Applications for Equine Research Fellows being accepted through Aug. 1
Applications for the 2013 American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation Past Presidents’ Research Fellow and EQ... More »
Bramlage Serving as On Call Veterinarian for Belmont Telecast
Larry Bramlage, DVM, will return to the role of AAEP On Call veterinarian when he assists NBC Sports with horse health informati... More »
Dr. Scott Palmer to Serve as AAEP On Call Veterinarian for Preakness Weekend Telecasts
Scott Palmer, VMD, will assist NBC Sports with horse health info... More »
Dr. Mary Scollay to Step in as AAEP On Call Veterinarian for Oaks, Derby
Longtime AAEP On Call Veterinarian Mary Scollay will serve as the spokesperson for equine health during NBCSports racing coverag... More »
Statement from the AAEP regarding the Injury to On Call Veterinarian Dr. Larry Bramlage
Dr. Larry Bramlage injured his head Thursday afternoon in a fall from a golf cart in the barn area of Churchill Downs. He was tr... More »
Summer Education Meetings to Provide New Knowledge to Practitioners of All Experience Levels
The American Association of Equine Practitioners’ 2013 series of summer continuing education meetings will impart the latest tre... More »
Unwanted Horse - Feb 3rd, 09
An AAEP Brochure
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), animal welfare is a human responsibility that encompasses all aspects of animal well-being, including proper housing, management, nutrition, disease prevention and treatment, humane handling and, when necessary, humane euthanasia.
Both science and society have a role to play in deciding what constitutes an appropriate level of animal welfare. While science can determine what type of degree of animal welfare risk exists under specific circumstances, it cannot determine what type of degree of risk is acceptable – that is the question that society decides.
Different people emphasize different factors when evaluating the welfare of animals. None of these views is inherently right or wrong. And people may hold more than one view at a time. They may consider:
When the welfare of horses is assessed, their broad athletic, economic and recreational uses are also considered.
A number of issues that affect the welfare of horses are a focus for many individuals and organizations, including equine veterinarians. The AAEP has developed position statements for the following issues:
The plight of the unwanted horse also is a growing welfare issue. The Unwanted Horse Coalition, a broad alliance of national equine organizations joined together under the American Horse Council, is concerned that some horses may slip through the various safety nets within the horse industry. The Coalition is working to educate industry groups about this important issue and help people learn to “own responsibly.”
Veterinarians and horse owners have legal and ethical obligations to ensure the welfare of horses. Some states require veterinarians to report animal cruelty. The AVMA recognizes that veterinarians may observe cases of animal neglect and abuse as defined by federal or state laws, or local ordinances. When these situations cannot be resolved through education, the AVMA considers it the responsibility of the veterinarian to report such cases to appropriate authorities, such as:
Horse owners are not required by law to report instances of animal cruelty. However, most states require that an animal’s owner or caregiver provide a minimum level of care. Generally, this care includes food, water, shelter and veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering. Horse owners can promote equine welfare by becoming educated and working proactively to address widespread concerns within the industry and by reporting local horse neglect or abuse to authorities.
There may come a time when, for humane, medical, economic or safety reasons, an owner may need to consider euthanasia for their horse. The decision to euthanize, or induce a painless death, should never be made without careful consideration. The right choice is clearly the one that is in the best interest of the horse and the people who care for it. A veterinarian can aid clients in making a timely decision, prepare the owner for what will happen and ensure the horse’s life is ended as painlessly and distress-free as possible. The following questions may be helpful:
American Association of Equine Practitioners