Equine industry review launched

Robert Huey
Robert Huey

A comprehensive review of Northern Ireland’s equine industry is being carried out to assess its value to the economy and identify areas of potential growth.

The review, commissioned by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and being independently undertaken by Deloitte Consulting, will include the equine sectors of sport (racing and competition), leisure, breeding and the ancillary sectors that provide services to the Northern Ireland equine industry.

DAERA’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Robert Huey said: “We hope this independent evaluation will provide the industry with recommendations on how to improve, develop and grow to deliver both economic and social benefits for everyone.

“The analysis will be seeking to identify additional enterprise, employment and export opportunities in the sector, as well as reviewing how education, innovation and technology can help drive economic growth.

“The last survey of the industry was in 2007, so we have no up-to-date figures on the number of horses we have in NI, how much consumers spend on them, or details on exports or incomes from the industry. Therefore, I would encourage everyone in Northern Ireland involved in the equine sector to participate in the analysis. Whether you are a competitor or leisure rider; an owner, breeder or trainer; participate in a riding club, pony club or riding school; are involved in racing or sport horses; or provide services such as being a farrier, tack shop, feed supplier or veterinarian; this is your opportunity to help inform the review and I would encourage you to ensure your views are heard by completing the online survey which is open until 30 September.”

The survey can be accessed via the Quick Links section on the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs homepage: https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk

It is hoped the review will be completed by the end of 2018.