Explore Global Welfare on an International Level

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Kimberly S. Brown

For many of us, the issue of global equine welfare can stir conflicting emotions. What may appear to be lack of common sense to us, can be regarded as a commonly accepted practice to others. What better way to learn about the issues of welfare for horses than by traveling the globe with Equine Guelph’s new online course, Global Perspectives in Equine Welfare.

Offered in January 2014 for the first time as part of Equine Guelph’s Equine Welfare Certificate, this 12-week course will provide students with the opportunity to explore different practices of equine welfare used worldwide while focusing on the horse’s perspective.

“Equines are used for a variety of different purposes around the world, whether for pleasure riding or competition, kept as pets, or used for research, as working animals and in some countries, as food animals,” says course instructor Dr. Nicki Cross of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in New Zealand. “The versatility of the horse in all these sectors means that an in-depth look into their welfare under these different conditions proves complex and stimulating.”

As a result of being interested in animals from an early age, Cross has an M.Sc in Neuroscience and a Ph.D in Neuroscience and Animal Behaviour, and has worked in the field of animal welfare for the past 10 years.

“This course is designed to encourage those involved with horses to develop their own views on the use of the horse in equine related areas and industries globally, and to develop their own ideas on how welfare may be improved in each sector,” said Cross.

Students will also examine current issues regarding wild horse management, working horses in developing countries, racing and sport horse practices, and slaughter legislation and will learn to compare standards of equine management practice in Canada, the U.S. and worldwide. Upon completion of this course, students will have a good knowledge of the issues affecting equines globally, which will enhance their skills in the contribution to the fast growing and fascinating world of equine science and welfare.

Global Perspectives in Equine Welfare is part of the Equine Science Certificate continuing education program and will be included in Equine Guelph’s Winter 2014 online lineup. Other course offerings include Management of the Equine Environment, Equine Behaviour, Growth & Development, Health & Disease Prevention, The Equine Industry, Marketing & Communication in the Equine Industry, and Advanced Equine Health through Nutrition. The Winter semester runs from Jan. 13, 2014. to April 5, 2014.

For more information, please contact Open Learning and Educational Support at info@OpenEd.uoguelph.ca, call 519-767-5000 or visit www.equinestudiesdiploma.com.

Equine Guelph is the horse owners’ and care givers’ Centre at the University of Guelph. It is a unique partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups. Equine Guelph is the epicenter for academia, industry and government – for the good of the equine industry as a whole. For further information, visit www.equineguelph.ca.

Open Learning and Educational Support provides expertise and leadership to the University of Guelph community and our partners in the following: the scholarship and practice of teaching, technology-enhanced education, open learning and professional development. We provide support for teaching and learning that is evidence-based, responsive, developmental and based on best practices.