Equine Guelph Introduces Equine Welfare Certificate Program

The University of Guelph's award winning continuing education program, Equine Guelph, has unveiled their new Equine Welfare Certificate Program, which will offer students the opportunity to explore animal welfare issues in the horse industry both locally and globally.

Made up of six online courses, this program has been designed to engage students who have a passion for making a better world for equids, and will examine the biological and emotional factors that affect a horse's quality of life. Course content will include housing, management practices, and procedures that can affect the well being of horses.

"It is extremely important that everyone who owns or works with horses understands not only the complex issues, but also the common practices in daily care and management that can affect the welfare of horses," explains Tina Widowski, PhD, director of the University of Guelph's Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare. "Through our partnership with Equine Guelph, we are able to combine top expertise in both equine science and animal welfare science to deliver a practical and well-rounded program in equine welfare."

Offered by the Campbell Centre, Equine Guelph, and the Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support, the Equine Welfare Certificate core courses include equine welfare, advanced equine behavior, advanced equine health through nutrition, and global perspectives in animal and equine welfare, as well as two elective courses including health and disease prevention, the equine industry, equine nutrition, and advanced equine anatomy.

The equine welfare and advanced equine behavior courses will be offered during the fall semester beginning September 10; however, the required prerequisite courses for this certificate are currently available for registration, with courses starting in May 2012.

While acknowledging that most only want the best for their beloved equines, many horse lovers yearn for the chance to better understand why horses do the things they do and recognize situations that may compromise horse welfare.

"This program has been designed to provide students with the tools to become familiar with negative emotional states and recognize how welfare can be objectively assessed in the horse to improve its overall health," said Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph.

For more information, please contact the Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support at info@coles.uoguelph.ca, call 519/767-5000, or visit www.EquineWelfareCertificate.com.

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