Updated: Mar 25, 2020
Veterinarians are in a unique, front-line position to help clients whose horses are experiencing behaviour problems: by ruling out physical or medical reasons for the behaviour, and by referring the client to a qualified animal behaviour professional.
However, the animal training industry in Canada is wholly unregulated; any person can call themselves a horse trainer or behaviour professional, regardless of their knowledge or experience. Such lack of regulation perpetuates the use of harmful training and behaviour modification techniques, and offers owners little recourse should their horse suffer physical or behavioural injuries during training.
Does this lack of regulation also present an ethical dilemma for equine veterinarians? I recently covered this difficult topic for West Coast Veterinarian magazine, and you can read the full article here.