2014 eNews

Biosecurity refers to practices designed to prevent, reduce or eliminate the introduction and incidental spread of disease among livestock and poultry. Biosecurity practices minimize the risk of disease spread by identifying risks and developing intervention measures to minimize disease-causing agents from entering or leaving a farm or horse stable.

Here are some equine biosecurity resources:

Animal Biosecurity (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) website
Animal Health Act and Regulations website
Biosecurity in Alberta
Biosecurity: Should I be Concerned article by Dr. Darrell Dalton presented at 2009 Horse Breeders and Owners Conference
Equine Biosecurity Principles and Best Practices
Equine Guelph Biosecurity Risk Calculator website
Horse Events: Biosecurity guidelines for organizers and competitors document

Gould mare herd



By Carolyn Willekes, PhDneohittie

The domestication of the horse had a massive impact on the development of human civilizations.  Although the horse continued to be used as a food source, he also came to fulfill a number of other essential roles in day-to-day life.  With domestication came the discovery that we could also ride and drive these animals.  For the first time in human history rapid, long-distance travel became possible.  The speed and stamina of the horse allowed people to venture beyond the familiarity of their villages and valleys into the wider world, resulting in the emergence of new cities, civilizations, religions and trade routes.  At the other end of the spectrum, however, was war.  So, on the one had, the horse helped civilizations to flourish, while on the other hand he became our most important tool of war.


ASA colour Logo 2014
The Alberta Stables Association (ASA) has officially converted from a partner directed initiative, to a registered non-profit association for stables. The new association of stables reinforced their mandate with subsequent release of the, much anticipated, Standards of Operations manual for stables. This valuable manual was developed for all stable owners and operators alike. The newly formed ASA aims to involve as many members of Alberta’s stable community as possible, in order to create a solid voice for their unique industry.

The draft of the manual was available to be viewed and content recommendations made until March 5th, 2014. Every facet of the stable industry in Alberta including: stable owners, operators and managers as well as stable staff and clients were asked to provide input.


Regular eNews readers may remember last year’s announcement about the generic dewormer liquid Ivermectin for horses. Horse AVL3Industry Association of Alberta (HIAA) partnered with Alberta Veterinary Labs (AVL) to develop the product with the help of funding from Alberta Meat and Livestock Agency.

Over the last year, the liquid Ivermectin has resulted in major savings for horse owners and breeders in Alberta and throughout Western Canada. Instead of paying $20-30 dollars to deworm each horse, the generic Ivermectin costs approximately $5 a horse.

The staff at HIAA had the opportunity to tour the AVL manufacturing plant in Calgary a few weeks ago. It is the only large manufacturing plant of sterile and non-sterile veterinary and human pharmaceuticals in Canada. The company produces quality economical products for local breeders and producers through the employment of over 80 staff right here in Calgary.


By Carolyn Willekes, PhD

The domestication of the horse sometime in the 4th millennium BCE altered the future not only of equines, but of humans as well.  The horse turned out to be a pretty useful animal.  Given the impact of the horse on cultural, technological and military evolution, you might think that the horse was one of the first animals to be domesticated, but that was not the case.lascaux

The horse-human relationship is a very old one, dating back to at least 30,000 years ago.  This early relationship is recorded with great detail in Paleolithic cave art from Southern France, Northern Spain and Northern Portugal carved and painted between 30,000 and 8,000 BCE.  These dramatic, often larger than life murals are found deep inside labyrinthine caves at places like Altamira, Lascaux and Chauvet. The equines carved and painted on the cave walls of southern Europe were very much wild animals, and remained so for over 20,000 years.  Given the long human fascination with equines, it is perhaps surprising to discover that the horse was one of the last major animals to be domesticated – an event that took place thousands of years later than the initial period of Neolithic domestication that brought cattle, sheep, goats and pigs under human control.  When it did happen, however, the domestication of the horse had an unprecedented and unimaginable impact on human history.



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