External event: Coach CPD opportunity – Equine Welfare Symposium

Date: 22/02/24 (Thursday)
Time: 1:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Location: Dunadry Hotel

Equine Welfare Symposium

(Followed by NIVA/BVA NI AGM’s and Welfare Panel Discussion ‘Animals In Sport: what are the responsibilities of vets?’)


To Book Tickets:  https://www.tickettailor.com/events/northofirelandveterinaryassociation/1128329


“We all know abuse when we see it. Or do we? Traditionally the idea that we can ‘use but not abuse’ a horse felt like a straightforward mantra, but today the distinction has become a source of controversy. Some believe that any use of a horse is – by definition – abuse, while others believe they have high standards of horsemanship when in reality this is far from true. Traditional practices are increasingly being questioned, and public outrage can erupt when someone falls foul of what may seem like an unwritten code of acceptable horse management. So when the line between ‘use’ and ‘abuse’ can be stark, subtle or even invisible – how do we ensure we stay on the right side?” Roly Owers, World Horse Welfare Chief Executive


On Thursday 22 February 2024 NIVA proposes to hold a workshop in the Dunadry Hotel.  The purpose of the event is not only to raise awareness across the equestrian and veterinary community in Northern Ireland of the changing landscape surrounding equine welfare but also to support NIVA to co-produce a consensus paper for a call to action.

Northern Ireland suffers with a lack of focus on the equine industry because of a lack of government policy, legislation, and strategy.   This event aims to help fill the gap by:

  • bringing together key stakeholders including veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses, equestrian leaders, owners, trainers, coaches, DAERA, industry, and leading stakeholders to focus on the changing landscape that is equine welfare,
  • promoting and showcasing the work of vets and our role in advocating and supporting high standards in equine welfare,
  • highlighting the veterinary profession’s first responsibility to advocate for the best interests of equines and ensure as many as possible have a good life and a humane death, and
  • bringing together key stakeholders with a view to building collaboration
  • developing an outline consensus on key actions need in NI.


Keynote speakers confirmed as follows:

Mr Roly Owers OBE CHIEF EXECUTIVE World Horse Welfare

Dr David Marlin – one of the equine world’s leading scientists, he has worked at the forefront of equine research for over 30 years, David is the President of the UK National Equine Welfare Council and is the President of the Internationally established Sport Horse Welfare Foundation.

Dr Madeleine Campbell, Chair of BVA’s ethic and welfare panel and professor of veterinary ethics at Nottingham School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, Nottingham University (TBC)

Dr Meta Osborne, Equine Veterinarian, Lecturer – Animal Behaviour and Welfare School of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin. In her veterinary practice she focuses on mare reproduction and stud medicine, and she is co-owner Tinnakill House Thoroughbred stud farm in Co Laois, Ireland.


Outline Schedule / Timetable

Time Details
1.30 pm to 2.00 pm Registration and light lunch
2.00 pm to 2.15 pm Welcome and Introduction – Esther Skelly-Smith
2.15 pm to 3.00 pm Mr Roly Owers World Horse Welfare
3.00 pm to 3.45 pm Dr David Marlin
3.45 pm to 4.00 pm Tea / Coffee and Exhibition
4.00 pm to 4.15pm Agria
4.15 pm to 5.00 pm Dr Meta Osborne
5.00 pm Panel – Q&A Summing up and the way forward

Chair – Malcolm Morley

Panelists – Roly Owers, Meta Osbourne, David Marlin, Inge D’Hease (Local Equine Practitioner – TBC)


Time Details
6.45-7.00pm Registration
7.00pm-7.30pm BVA AGM
7.30-8.15 pm NIVA AGM
8.15-8.30pm Tea/Coffee
8.30 pm to 9.30 pm Panel Discussion – Welfare Panel Discussion

‘Animals In Sport: what are the responsibilities of vets?’

Chair – Malcolm Morley (TBC)

Panelists – Roly Owers, Meta Osbourne, David Marlin

9.30pm Closing remarks


Target Audience

We will aim to attract 100 to 150 attendees.   The target audience is veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses, veterinary practice personnel, equestrians, owners, trainers, equestrian businesses, equestrian organisations, policy officers, governments, BHS coaches, RDA coaches, HSI coaches, Allied Professionals, farriers etc. 

NIVA/BVA NI AGM – Panel Discussion: Use of Animals In Sport.  This will be a collection of mostly vets and the veterinary team.  A more specialised veterinary demographic than the afternoon.


Equine Welfare Symposium Flyer

Welfare Panel and AGM Flyer

Page Last Updated: January 22, 2024