- Lauren Fraser, MSc, CHBC
COVID-19 Horse Behaviour Consult Guidelines
BC has now entered the second phase towards reopening the province during the COVID-19 pandemic. As I provide for the health and welfare of animals, my behaviour consulting service was always considered an essential service, even during the first phase of control of the virus. At that time, I voluntarily chose to temporarily suspend all in-person consults, until more information about the virus and its transmission could be gathered. I will now begin seeing horse behaviour clients again for in-person consults while following the recommended practices set forth by our provincial health authorities.
As my in-person horse behaviour consults occur outdoors, there is no need for physical contact with my clients, and it is generally possible to maintain a minimum 2-meter distance between myself and my clients while speaking, the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus for both my clients and myself is considered low. However, if you are immune-compromised or have other health issues that make you more susceptible to complications resulting from contracting COVID-19 it is advised that we book a remote consult whenever possible.
All clients will be pre-screened prior to an appointment being booked to ensure: that they have not travelled out of province in the last 14 days; that they are not currently experiencing symptoms such as cough, fever, runny nose; that within the past 14 days they have not been exposed to anyone showing such symptoms, or anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Any client who answers yes to the pre-screening questions will be asked to rebook at a later date.
My hands will be sanitized before and after the consult, and my clients will be asked to do the same.
During brief times were it may not be possible to maintain the minimum 2-meter distance, non-medical masks will be worn by both myself and my clients and the time spent close together will be kept short.
All consults will occur in an outdoor or covered, open-air setting.
Should it be necessary for me to briefly handle a client's horse to demonstrate a behaviour modification technique I will use my own leadrope, and any touched surfaces (i.e. the horse's halter) will be sanitized immediately after the demonstration. Please bring your own pen and paper to take notes during the consult, if desired.
While it is still advised that all people responsible for the care and training of a horse be present at a consult, all parties will need to follow the above guidelines while at the consult. In addition, the names and contact information of all people attending the consult will need to be provided in advance of the consult.