American Association of Equine Practitioners
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American Association of Equine Practitioners

Guidelines HEADING_TITLE

AAEP guidelines are created to simply serve as guidelines for the practitioner and the equine industry. As such, they do not have the force of law. All guidelines issued by the AAEP should be regarded as one of several tools a practitioner may take into consideration in the context of his or her practice. All practitioners are encouraged first and foremost to understand and comply with the laws, regulations and standard of care of their appropriate jurisdiction. While guidelines are intended to promote a standard for veterinary practice, lack of adherence to any specific AAEP guideline does not constitute grounds for disciplinary action. The AAEP can exercise disciplinary action only in connection with its own members and its action is limited to denial of membership in the AAEP. The AAEP shall have no liability whatsoever for any guideline. 

A committee, subcommittee, or task force of the AAEP reviews guidelines every three to five years. Any major revisions are approved by the AAEP board of directors. 

  • AAEP Ethical and Professional GuidelinesClick to Expand

    Standards of Profession

    Professional ethics embodies the behaviors of honesty, integrity and kindness while obeying rules and regulations set forth with mutual respect for opinion and preservation of dignity in interpersonal relationships. The conduct should be in a manner that will enhance the worthiness of the profession. The ethical practice of medicine includes those remedies and treatments that have, as their short or long-term goal, the health and welfare of the horse.

    All members of the AAEP are expected to comply with (a) the code of Ethics of the AAEP (or counterpart in foreign countries); (b) the AAEP’s Ethical and Professional Guidelines, Bylaws and procedures of their enforcement; (c) the code of Ethics of the veterinary medical association of the state or province in which licensed; (d) all rules and regulations of racing applicable at race tracks where practicing; (e) rules of organizations governing horse shows, sales, equine events and the rules of all breed registries in relation to veterinary practices; and (f) all other laws of the land. Members and Veterinarians should be honest and fair in their relations with others, and they should not engage in fraud, misrepresentation or deceit. Violation of any of the foregoing may constitute cause for revocation or denial of membership in the AAEP.

    Organizations and regulatory agencies within the industry notify the AAEP of violations (committed by an AAEP member) within their respective jurisdictions. Additionally, there is a process for members to file complaints against other members. Each case involving an AAEP member is reviewed by the AAEP Professional Conduct and Ethics Committee for disciplinary consideration and a recommendation is forwarded to the Executive Committee for final action. It should be noted that AAEP can exercise disciplinary action only in connection with its own members.

    Reviewed by AAEP board of directors in 2010.


    Policy for Membership Denial and Disciplinary Procedures

    The procedures established in these Rules shall govern proceedings concerning membership in the Association conducted by the Professional Conduct and Ethics Committee or any other body designated by the Board of Directors. The procedures set forth in these Rules are subordinate to the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of the AAEP. In the event of any conflict between these Rules and the provisions of the Articles of Incorporation or the Bylaws, the latter shall prevail.


    PREAMBLE

    Professional ethics embodies the behaviors of honesty, integrity and kindness while obeying rules and regulations set forth with mutual respect for opinion and preservation of dignity in interpersonal relationships.  The conduct should be in a manner that will enhance the worthiness of the profession.  The ethical practice of medicine includes those remedies and treatments that have, as their short or long-term goal, the health and welfare of the horse.

    All members of the American Association of Equine Practitioners are expected to comply with (a) the Code of Ethics of the American Veterinary Medical Association (or counterpart in foreign countries); (b) the AAEP’s Ethical and Professional Guidelines, Bylaws and procedures of their enforcement; (c) the Code of Ethics of the veterinary medical association of the state or province in which licensed; (d) all rules and regulations of racing applicable at race tracks where practicing; (e) rules of organizations governing horse shows, sales, equine events and the rules of all breed registries in relation to veterinary practices; and (f) all other laws of the land.  Members and veterinarians should be honest and fair in their relations with others, and they should not engage in fraud, misrepresentation or deceit.  Violation of any of the foregoing may constitute cause for revocation or denial of membership in the AAEP.

