Monday, December 14, 2020Contact: Andrew Chesser
IFHA Publishes Minimum Horse Welfare Standards

The Horse Welfare Committee of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) has produced guidance on standards for the care and welfare of horses at different times of their life, which is in line with its terms of reference that include promoting best practice, harmonization and information exchange across racing nations. Titled “IFHA Minimum Horse Welfare Standards”, this paper complements recent reforms which will ensure the traceability of horses from their foal stage through into retirement and beyond.
Racing authorities should refer to this guidance to establish accepted horse welfare practices in their jurisdiction and to set minimum standards of participant behaviour, including behavioural change where necessary.
“The IFHA affirms the central role of the horse in racing, and accordingly, regards the health and welfare of racehorses, in all stages of life, to be fundamentally important to the viability and sustainability of the industry,” said IFHA Chairman Louis Romanet. “The Executive Council of the Federation endorses this IFHA Minimum Horse Welfare Standards document and I want to thank our Horse Welfare Committee Chairman Jamie Stier for leading the efforts to produce this useful and practical guide for racing authorities.”
The IFHA’s Horse Welfare Committee has prepared these standards, in part, by basing them upon sections of the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) “Thoroughbred Welfare Assessment Guidelines” (October 2019) which were developed by NZTR with the assistance of Professor Emeritus David Mellor, Foundation Director of the Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre at Massey University, New Zealand.
In conjunction with the publication of the IFHA Minimum Horse Welfare Standards, a short video and podcast have been produced, featuring Mr Stier, who is also the Executive General Manager, Integrity Services, Racing Victoria, along with the aforementioned Mellor, and Dr Lynn Hillyer, Chief Veterinary Officer and Head of Anti-Doping for the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board. The panel was moderated by esteemed British racing presenter Rishi Persad.

The document in full can be found at

A link to the video panel can be found at
About IFHA

The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) is the world peak body for the international sport of Thoroughbred racing. Its members are the national racing authorities across the globe which stage Thoroughbred races.

Major areas of the IFHA’s activities include:

    •           Making and amending the International Agreement on Breeding, Racing and Wagering (the IABRW)
    •           Policy development relating to welfare and safety of horses and riders
    •           International Race Planning and Grading (“black type”)
    •           World Rankings
    •           The fight against Equine Prohibited Substances and Practices
    •           Harmonization of Racing Rules
    •           Certification of IFHA Reference Labs
    •           Fostering commercial development of the racing industry globally

The IFHA is a foundation member with Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) of the International Horse Sports Confederation and is affiliated to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

E-Mail :