Future of equine production under the spotlight at BSAS conference

The potential impacts of Brexit on maintaining equine health and welfare standards in the UK and Ireland are set to come under the spotlight at BSAS's major international equine conference this spring.

The 2018 Equine Event - run in conjunction with the BSAS Annual Conference - will bring experts from around the world to Dublin to discuss what the future has in store for the equine sector. 

Held at the iconic Croke Park Stadium from 9 -11 April, the event will look at the challenges and opportunities facing equine care and production in the coming years, as well as the developments driving optimisation in the industry.

Split across two days, the first day’s industry sessions will address the impact of leaving the European Union on the UK and Irish equine sectors, particularly in relation to horse health and welfare, and horse movement.

Speakers will include Horse Racing Ireland’s Brian Kavanagh who will examine the impact of Brexit on the thoroughbred and racing industries, and Roly Owers of World Horse Welfare, who will look at the opportunities and concerns around Brexit and equine welfare standards.

Collaboration and technologies

Sessions during the rest of the industry day will examine latest developments in the sector, including Gerry Dillon, Alltech, who will look at the legal requirements around labeling equine feed and supplements, and Jo-Anne Murray of the University of Glasgow, who will share her experiences of collaboration between industry and research to progress equine science knowledge.

Meanwhile independent equine consultant David Marlin will present an overview of technologies available in equine research, and Lisa Boden of the University of Edinburgh will explain the importance of knowledge transfer, and showcase the tools people can use to communicate science.

The second day of the conference will focus on technical issues, providing a global roundup of scientific work relating to optimising equine production.

Sessions will cover issues including nutrition and digestive health, reproduction and breeding and performance and training.

Keynote speakers Chris Rogers of Massey University, New Zealand, Brian Nielsen of Michigan State University, UCD’s Barbara Murphy and Tim Parkin from the University of Glasgow will all be followed by oral presentations from offered abstracts submitted to BSAS.

Challenges and opportunties

Stephanie Wood, equine event organiser, said the conference was a one-off opportunity to hear from leading voices in the equine sector, giving attendees a clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities to come.

“There’s no doubt that the equine industry is facing a number of changes - both in terms of policy changes thanks to Brexit, but also due to the technologies which are emerging.

“Animal science is moving incredibly quickly, and this event is the perfect opportunity to learn about the latest developments, as well as what is coming up on the horizon,” said Dr Wood.

“Whether you are a student, in academia, a veterinary surgeon or work in the wider industry, this is event is for you.”

Tickets for the event are on sale now. Tickets bought before Monday 19 February qualify for BSAS's special discounted rate.