    There is a process for members to file complaints against other members.  Each case involving an AAEP member is reviewed by the AAEP Professional Conduct and Ethics Committee; however, since the AAEP is not a formal regulatory body, it will not take any disciplinary action based solely on a member on member complaint, rather, the committee, in its discretion, may make recommendations to the parties involved.  Disciplinary action will only be considered if the member complaint has also been adjudicated by a recognized regulatory authority, as set forth herein, and such action is limited to membership status.


    ARTICLE 1    

    DEFINITIONS

    Section 1:  As used herein, these terms shall have the following meaning:

    Action:
      either or both of an Application Review or the evaluation of a Complaint by the Committee.           

    Applicant:  a person who has completed and filed a new or renewal application for membership in the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

    Application Review:  a review by the Committee of an application for membership in the Association.

    Association:  the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

    Board:  the Board of Directors of the Association, minus the Officers.

    Bylaws:  the Bylaws of the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

    Chairman:  the Chairman of the Professional Conduct and Ethics Committee.

    Complaint: a grievance filed against a Member pursuant to Article 2, Section 2.3 or 2.4.

    Complainant:  a person who has made a Complaint against a Member pursuant to the procedures set forth herein.

    Committee:  the Professional Conduct and Ethics Committee.

    Disciplinary Action:  action taken by the Professional Conduct and Ethics Committee against a member of the Association in response to a Complaint.  It includes any recommendations affecting membership except denial or cancellation.

    Executive Director:  the Executive Director of the Association.

    Hearing:  a meeting conducted by the Professional Conduct and Ethics Committee in which dismissal, Disciplinary Action and/or cancellation of membership may result, as defined in Article 4.

    Members:the members of the Association.

    Officers:  the Officers of the Association, except the Executive Director, as outlined in Article IV of the Articles of Incorporation.

    Party:  the Complainant or Respondent in a disciplinary proceeding referred to herein. 

    Petitioner:  an Applicant or Respondent requesting a rehearing.

    Regulatory Action:  fines, probation, suspension or revocation taken against a veterinary or race track license by a regulatory agency; or formal disciplinary action taken by organizations governing horse shows, sales and equine events and breed registries in relation to the practice of veterinary medicine.

    Respondent:  a Member against whom a Complaint has been made.

    Revocation:  Revocation of AAEP membership is defined as an immediate action to terminate AAEP membership, which cannot thereafter be renewed or restored, but only replaced upon application for new membership.

    Suspension: Suspension is a temporary withdrawal of a person's AAEP membership for a specified period of time and often contingent upon other conditions being met before membership is restored.

     

    ARTICLE 2

    INITIATION AND FILING OF ACTIONS

    Section 2.1:  The Executive Director, on behalf of the Association, may initiate an Application Review by the Committee of any Applicant for new membership or for renewal of AAEP membership who has failed to report Regulatory Action as set forth in the Bylaws Article IV Section 3(b)(1) through 3(b)(3).

    Section 2.2:  The Executive Director, on behalf of the Association, may initiate an Application Review by the Committee of any Applicant for new membership or for renewal of AAEP membership, pursuant to the grounds set forth in the Bylaws Article IV Section 3(b)(4) through 3(b)(6).

    Section 2.3:  In addition to initiating an Application Review pursuant to Section 2.1 or Section 2.2, the Executive Director, on behalf of the Association, may initiate a Complaint against any active Member, pursuant to the grounds set forth in the Bylaws Article IV Section 3(b)(1) through 3(b)(6).

    Section 2.4:  Any Member in good standing may file a Complaint against any Member.  The Complaint must be: (a) in writing and name the Respondent, (b) dated and signed by the Complainant, (c) addressed to the Executive Director, and (d) contain ground(s) for the Complaint as set forth in the Bylaws Article IV Section 3(b)(1) through 3(b)(6).  As stated in the preamble, since the AAEP is not a formal regulatory body, it will not take any disciplinary action based solely on a member on member complaint, rather, the committee, in its discretion, may make recommendations to the parties involved.  Disciplinary action will only be considered if the member complaint has also been adjudicated by a recognized regulatory authority, as set forth herein, and such action is limited to membership status.

