December 2012

(SPRUCE MEADOWS, Calgary, AB): History was made on December 5, 2012 when six Spruce Meadows horses became the first ever Canadian horses to be sold andaLahaina_Pic_sm exported to China. The six Spruce Meadows bred Hannoverian horses were chosen by a delegation of Chinese horsemen after a meticulous inspection and trial earlier this year. The horses have since been going through rigorous pre export protocols and lifted off, destined for an importation facility near Shanghai where they arrived happy and healthy. 

“The horse sports are enjoying remarkable growth in China and Spruce Meadows is proud to be providing a new generation of Chinese Show Jumpers with a new generation of quality horses, ” said Spruce Meadows president Linda Southern- Heathcott. “Spruce Meadows has been active for some time assisting the Chinese in developing their capabilities in the equestrian sports. Prior to the 2008 Olympic Games we assisted with the training and certification of many Chinese officials that worked during the Games. We are honoured that now we are able to provide some of the horse power that may carry Chinese athletes to future games and championships.”


Millions of livestock transported annually on Alberta roads have an innovative new safeguard to support their care and welfare. A major announcement today in Ponoka, Alta., unveiled a fleet of state-of-the-art livestock emergency handling equipment trailers, set for deployment in key areas of the province. Also announced was a new training course under development to support qualified workers operating and using these “livestock ER” trailers.

Both developments stemmed from discussions initiated by the Alberta Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Strategy Steering Committee. The Steering Committee was inspired by the vision and forethought of groups in Red Deer County and Ponoka that developed similar livestock handling trailers for deployment in their areas. A sub-committee including representatives from the Alberta Equestrian Federation, the Alberta Beef Producers, Livestock Identification Services, RCMP, Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC) and Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development created the initial project plan. Funding support was provided through the federal/provincial/territorial Growing Forward initiative.

“The Harper Government is committed to supporting industry leadership in farm animal care and this project is an excellent example of industry innovation,” says Member of Parliament Blaine Calkins (Wetaskiwin), on behalf of federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “Transport is a critical component of livestock production and these new trailers and the accompanying training program will help ensure safe and humane handling of livestock when issues or emergency situations arise.”


(Ottawa) 03 December 2012 – Equine Canada and the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) are pleased to announce the launch of the public comment period on the draft Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Equines. The draft Code can be viewed and submissions made at until February 14, 2013. All stakeholders are encouraged to provide input to ensure that this Code reflects a common understanding of equine care expectations and recommended practices in Canada.

A Scientists’ Committee report summarizing research on priority welfare topics for equines can be found online alongside the draft Code. This peer-reviewed report aided the discussions of the Code Development Committee as they prepared the draft Code of Practice.

“I’m proud of the collaborative effort committee members have shown since we began our work in early 2011,” says Jack de Wit, Director with the Equine Canada Board of Directors and Chair of the Code Development Committee. “The next step is opening the draft Code to input from the public. With the public’s help we will have a Code that is good for owners and the animals in their care.”



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