Categories: Campaigns237 words0.9 min read

‘Duty of Care’ Think before you buy a horse!


September 3, 2015



Keeping and caring for a horse can be a source of great pleasure, but is also a massive responsibility with long-term financial implications. The Animal Welfare Act 2006 necessitates a ‘Duty of Care’ to ensure that any horse, pony, donkey or mule for which you are responsible, whether on a permanent or a temporary basis, has its Five Freedoms meet:

The Five Freedoms are:-

1. Freedom from hunger and thirst
2. Freedom from discomfort
3. Freedom from pain, injury and disease
4. Freedom to express normal behaviour
5. Freedom from fear and distress

A breach of a provision of the Code could result in proceedings being brought against you under section 9 of The Animal Welfare Act 2006 for failing to provide ‘a Duty of Care’.

You should not cause any unnecessary suffering to your equine; this could constitute a serious offence under Section 4 of the Act. If you are a parent or guardian of a child under the age of 16 years old, you are responsible for any animal that child is in charge of, or owns.

It is also imperative to remember that you remain responsible for your horses’ needs when you are away. It is your responsibility to fully understand your horses’ welfare needs and what the law requires you to do to meet those needs.

Code of Practice for the Welfare of Horses, Ponies & Donkeys – Outlining Duty of Care and responsibilities of a horse owner/carer