    Section 2.5:  The initiation of any Action must be set forth to the Committee in writing and include the name of the Applicant or Complainant, as the case may be, and the circumstances giving rise to the initiation of the Action.  The Executive Director, on behalf of the Association, or the Complainant, as the case may be, must be prepared to substantiate the grounds for pursuing the Action with sworn statements, witnesses or other evidence.

    Section 2.6:  Suspension or revocation of AAEP membership is allowed in certain circumstances, as set forth below. 

    Section 2.7:  Neither the AAEP nor the Professional Conduct and Ethics Committee should attempt to rule on pending actions of any kind (by breed associations, racing commissions, regulatory agencies, or judicial bodies, etc.); however, in the event there has been a determination that has been subsequently appealed, they may recommend suspension during the appeals process.


    ARTICLE 3
     

    PROCEDURES FOR EVALUATING AND

    PROVIDING NOTICE OF ACTIONS

    Section 3.1:  An Applicant or Respondent in any Action shall receive a notice of the Action.  This notice shall contain a copy of the materials giving rise to the Action, including the grounds on which it is based, and a statement to the Applicant or Respondent, as the case may be, that he or she has the right to file two copies of a written response with the Executive Director within 30 days of the date of the notice.  The notice shall inform the Applicant or Respondent, as the case may be, that communication regarding the matter with members of the Committee or members of the Board of Directors is prohibited with the exception of the Executive Director and the Committee Chair as provided for in Article 7, Section 7.3 below.  The notice shall also state that if the Applicant or Respondent does not file a response, the charges may be taken as true by default.  A response filed without objection by an Applicant or Respondent, as the case may be, shall constitute a waiver of any defect in the notice.

    Section 3.2:  The Executive Director or his designee may pursue such investigation into the facts underlying the Action as may be reasonably necessary for the Committee to consider the merits and validity of the grounds for the Action.

    Section 3.3:  If a Respondent files a response to a Complaint, the Executive Director shall deliver copies of the response to the Complainant.

    Section 3.4:  After receipt of the response to a notice, or after no response is received within the time period prescribed, the Chairman shall submit the facts concerning the Action, including any response or additional instruments and information, to the Committee for review.

    Section 3.5:  The Committee shall consider in its evaluation: (a) the relevancy of the charges as they apply to the objectives of the Association (Article II of the Articles of Incorporation); (b) the severity of the charges; (c) any evidence of rehabilitation; and (d) any other evidence or factors the Committee, in its discretion, deems relevant.

    Section 3.6:  In the case of an Action concerning an Application Review, within 60 days of receipt of the Applicant’s response, or upon the end of the 30-day period set forth in Section 3.1 above if the Committee does not grant an extension, the Committee shall, by a majority vote, decide to either accept the application for new membership or renewal of membership or refer it for a Hearing.  In the case of an Action concerning a Complaint against a Member, within 60 days of receiving the Respondent’s response, or upon the end of the 30-day period set forth in Section 3.1 above, if the Committee does not grant an extension, the Committee shall, by majority vote, decide whether to dismiss the Complaint, take additional evidence, refer it for a Hearing, present the Respondent with a written proposal of findings in lieu of a Hearing, censure the Respondent or recommend Disciplinary Action.

    Section 3.7:  GROUNDS FOR REVOCATION.  The following shall serve as grounds for revocation of AAEP membership:

    • Felony conviction
      • When the final trial proceedings are concluded where a person has been adjudicated and found guilty
      • Where a person has entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere whether or not a sentence is imposed
      • In a criminal conviction under the laws any state, territory or district of the United States, or the United States for any offense reasonably related to the qualifications, functions or duties of the person licensed which has resulted in a verdict of guilty
      • For any felony conviction, for which an essential element is fraud, dishonesty or an act of violence
      •  For any felony conviction involving moral turpitude including, but not limited to, any crime involving unlawful sexual contact; child abuse; the use or threatened use of a weapon; the infliction of injury; indecent exposure; perjury, false reporting, criminal impersonation, forgery, and any other crime involving a lack of truthfulness, veracity, or honesty; intimidation of a victim or witness; larceny; or alcohol or drugs. 
    • Upon the final and unconditional revocation, suspension, or surrender of a person's license to practice veterinary medicine in any state, territory or district of the United States upon grounds for which such action is authorized in that state

    • For any conviction involving animal abuse or neglect

     

    ARTICLE 4

    HEARINGS, REVOCATIONS, AND SUSPENSIONS

    Section 4.1:  Any Applicant or Respondent, as the case may be, which the Committee has referred for a Hearing, shall receive a written notice of the Hearing.

