Good Breeding Practice

Insights into health & welfare and the social license to operate provide building blocks to good breeding practices. By encouraging best practice, we can ensure a good life for our horses.

    • Weaning Foals
    • Rightful Breeder
        • Webinar on Weaning Foals

          Managing foal weaning has been through a trial-and-error practical approach since breeding horses became domestic. Currently, more scientific research has been undertaken to look into alleviating 'weaning stress' by decreasing the potential psychological, physical and nutritional stressors associated with domestic weaning.

          When is the preferable time to wean the foal? Which weaning technique is the best option to prevent stress? What are the impacts of weaning on the foal? What factors must be taken into account? What would be the best practice to improve the foal’s welfare during such a key moment in their life?

          weaning image

          This foal weaning webinar will try to propose scientifically based answers to such questions. The focus will be on “A Good Life for Horses”, in line with the Vision proposed by the Equine Ethics and Wellbeing Commission to the FEI, for maintaining the Social Licence to Operate (SLO). The horse’s weaning experience will be discussed as a significant part of the process of ‘setting horses up for success’ using the latest research to consider the issues that might influence learning and development later in life.

          Weaning Video Thumbnail

          About the speaker:

          We have been fortunate to secure Prof Natalie Waran as speaker of this webinar. “An applied scientist by training and an educationalist at heart”, Professor Natalie (Nat) Waran is Executive Dean – Faculty of Education, Humanities and Health Science (Te Manga Kaupapa Mātauranga, Ahurea, Hauora).

          Natalie led a number of strategic projects in her most recent role as a professor and inaugural director of the new International Centre for Animal Welfare Education at the University of Edinburgh, one of the UK’s leading universities. From 2006 to 2011, she was Associate Dean (Research) at Unitec’s Faculty of Social and Health Sciences in tandem with her role as Head of the School of Natural Sciences.

          With a first class zoology degree from Glasgow University and a PhD from Cambridge University, she has worked in many different countries including China, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. She is also the chair of the FEI Equine Ethics and Well-Being Commission.

          Natalie Waran
        • Rightful Breeder

          With changes in the breeding landscape over the past years, through new breeding technologies and changes in EU legislation, it has become necessary to review the definition of the rightful breeder of a horse. Breeders have the choice of which studbook they want to register their foals in, and trade of embryos across borders is increasing. The increased use of surrogates for flushed or ICSI embryos, as well as the fact that many studbooks no longer require covering certificates, means that the first concrete, verifiable contact by a studbook for a foal, is the entity that owns & registers that foal, applies for identification documents and provides material for DNA verification of the pedigree.

          To be registered as the breeder of a foal in a studbook: If the breeder who made the choice of the genetic match still owns the foal at birth, they will be registered as the breeder. If they have sold the mare in foal, or the embryo before birth, and want to be registered as the breeder, they need to make an agreement with the new owner, who births the foal and notifies the studbook for its registration.

          The studbook which is asked as first to register the foal should therefore obtain a clear confirmation by the person or entity which is asking for registration of the foal, which person or entity is legitimised to be registered as rightful breeder.