Thumbs-up for Equine Welfare at the 2008 Olympics
RELEASE: June 26, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Equestrian Events (Hong Kong) of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad Company Limited
The facilities for providing first-rate care of horses brought to Hong Kong for the Olympic Games in August have been given the thumbs-up by members of the Animal Welfare Advisory Group (AWAG) who visited the two equestrian venues.
“I think the welfare of the horses is being very well taken care of,” said Chan Pui-tin, after he and five colleagues inspected the venues on June 24..
“We have asked a lot of questions on a range of topics, big and small, such as whether the horses will suffer from heat stroke, mosquito bites, motion sickness, jet lag, and how they are taken care of if they are sick.”
“We feel all these questions have been answered satisfactorily, and I must say this has been an eye-opening visit…the range of facilities is impressive.”
The AWAG group was shown the facilities at the Sha Tin and Beas River venues by senior staff of The Equestrian Company (EqCo) and the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC).
Pui-tin said AWAG considers it important there is close cooperation between veterinarians accompanying the Olympic teams and local veterinarians so that they can combine their wealth of experience in looking after the horses.
Pui-tin said the group was impressed by various facilities and installations such as the Veterinary Clinic, the Olympic and Quarantine Stables, and the advanced static and mobile cooling systems. Also noteworthy were the ample space in the stable stalls and the provision in the stable facility of a sand box in which a horse can roll and relax.
“Before I came here I had a lot of reservations and doubts, but after seeing the facilities my confidence has risen dramatically,” Pui-tin said.
The AWAG was established in 1997 and operates under the auspices of the Government’s Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department.