    Section 4.2:  Notice of any Hearing shall designate the date, time and place of the Hearing.  No Hearing shall be set for a date and time, which does not permit at least 60 days notice, unless agreed to by all Parties.

    Section 4.3:  Any notice of a Hearing shall provide that the Applicant, Complainant and/or Respondent, as the case may be, shall have the rights set forth in Section 4.8(a) through 4.8(d).

    Section 4.4:  Notice of any Hearing shall include the names of the members of the Committee and the Board of Directors of the Association and a prohibition against communication regarding the matter with members of the Committee or members of the Board of Directors with the exception of the Executive Director and the Committee Chair as provided for in Article 7, Section 7.3 below.

    Section 4.5 The Applicant or Parties, as the case may be, shall notify the Executive Director within 30 days from the date the notice of Hearing was sent (a) whether they will attend the Hearing; (b) which of the rights set forth in Section 4.8(a) to 4.8(d) they intend to exercise during the Hearing, and (c) whether a transcript of the Hearing will be requested, pursuant to Article 7 Section 7.1.

    Section 4.6:  An appearance at a Hearing without objection by a Party shall constitute a waiver of any defect in the notice of that Hearing.

    Section 4.7:  The Applicant or Respondent, as the case may be, may seek a continuance of a scheduled Hearing by submitting a written request to the Committee.  The Committee, in its discretion, may grant requests for continuances.  In the event the Applicant, Parties or witnesses fail to appear at a duly designated Hearing without obtaining a continuance, the Committee may proceed with the Hearing and reach its decision based on the evidence made available at the Hearing, on any written materials and other evidence previously submitted to the Committee.

    Section 4.8:  At any Hearing before the Committee, the Applicant or Parties, as the case may be, have the right to the following: 

                 (a) to have legal counsel present;

                 (b) to present any witnesses;

                 (c) to submit any evidence pertinent to the case; and

                 (d) to cross-examine witnesses of others. 


    The Committee may also have legal counsel present to advise it.

    Section 4.9:  Upon written request of a party or of the Committee, there shall be furnished before a Hearing a summary of any evidence anticipated to be introduced at a Hearing, the names of any persons giving testimony and a summary of their expected testimony.

    Section 4.10:  The Chairman or his designee shall swear in, at the Committee's discretion, any person giving oral testimony.

    Section 4.11:  Before permitting testimony relating to the character or general reputation of anyone, the Committee shall satisfy itself that the testimony has a direct bearing on the case at issue.

    Section 4.12:  Hearings by the Committee need not be conducted pursuant to the rules of evidence employed in formal court proceedings.  The Committee may accept any evidence it deems appropriate.

    Section 4.13:  In respect of any Hearing, any Applicant or Party, as the case may be, may file with the Chairman a written request to prevent a member of the Committee from participating in the Hearing.  Such request must be filed at least 14 days before the Hearing is to be held and must state the grounds cited for disqualification. Disqualification will prohibit the Committee member from participating in any discussions, voting or being present during any Hearing on the Action, unless presenting testimony as a witness.  If the Committee determines that, in its judgment, the member of the Committee should be disqualified, it is empowered to do so.  In addition, the Committee may disqualify any member of the Committee from participating in a Hearing who it determines might not render an impartial decision.  The Committee shall have the sole discretion to determine whether any member should be disqualified.

    Section 4.14:  If the disqualification of a member of the Committee prevents the Committee from having sufficient numbers to conduct a Hearing under Section 4.7 above, the Chairman shall appoint a member of the Association to serve as a temporary member of the Committee for the purpose of conducting the Hearing.

    Section 4.15.  When the AAEP is made aware of an action meriting grounds for revocation of an individual’s AAEP membership, pursuant to section 3.7, a letter from the executive director shall be sent to the AAEP member, giving that member 30 days to respond, in case there has been a factual error.  The committee shall review the response, may conduct a hearing or may recommend immediate suspension or revocation of membership, at their discretion, to the Board of Directors.

