Brown And White Horse And Handler

Welfare Council membership reflects Hartpury’s commitment to equine welfare

Hartpury University and Hartpury College have joined the National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) recognising the institution’s commitment and contribution to welfare standards and reflecting its approach to providing the best life possible for horses on campus and nationwide.

NEWC has a mission to protect the welfare of horses, ponies, and donkeys, ensuring that everyone who has an interest or association with the horse makes health and welfare the overarching factor in all decision-making. This approach is shared by Hartpury University and Hartpury College, who continue to use their own research findings to improve the lives of horses stabled on site, as well as to contribute to wider discussions around welfare and well-being.

On campus, research findings and best practice are used wherever possible to improve the lives of horses on site. For example, a recent research project made recommendations as to the optimal depth of a horse’s bed to promote comfort and improve sleep quality, and this is now implemented in all stables on site. Students and staff at Hartpury University and Hartpury College also sign a horse charter during enrolment, agreeing to uphold a set of horse principles that promote positive horse welfare.

The benefits of NEWC membership are far reaching but include the ability for organisations to speak with a unified voice, as well as accessing a central information resource on equine welfare matters. NEWC membership provides an assurance to the public and industry that horse welfare is the priority, something that is key to maintain social licence into the future.

Rosie Scott-Ward, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Hartpury University said: “We’re delighted to have joined NEWC and look forward to contributing alongside our partners to make sure horse welfare remains the leading factor in decision-making both here at Hartpury and within the wider industry.

“Here at Hartpury, we’re always looking at ways we can improve the way our horses are kept and managed. We’ve altered the way we construct the working week of our loan horses, increased opportunity for turnout wherever feasible and are using research findings to improve the quality of life of our horses in areas such as sleep. Keeping welfare front and centre as we make practical decisions can only be positive in ensuring a good life for horses.”

The NEWC network has over 80 members throughout the UK which include equine welfare charities, as well as a multitude of organisations from the equestrian and veterinary sectors of the equine industry.

Welfare is an integral part of the curriculum across Hartpury University and Hartpury College’s diplomas, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Integrating important industry matters within the curriculum helped Hartpury University to achieve the prestigious triple Gold rating in the latest Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF 2023).