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The British Horse Society British Horse Society to launch 'new look' welfare publications and 'BHS Equi Weight Watchers' in 2004

The British Horse Society (BHS) will be launching a number of new welfare initiatives in 2004, starting with a 'new look' magazine, a first time horse owner's pack and teaming up with the Laminitis Trust's 'Fit not Fat' campaign by introducing 'BHS Equi Weight Watchers'.

The first issue of 'BHS Equi-Care' magazine will be published early in February and distributed to anyone interested in equine welfare, including those who have BHS Rescue ponies on loan and BHS Welfare Supporter's Club members. The magazine will contain a host of welfare issues; pasture management, Ragwort control, behaviour problems and condition scoring with weight control.

This latter topic will be additionally publicised through the 'BHS Equi Weight Watchers' campaign, working alongside the Laminitis Trust to help eliminate cases of painful laminitis in horses and ponies. Owners can join up to the campaign, receiving free advice, and will be encouraged to keep a condition score for their animal and record its weight on a regular basis, providing useful information to the BHS.

The 'First Time Horse Owner's Pack' is being introduced as a result of numerous enquiries to the BHS from new owners seeking advice on a variety of subjects. The pack will cater for all new owners, covering all levels of equine experience, with information on buying a horse, costs involved, activities and training, as well as standard topics such as shoeing, worming, paddock maintenance and grooming.

To complement the initiatives will be a 'new look' page on the BHS website ( <>) in the New Year. The initiatives reflect a review of policy at the BHS following the closure of its Rescue Centre earlier in 2003. The emphasis now will be on education to prevent welfare cases rather than treating the aftermath of ignorance and neglect. BHS head of welfare, Helen Owens, said, "We are very excited about the new policy. It was obvious from the many enquiries received at the BHS that there is a high demand for this sort of initiative and we feel that our efforts will be best spent on helping to educate owners in the first place, to prevent the suffering instead of dealing with it afterwards.

"The magazine will be available in February and whilst the new owner's pack and BHS Equi Weight Watchers will be officially launched at Badminton, the information will be readily available around the same time."



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