Thursday, June 28th, 2012
In a first for Australian horse owners, a workshop recently held in Adelaide, South Australia, discovered that adaptation is the key to preparing for climate change.

Horse SA organised the event, attended by horse organisation representatives, owners & scientists from five states of Australia. Information and ideas were shared throughout the day which will help the horse industry & community plan for the future.

Dr Gary Muscatello, from the Primary Industries Adaptation Research Network, gave a timely presentation about emerging diseases including those affecting humans and horses. Pressures placed on native animal’s remnant habitats through increased urbanisation puts stress on ecosystems and our own horse’s living environment.

Emergency events such as fire, flood and cyclone were the highest concerns expressed by horse owners surveyed prior to the day. This was followed by aspects around horse events including heat stress, biosecurity and insurance.

In the survey report, prepared by Dr Kirrilly Thompson, it was noted that many people had already made some changes to their horse properties in response to major weather events, with many selecting land care actions.

Jane Myers travelled from Brisbane to share some experiences gained from researching horse keeping practices in the UK & Europe, including a commercial project that recycles stable waste for resale as clean bedding.

Questions around the carbon footprint of the various horse industries and understanding which sectors would be more vulnerable to climate impacts were raised in a literature review prepared by Melissa Rebbeck. It highlighted the little work that has taken place for Australian horse owners in the field of climate impacts and adaptation.

Sandy Pate provided insights into his work running field days, developing support programs and a new online information hub based around a program called HorsesLandWater. The program provides face to face help for the estimated 2000 horse property owners in the Perth region wanting to improve their land management practices.

“The workshop findings are for all horse owners, organisations and researchers to use to help our industry prepare for the future” said Horse SA Executive Officer, Julie Fiedler. “We will now be looking to take the next step of developing an Action Plan to provide a roadmap to help guide our next steps”

The workshop presentations, survey report and literature review have been uploaded to Support to conduct the workshop was received from the Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation.

Contact Profile

Horse SA

Horse SA has, as a key goal, to make sure horses are a valued part of our Australian culture, community and business life. The organisation works at all levels of government, business and non-profit organisations through to grass roots horse owners to achieve that goal.
Julie Fiedler
P: 0402488306


Horse SA, Jane Myers, grazing, climate change, climate impact, adaptation, NRM, natural resources management


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