    Section 4.16:  When the Ethics Committee becomes aware of a substantiated suspension, published notice, or notice by a breed association, racing commission, or competition organization based on information available in the public domain that has resulted in a suspension, but does not rise to the level of a felony or revocation of a veterinary license, and after all remedies for appeal have been exhausted, a letter from the executive director shall be issued, giving the member 30 days to respond to the inquiry.  The Committee shall review the response and determine whether or not a hearing is necessary in order for the committee to gather more information.  If the member does not respond or does not respond within the specified time frame, the committee may make a recommendation to the Board for disciplinary action based on the information they have at hand.    

    If an infraction for which a veterinarian is sanctioned is a monetary fine of $2500 or greater, or they are given any suspension time, a letter of inquiry will be sent by the executive director requesting a response to the infraction.  If a fine is less than $2500, no action by the AAEP or Professional Conduct and Ethics Committee is required.

    Section 4.17:  Most hearings occur at the Annual Convention; however, it is the wish of the Committee to address these issues with as much expediency as possible; therefore, the Committee may conduct a mid-year hearing (May 1-Sept 1), if needed, and upon approval by the Board of Directors.  It is always preferrable that hearings be attended in person; however, if there are mitigating circumstances, hearings may be conducted by conference call or webcam at the discretion of the Committee and the Board of Directors.  Hearings require a quorum of the Committee to be present, defined by a minimum of five members of the Committee and approved by a majority of the full Committee.  Ideally, Committee members will participate in mid-year heraring on a rotating basis, with no member required to serve more than one mid-year hearing during their term on the Committee.

     

    ARTICLE 5

    DECISION OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT AND ETHICS COMMITTEE

    Section 5.1:  After all investigations, fact-finding procedures and/or Hearings deemed necessary by the Committee are concluded, no less than a quorum of members of the Committee shall participate in the review of the Action and shall recommend action.

    Section 5.2:  The Committee shall vote only to recommend acceptance or denial of membership concerning an Application Review.

    Section 5.3: Concerning a Respondent in a Complaint, the Committee shall make one of the following recommendations:  (a) to dismiss the Complaint, (b) revoke or suspend the Respondent’s membership, or (c) to take any other Disciplinary Action deemed appropriate by the Committee.  In determining its recommendation, the Committee may take into account previous offenses, which may have affected the Respondent in the past.  Any decisions by the Committee must be reached by a majority vote.

    Section 5.4:  The decision of the Committee shall be in writing and set forth the findings of fact and a statement of the action recommended.  The decision of the Committee shall be filed with the Chairman, who shall submit the Committee's recommendation to the Board for action as prescribed in the Bylaws Article IV Section 3(a). 

    Section 5.5:  The Board shall vote on the Committee’s recommendation within 90 days. The decision of the Board to deny, revoke, or suspend membership shall require a two-thirds majority.

    Section 5.6: Upon action by the Board, the Executive Director shall transmit the results to the Applicant or Parties within 30 days.

     

    ARTICLE 6

    REHEARING AND APPEALS

    Section 6.1: Any Applicant or Respondant which was previously granted a hearing pursuant to Section 4 may, within 30 days of the date of notification of the Board’s  decision, petition the Committee for a rehearing solely on the grounds of newly discovered evidence in which the Applicant or Respondent seeking the rehearing, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, could not have discovered and produced at the original Hearing.  The petition must be filed in writing with the Executive Director and the Executive Director shall deliver copies of the petition to each Party with notice that a written response may be filed with the Executive Director within 30 days of the notice.  No more than one petition for rehearing may be filed by an Applicant or Respondent in a case.

    Section 6.2:  A petition for rehearing shall be considered by the Committee at its next meeting.  A decision to grant a petition for rehearing requires a majority vote of the Committee.  The Executive Director shall immediately inform the Applicant or Parties, as the case may be, upon receipt of the Committee's decision.  In the event a rehearing is granted, the Petitioner will be given the opportunity for a new Hearing to be conducted as set forth in Article 4 above.

