The National Equine Forum saw vets, politicians and business leaders share knowledge and encourage debate.

Event live-streamed to hundreds via social media

New passport regulations, the Central Equine Database and livestock traceability were just some of the subjects under discussion at the 2018 National Equine Forum.

The event took place in London on the 8 March and saw vets, politicians and business leaders share knowledge and encourage debate both in the auditorium and across the globe.

Animal welfare minister Lord Gardener kickstarted proceedings by providing an update of Defra’s current horse-related policies. He said that new passport regulations would be implemented as soon as practical and the aim was to extend microchipping to horses of all ages.

Equine Register chief executive Stewart Everett brought delegates up to speed on the Central Equine Database. He said that the database is now live and contains 1.2 million records, but stressed that “the system will only work if we have every equine on it”.

John Bourne from the Animal and Plant Health Agency spoke about livestock traceability and how it relates to the UK’s horses. He summarised that “we are working to co-create solutions that work for all animals and we are working for the British Horse Council. We are aiming to have a central, united platform for all species that is more user-friendly.”

Other topics covered were the challenges facing small equestrian businesses and the perception of equine welfare within British Racing. Alan Hiscox from the British Horse Society also outlined the organisation’s ‘Dead or Dead Slow?’ campaign to encourage drivers to pass horses safely.

The day was summarised by HRH The Princess Royal, who also presented the Sir Colin Spedding award to Dr Simon Curtis in recognition of his contributions to farriery.

“This year with our live streaming, speaker podcasts and our new website I feel that the Forum has truly achieved its key aim of informing, educating and stimulating discussion within the equestrian industry, not just in the UK but around the world,” said National Equine Forum administrator Georgina Crossman.

“The popularity of the Forum is consistently growing, and we are conscious that for several years now there has been a waiting list for tickets. By introducing live streaming we can reach so many more people and even more effectively achieve our objective to provide a platform for impartial discussion and sharing of knowledge.”

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