DR. PAOLO GUIDO PREDIERI
The status of the “athlete horse” has been officially approved by the Italian state, although, it is necessary for stakeholders in the system to effectively embrace the concept of the athlete-horse with concrete decisions.
The protection of animal wellbeing is the positive driving-force that decreed the birth of the Athlete Horse.
Society appreciates sports in which animals are used, the popularity of equestrian sports is also achieved thanks to significant guarantees concerning the wellbeing of the animals used.
The success achieved by equestrian sports is no exception, on the contrary it is particularly demanding, wanting to see horses well-protected as far as animal wellbeing is concerned through ethical rules. Such protection, however, still leaves much to be desired.
To be considered such, horse-athletes must really be protected from infectious diseases – to which they are particularly exposed due to their rather stressful lifestyle – with constant vaccinations.
Herpes Virus, West Nile Virus and Influenza, not only compromise the wellbeing of horses, but can also leave consequences that are incompatible with the level of physical integrity that is essential for all athletes as well as putting their lives at risk.
Full article on this month’s issue