    Section 6.3:  In matters not involving an initial hearing pursuant to Section 4, within 30 days of the date of notification of the Board’s  decision, the Applicant or Respondent may submit to the Executive Director a written request for an appeal to the Officers, including reasons for appeal, pursuant to Section 6.6 below.

    Section 6.4:  Any appeals should be heard at the next scheduled meeting of the Officers unless such meeting is within 30 days of the Applicant or Respondent’s request for an appeal, in which case the appeal shall be heard at the next meeting of the Officers.

    Section 6.5:  Only those Officers who have not previously reviewed the application/Complaint as a member of the Professional Conduct and Ethics Committee may participate in the appeal.  The President shall serve as Chair of the proceedings.

    Section 6.6: Any Party to an appeal may file with the Chair a written request to prevent an Officer from participating in the appeal.  Such request must be filed at least 14 days before the appeal is to be considered and must state the grounds cited for disqualification. Disqualification will prohibit the Officer from participating in any discussions, voting or being present during any consideration of the appeal, unless presenting testimony as a witness.  If the Officers determine that, in their judgment, the Officer should be disqualified, it is empowered to do so.  In addition, the Officers may disqualify any Officer from participating in a Hearing who they determine might not render an impartial decision.  The Officers shall have the sole discretion to determine whether any member should be disqualified.

    Section 6.7: The Officers may only review the record pertaining to the Boards’ decision to consider whether that decision was inappropriate because of (1) material errors of fact or (2) failure to conform to published criteria, policies or procedures. 

    Section 6.8:  The Officers shall, by a majority vote, decide either to accept or reject the decision of the Board.

    Section 6.9:  The Officers shall conduct and complete its review and render a final determination within 180 days after receipt of the request for an appeal.  The Executive Director or his designee shall mail the Officers’ determination to the Applicant or Respondent.

    Section 6.10:  Any decision of the Officers is final.  In the event the decision of the Officers is challenged in a court of law, the Officers’ decision is to be given great deference and shall not be reversed absent a finding that such decision was arbitrary and capricious.

    Section 6.11:  As it relates to an appeals process, the record of any Hearing conducted pursuant to Article 4 is defined as the transcript and/or any evidence introduced during that Hearing.

    Section 6.12:  Reinstatement of a suspended or revoked AAEP membership requires a petition for reinstatement, and, at the discretion of the Committee, may require a hearing before the Professional Conduct and Ethics Committee.  Reinstatement of AAEP membership is not allowed until the individual has satisfied the terms of the action which prompted the AAEP suspension/revocation.

    Section 6.13:  AAEP membership shall be automatically reinstated if any conviction, judgment or revocation is set aside upon final appeal in any court of competent jurisdiction

     

    ARTICLE 7

    GENERAL PROVISIONS

    Section 7.1:  In any proceeding, a transcript may be made of the proceeding at the request of the Committee or any party to the proceeding.  Costs associated with producing the transcript shall be borne by the party or parties making the request.

    Section 7.2:  Any notice required to be given or paper required to be filed may be given or filed in any manner, whether by personal service, via facsimile or by registered mail addressed to recipient's last known mailing address; if mailed, notice shall be deemed given on the date the correspondence was mailed.

    Section 7.3:  All communications regarding an Action and any Hearing held thereon shall be directed to the Executive Director or the Executive Director’s designee.  The Chairman or designee shall preside over any Hearing before the Committee and shall render any assistance to the parties that the Committee deems appropriate, which may include furnishing required forms and papers, receiving and filing all documents or other papers and receiving all fees and disbursing all money that may be payable to the Association.

    Section 7.4:  All facts and materials associated with a given Action will be treated by the Committee as confidential to the greatest extent practicable.  The Committee reserves the right to use the general premise of the case as an educational tool for the membership in, but not limited to, the Association’s publications so long as the parties are not specifically named and the particulars of the case are presented in a general fashion.  Following the review of an Action by the Committee and, as appropriate, the review of an appeal by the Officers, each member of the Committee and Officers, as the case may be, will return to the Executive Director all materials in his or her possession pertaining to the Action.

