Equine Health & Welfare / Horses in Distress – Welfare of Horses

Horses in Distress – Welfare of Horses

Understanding the conditions unsuitable to housing horses, and authorities available to prevent abuse, neglect and dangerous conditions for horses.

Appropriate authorities may be notified if it is suspected that any animal is:

  • Lacking adequate and/or acceptable quality food and water
  • Exposed to extreme cold or heat and/or without shelter
  • Not provided with suitable care and/or medical attention, if wounded, aged, or ill
  • Confined in an area where obstacles or equipment may present a danger of injury
  • Kept in unsanitary conditions
  • Confined without adequate ventilation
  • Confined for periods which may not allow sufficient exercise
  • Demonstrating extreme or unusual anxiety or distress

Alert Line

It is important to understand that horses are livestock.

The Alberta Farm Animal Care operates the ALERT Line, an anonymous call line dedicated to animal welfare. If you have questions or concerns about an animal’s well-being, please call the ALERT Line at 1-800-506-2273. They will dispatch the appropriate authorities.

When should you call the Alberta SPCA?

  1. If you see livestock that are being abused or neglected
  2. If you see livestock that are dead
  3. If there are livestock with a visible/severe injury

When should you call the RCMP?

  1. If livestock have found their way outside of their living area and you are not sure who they belong to (stray livestock)
  2. Livestock alongside a major road or highway
  3. Call your nearest RCMP detachment if you see animals on a highway

For more information on the ALERT Line, visit this website.

Emergency Livestock Handling Equipment Trailers

Emergency Livestock Handling Equipment Trailers are equipped with everything needed in the event of a livestock emergency such as a horse trailer rollover, barn collapse, barn fire, etc. Note: trailers carry equipment needed for an emergency and are not equipped to transport livestock.

Currently, there are 18 trailers in Alberta. These are mainly located and operated out of fire stations or county offices; many of the trailer operators are trained in livestock behavior and emergency response protocols.

If you see an equine emergency, call 911 and request an Emergency Livestock Handling Equipment Trailer. For more information on the trailers, such as where they are located, or for trailer resource information, please visit this website.

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