There is concern that in 2014 many horse owners simply aren’t aware of the level of skills, knowledge and protection that they are paying for and that this could open the door for unscrupulous individuals (or even well-meaning individuals without appropriate training) to set up in business and put horse health and welfare at risk.
"We are appealing to all horse owners to complete the survey to help make sure that the most appropriate care is provided for all their horses at all times."
The survey is a part of the Review of Minor Procedures Regime (RMPR) project, set up by Defra. It is investigating the most effective ways to govern various activities undertaken by non-veterinarians in the future, without over-burdening either the practitioner or the horse owner with unnecessary red tape, but ensuring that the welfare of the horse remains the priority.
The Survey closes on 15 June 2014. It should take no more than five minutes to complete and all submissions remain anonymous. Visit surveymonkey.com/s/RMPRHorseOwner to do your bit to help.