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Looking Back at 2016..... 


It's a while since we last sent out the EBTA Newsletter and the first since we have a new addition to the team, equine behaviourist Debbie Busby. It's been great to have her on-board and to "exploit" her enthusiasm for forthcoming projects.

The most significant event of the last few months has been the conference "Human Behaviour Change for Animal Welfare". EBTA had a key role, with Suzanne Rogers being the key organiser, as well as having thought up the idea in the first place. Debbie Busby, Anna Saillet and Catherine Bell also gave talks on Transactional Analysis, the work of the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust and Principles of Ethical Change respectively. Jenni Nellist was also there presenting a poster. There were many, many excellent talks, all now freely available to watch on the conference Youtube channel - click the picture to be taken to the page. Also keep an eye on the conference website, which is due to become a resource for Human Behaviour Change for Animal Welfare - particularly invaluable if you are a professional needing to increase your client compliance! http://www.hbcanimalwelfare.com
For the past three years most of the EBTA team, plus a few other behaviourists, have been running a Facebook-based Question and Answer group. We recently decided it would make more sense to incoporate it under the EBTA banner. So if you have any burning questions about equine behaviour - or if you would like to see the fascinating discussions that have ensued from other people's questions - then please feel free to join at https://www.facebook.com/groups/ProfessionalEquineBehaviourandWelfareAdvice/members/
In other news....

Suzanne Rogers represented EBTA at World Horse Welfare's annual conference, whose theme was 'The Invisible Horse'. We were glad to see that lack of recognition of pain and stress in horses was mentioned as a key welfare challenge - our Ladder of Fear project aims to help address this. The talks were recorded and can be watched by following this link: http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/conference

The House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee have just released their report "Animal welfare in England: domestic pets", to which EBTA contributed. The focus of their section on horses was the lack of a working system for identification and passporting of horses and recognition that these contribute to the current horse crisis in the UK. The full report is available at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmenvfru/117/117.pdf 

Suzanne Rogers, Sue Gammage and Catherine Bell represented EBTA at The British Pet Show at Ardingly show ground. We were giving talks about equine behaviour in the context of shaping behaviours and recognising small signs of fear. This was interesting, given that there was a wide variety of animals at the show - dogs, horses, goats, poultry and reptiles - and we saw a variety of stress-induced behaviours. There is so much cross-species relevance in our presentations! As always, in accordance with EBTA values we did not bring horses with us for our demonstrations but used our trusty and perfectly habituated inflatable horses to help make our points...

Debbie Busby visited Bransby Horses in Lincolnshire to give a presentation to the National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) about the work of EBTA. Debbie introduced some of our projects and policies with a view to EBTA joining NEWC in order to focus our national contribution to the welfare of horses, mules and donkeys in the UK.
Here's a sneaky peak at our current Facebook campaign - a week's worth of ideas to help improve the welfare of small ponies. So now would be a good time to join our page - if you are not on Facebook then fear not, we will add all the slides to the Projects section of our website in due course....
Don't forget that EBTA behaviourists are regular contributors to Horse and Rider Magazine. Anna Saillet has full articles and the rest of us answer reader queries in the "Ask the Experts" section.
Happy Christmas from all of us at EBTA. We look forward to helping more horses, ponies, donkeys and mules in 2017.
Coming soon - EBTA pub nights! The perfect opportunity to meet a behaviourist, find out what we do, whether we can help you or just have a drink and talk behaviour. No cost, other than your drinks.
Have you any ideas for our next project? Please get in touch....
Have you joined our Facebook Page yet? We post something most weeks and try to keep it interesting, informative and for the good of the horse, donkey or mule. We certainly won't inundate you with junk posts!
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