2010 News Archive

The heart of the national reform agenda is a new alliance between Equine Canada (EC) as the national equestrian federation, and each of the ten provincial equestrian associations. This proposed reform has not gone without opposition and, currently, six of the ten provincial associations have said no to the national organization's proposal, Alberta being one of the six. For more infomation on EC National Reform visit the Equine Canada and Alberta Equestrian Federation web sites or contact them directly.

Why Traceability?
To better prevent, prepare, respond and recover from animal/plant health, human health and food safety emergencies. The BSE experience has taught us the price is too high not to have a world class traceability system in place.

European Union Requirements for Transitional Period

  • Identification of equine animals for food production.
  • Prohibition on the administration of anabolic steroids to all horses or a separate system for horses which may be slaughtered for export.
  • Treatment records kept for veterinary products administered which are linked to and accompany the individual equine when moving from one premises to another, and eventually to slaughter.
  • CFIA must be able to guarantee that the required withdrawal periods for veterinary medicinal products administered to horses have been respected for a period of not less than 6 months prior to slaughter.
  • Risk based control program on the use of veterinary medicinal products and substances prohibited for use must be established for horses.



In 2007, the Food and Veterinary Office of the European Union conducted two audits in Canada pertaining to horse meat. They also conducted audits in other third countries involved in horse meat exports to the EU.

In the majority of third countries, veterinary medical treatment records for horses are not kept, and no systems are in place for segregating equines intended for food production from other equines.

Certain third countries authorize or tolerate the administration of substances which are either expressly prohibited, or not authorized for use in equines intended for food production in the EU.

The EU has developed a set of three-year transitional period requirements. Effective July 31, 2010, horses presented to a processing plant must be accompanied by an equine information document. This document identifies the horse, lists all medicinal treatment for 180 days, identifies the horse’s use and identifies the location where the horse was maintained. The owner must sign this document.


Transporting your horse does not have to be a stressful event for you or your horse. This is the message the Alberta Farm Animal Care is delivering with their new Horse Hauling Course.

Twenty-six people attended the inaugural course in Gibbons, Alberta on April 10. The audience consisted of horse owners, caregivers and commercial transporters with experience ranging from new to the industry to extensive equine background. The course is aimed at assuring the safe and humane handling of horses before, during and after transport.


It's spring! The bright green shoots are coming up from the thawing earth, the sun is spending more of the day with us, the chores can be done without 30 lbs of clothing to protect us from the elements . . . it's a wonderful time. But for our horses, in all that lush spring forage, danger lurks.

Alberta Horse IndustryIf horses are kept on the pasture year-round, they will usually adjust gradually to the grass as it grows, but unless you have a lot of pasture, this type of management can cause overgrazing issues for the grass and damage your pastures. It can also be risky for the more sensitive or overweight horses, especially if the grass grows quickly. For most of us, the best pasture management is to keep the horses off the grass until it has had a chance to get established and has grown 4-6" in height.

The riskiest time of year for horses being re-introduced to pasture is the spring, when cold nights and warm sunny days cause grass to develop very high levels of sugar. The high sugar content can trigger laminitis and some of our easy keepers just get plain fat with too much of the green stuff. Although it may seem like the most natural thing to turn horses out on grass, our domestic horses often live in relatively small pastures, with forage that has been planted, well tended and even fertilized. Horses evolved to walk and graze for 16 to 18 hours per day sometimes covering great distances to consume their fill of sparse grasses. This difference in activity and feed quality is where our domestic horses get into trouble.

Although being turned out on pasture is beneficial to the horse due to the increased movement; lush, high moisture, low fibre spring pasture can also be a colic risk. As with all feed changes, do it gradually to avoid digestive upset.




Upcoming Events

 Upcoming Events
Spruce Meadows 'National'

June 6-10, 2018





Industry Directory


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97 East Lake Ramp NE
Airdrie, AB
T4A 0C3
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