It is essential that all horse owners and carers are familiar with the laws that govern horse management in Victoria. It's important that you also know how to secure and care for your horses during emergency situations.
Managing horses in difficult conditions
With below average rainfall in many areas of Victoria in 2015 and 2016, the department is encouraging horse owners to be proactive in ensuring they have enough on-farm feed and water and can care for their horses through to spring 2016.
Media release 24 November 2015: No excuse for neglecting horses
Some things to consider when caring for horses during winter.
Information below includes advice on agistment, drought feeding of horses and the responsibilities of horse owners.
We also have a guide to grazing and feeding.
RSPCA Victoria also has a range of information on caring for your horse.
Revised Horse Welfare Code of Practice
The Code of Practice for the Welfare of Horses has been revised.
The new Code includes minimum recommended standards on general care and husbandry practices including provision of feed, water, exercise, hoof care, fencing and stabling, as well as agistment, identification and dentistry.
This Code is not mandatory, and is created under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986. However compliance with the code does provide a defence to an offence under the Act and it is highly recommended that these standards are met (or bettered) in order to protect the welfare of your horse.
For questions about the Code contact the Customer Service Centre on 136 186 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn about the grazing management for horses.
What you should know about horse agistment.
How to carry out condition scoring and weight estimation on horses.
All Victorian property owners who have horses residing on their property must have a Property Identification Code (PIC).
Read about the laws around microchipping horses.
Caring for horses in emergencies
Ensure you include your horses (and other animals) in your family's emergency plan. Your horses are your responsibility so plan for them.
Read about horses and bushfires
Learn how to plan for an emergency with your horse
Learn about caring for horses affected by bushfires
Find out how to manage water for horses following fires
Read a guide to equine rescue and rehabilitation.
Read the revised Code of Practice for the Welfare of Horses at Bush Race Meetings. For a printable colour pdf version, email email@example.com or call the Customer Service Centre on 136 186.
Read the legislation regarding horse welfare.
There are strict requirements around operating rodeos in Victoria.
Legislation and guidelines around the care of horses for hire.