EFETA (Ireland) Animal Welfare Code
We see all equines as partners in our work.
We honour and respect them as our partners and co facilitators. We regard the welfare of the equines entrusted to our care as paramount to the work of EFETA. The horse’s choice and innate intelligence to engage in this work or with any particular clients is honoured, trusted and supported at all times, as is their health and care.
EFETA members commit themselves to ongoing education about horse welfare and all relevant areas and are always happy to consider constructive feedback on their horse care and well-being procedures for their continued learning.
For all equines involved in any activities with EFETA members, horse welfare must at all time take precedence over any considerations, except for the safety of the client.
All equines involved in any activities with EFETA practitioners, whether on a permanent or a temporary basis, are guaranteed:
1 A suitable environment to live in
This means that horses involved in any Equine Facilitated Programs are turned out in herds in paddocks, fields or large arenas as much as possible, and at the very least for a few hours each day. Indoor environments are kept clean and with adequate space for movement and interaction with other horses and the outside environment. Outdoor environments are adequately fenced - hedges, electric fencing or post and rail, but not barbed wire.
As much as possible, horses involved in any activities with EFETA members are kept in fields with trees and hedges in the summer, and in stables (cleaned daily) with as much turnout as possible in sand arena in the winter, if ground is too wet for year round turnout.
2 A healthy wholesome diet
Consisting predominantly of good hay and grass with appropriate supplementation for individual horses, and access to clean drinking water at all times via drinkers in fields and stables, checked and cleaned regularly. EFETA members undertake to educate themselves in the area of horse nutrition in order to provide the best possible diet for their horses.
3 An Equine Herd
The freedom to behave normally, and in particular to interact freely with other horses for most of the day is necessary for equine health. Solitary confinement in a stable is only acceptable for short periods of time.
4 Protection from pain, suffering, injury and disease, including fear and stress
All EFETA members agree to put in place written procedures for routine worming, vaccination, EDT and hoof care. These procedures will indicate clearly who is responsible for carrying out these routine tasks and how frequently they are carried out. Proper methods in the fitting of saddles and bridles when used, is required to prevent any discomfort. These are part of induction training for all working at the equine facility.
The phone number of a veterinary practitioner , homoeopath or alternative practitioner who can be called in case of injury or disease will be displayed on the premises.
5 Careful handling
All equines involved in EFETA activities are handled gently, using well-learnt holistic methods of horse handling. EFETA members agree to use horsemanship methods aimed at developing positive, confident relationships between humans and horses. Physical abuse is not acceptable, as physical violence only escalates the equine’s impulse to run or fight.
Individual characteristics and needs of all equines are taken into consideration, and pair bonds are managed sympathetically.
Natural weaning methods, where appropriate are used.