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Raising and handling horses in Canada

Canada is a nation built with the help of working horses. While horses don’t factor into the lives of most Canadians anymore, we continue to feel a close connection with these charismatic creatures.

Horses and other equines (e.g. donkeys, mules) are now bred and kept in Canada for many reasons, including companionship; personal recreation; commercial recreation such as racing, rodeo and equestrian sports; working purposes such as ranching and logging; and meat production.

Equine Canada estimates that, as of 2010, there were 963,500 horses in Canada. In British Columbia, they estimated that 116,000 horses were kept by 21,600 owners, and that only two thirds of those owners lived on the same property as their horse.

Equines can live for 30 years or longer. Ownership is a long-term commitment of time and finances. Guardians are responsible for providing proper care for their horses, donkeys and mules as outlined in the Canadian Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Equines.

The BC SPCA is always working to build a better future for farm animals in B.C. and across Canada, and this includes horses. Learn how.