FEI establishes independent commission on animal welfare in sport

By setting up an independent commission, the FEI is taking new steps towards ensuring animal welfare in sport. This committee should establish a working and practical framework that will enable the FEI to address current and future concerns about the “use” of horses in sport.

“In our industry, social license to operate (SLO) is the term given to a community’s acceptance of equestrian sport and all related activities,” explains FEI President Ingmar de Vos. “Equestrian sport and FEI activities are more than ever subject to public scrutiny, and through the commission we aim to adopt that control to drive change and focus the spotlight on our most important stakeholder: the horse.”


“There are extensive systems and mechanisms in place to protect the welfare of the horse, but more can be done and there is more to be done. In an ever-changing society, where perceptions and standards change at an accelerating pace, the FEI must address these concerns and criticism from the community and within equestrian circles in a clear way. and transparent.”

10 committee members

“It is our duty as the governing body responsible for equestrian sport, and that is why we have established this important and independent committee to enable us to chart a course that advances the position of equestrian sport in society.” The 10-member committee will be chaired by Prof. Dr. Natalie Warran (NZL), an internationally respected expert in equine care, is Professor of Welfare One and Executive Dean at the Oriental Institute of Technology (Te Bokinga) in New Zealand.

outside knowledge

Professor Dr. Warran is one of five members of the committee who work outside the FEI. As a result, there is a list of equine care experts, gastroenterologists and FEI representatives who have been selected for their expertise. “I am honored to have been asked to lead this work,” Professor Warran said. “By bringing together outside experts to facilitate the development of a framework to address and enhance the welfare needs of sport horses, the FEI has taken an important step forward in the area of ​​social licensing.

first meeting

The first committee meetings, which have not yet been formally appointed, will take place in June 2022. The focus is on planning cooperation with various stakeholders and focusing and forming working groups. The Committee is expected to collaborate over an initial period of 18 months, with an interim report to be presented at the FEI General Assembly in Cape Town (RSA) in November 2022, followed by a second report at the FEI Sports Forum in April 2023 and a final report/framework To be submitted for approval at the General Assembly of the Federation of Egyptian Industries 2023 in Mexico.

The committee consists of:

FEI Social Operating License Commission

President: Professor Dr. Natalie Warranan external expert, Professor of Social Welfare and Executive Dean at the Oriental Institute of Technology (Te Bokinga) in New Zealand.


  • Professor Kathalijne Visser-RiedstraExternal Expert, Professor (UAS) Human-Animal Interactions at Aeres University of Applied Sciences – Almere, Flevoland, The Netherlands
  • Dr. Kami HelliskićExternal Expert, Senior Lecturer, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment – Lexington, USA
  • Dr. Madeline CampbellExternal Expert, Senior Lecturer in Human-Animal Interactions and Ethics – Royal College of Veterinary Medicine, University of London
  • Mrs. Jessica StarkExternal Expert, Director of Communications and Public Affairs for Global Equine Care
  • Mr. Theo BloggersPresident of the European Equestrian Federation, Member of the Federation’s Board of Directors
  • Mr. Caetano Martinez de AiroSpanish jump rider – International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC)
  • Mr. Ken E. LaloCAS Arbiter, Former President of the FEI Court, President of the Israeli Equestrian Federation
  • Mrs. Sabrina IbanezSecretary General of the Federation of Egyptian Industries and President of APSO
  • Mr. Cesar HirschFEI Judge and Steward Level 3 and President of the Pan American Equestrian Federation (PAEC)

Previous office – administrative and logistical support

  • Dr. Francisco Lima, Director of Corporate Governance and Corporate Affairs at the Federation of Egyptian Industries
  • Mrs. Barbara RuddellDirector of the Office of the President of the International Equestrian Federation

Source: FEI. press release

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