Firing of horses' legs
Policy Type: Policy
Manual Reference: 10g
Date ratified: November 2018
Firing of a horse’s leg, whether by application of extreme heat or cold, is an unacceptable practice and is a prohibited surgical procedure, according to section 21 of the Animal Welfare Act 1999.
The purpose of this policy is to clarify the inclusion of freeze firing as a surgical procedure offence under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 (“the Act”), section 21 Surgical Procedure Offences: 2(b).*
The definition of thermal cautery is usually interpreted as the application of heat but must also include the application of extreme cold (freeze firing).
Under section 2 of the Act, a definition is provided: “firing, in relation to a horse, means a procedure which involves the application of thermal cautery to the legs of the horse and which creates tissue damage to, or an inflammatory reaction in, the legs of the horse.”
*From the Animal Welfare Act 1999:
21 Surgical procedure offences
A person commits an offence who, without reasonable excuse, acts in contravention of or fails to comply with—
(2) A person commits an offence who—
(a) crops, or causes to be cropped, the ears of a dog; or
(b) performs, or causes to be performed, blistering or firing or nicking on a horse.