The OIE Regional Platform on animal welfare for Europe, in collaboration with the International Coalition for the Welfare of Working Equids (ICWE), organised an Awareness Day on the Welfare of Working Equids for West Eurasia countries as part of three-day OIE Animal Welfare event for West Eurasia countries held in Tashkent/Uzbekistan on 27th September 2017.
Participants from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan attended the Awareness Day. Its main objectives were to raise country awareness on the welfare of working equids in this region, identify potential welfare challenges in those countries and explore possible capacity-building activities to address the identified needs and gaps.
The meeting lectures covered: the general introduction to the welfare of working equids, including equid-human partnership and the end of (working) life of working equids, outcome-based measurements for animal welfare assessment, presentation of newly adopted Chapter 7.12 of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code and development of ICWE Toolbox.
The countries believed that their working equids had an acceptable level of welfare, but this may highlight a lack of awareness in this area and a common tendency to accept the existing situation as appropriate.
Participants were requested to:
— report back to their Delegate/CVO and relevant experts/OIE Focal Points
— explore ways to assess better the current situation of Working Equids in their country, notably using outcome-based measurements
— decide on appropriate actions to include the welfare of working equids in the Veterinary Services agenda based on the results of the assessment
OIE and ICWE will together explore possible future actions in light of the outcomes of the meeting, especially to explore the feasibility of developing an Awareness Campaign package on working equids for West Eurasia with a focus on the value of working equids and welfare and health aspects.