    Section 7.5: All applications, Complaints, responses, records or evidence may be maintained by the Association and may be utilized by the Executive Director in all proceedings pertaining to any subsequent applications or Complaints.

    Section 7.6:  All interpretations of these rules shall be made in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

    Section 7.7: Any dispute regarding these rules, or any action take hereunder by the Committee, the Executive Director, the Officers, or any other person, party or entity shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Fayette County, Kentucky.

    Revised 2016.

     


    AAEP position statements are created to establish AAEP policy, which serve as guidelines for the practitioner and the equine industry. As such, they do not have the force of law. All position statements issued by the AAEP should be regarded as one of several tools that a practitioner may take into consideration in the context of his or her practice. All practitioners are encouraged first and foremost to understand and comply with the laws, regulations and standard of care of their appropriate jurisdiction. While position statements are intended to set a standard for veterinary practice, lack of adherence to any specific AAEP position statement does not constitute grounds for disciplinary action. The AAEP can exercise disciplinary action only in connection with its own members and its action is limited to denial of membership in the AAEP. The AAEP shall have no liability whatsoever for any position statement.


    A subcommittee of the AAEP board reviews all of the AAEP guidelines and position statements every five years. Any proposed revisions are approved by a vote of the full board. Dates listed in parenthesis indicate either the date the original statement was approved or the approval date of the latest revision.

    Note: Prior to 2014, the AAEP’s Resource Guide and Membership Directory included several policies from the American Veterinary Medical Association, specifically: AVMA Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics; AVMA Guidelines for Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine; AVMA Animal Abuse and Animal Neglect; AVMA Animals Used in Entertainment, Shows, and for Exhibition; AVMA Humane Transport of Equines; and AVMA Certificates of Veterinary Inspection. To view these and other AVMA
    policies, please visit https://www.avma.org/kb/policies/pages/default.aspx.


    Click here to view all of AAEP's Position Statements.

     

  • External Parasite and Vector Control GuidelinesClick to Expand

    Commonly used strategies for external parasite control in horses have not changed significantly in recent years. This document is intended to provide practitioners with current information regarding the control of Ticks, Flies, Lice, Mites and Mosquitos as well as pertinent information on the life cycles, biology and basic terminology used when discussing these parasites. Where appropriate, we have included brief information regarding the diseases for which a specific parasite may serve as the vector.

    It is important to keep in mind that the information contained within these guidelines are suggestions; there are many variations of these suggested programs that will still meet the same goals and follow the same principles.

    There are a number of product treatment charts included in this information. It should be noted that only those products which are approved for use in horses have been included. Download the entire document here or click on the links below for specific parasites. 

    Ticks

    Flies

    Mites

    Mosquitoes

    Lice

    External Parasite & Vector Control Guidelines Task Force: Drs. Dennis French (Chairman), Thomas Craig, Jerry Hogsette, Jr., Angela Pelzel-McCluskey, Linda Mittel, Kenton Morgan, David Pugh, and Wendy Vaala.

    Disclaimer


    AAEP guidelines are created simply to serve as guidelines for the practitioner and the equine industry. As such, they do not have the force of law. All guidelines issued by the AAEP should be regarded as one of several tools or resources, which a practitioner may take into consideration in the context of his or her practice. All practitioners are encouraged first and foremost to understand and comply with the laws, regulations and standard of care of their appropriate jurisdiction. While guidelines are intended to promote a standard for veterinary practice, lack of adherence to any specific AAEP guideline does not constitute grounds for disciplinary action. The AAEP can exercise disciplinary action only in connection with its own members and its action is limited to denial of membership in the AAEP. The AAEP shall have no liability whatsoever for any of its guidelines. A subcommittee of the AAEP board reviews all of the AAEP guidelines and position statements every five years. Any proposed revisions are approved by a vote of the full board. Dates listed in parenthesis indicate either the date the original statement was approved or the approval date of the latest revision.

    © Copyright AAEP 2016

  • Drug CompoundingClick to Expand

    Compounding Resources:

    The AAEP supports the legal, safe use of compounded drugs and encourages veterinarians to become knowledgeable about drug compounding in order to make the right decision for the horse.

    These files are in PDF format which requires that you have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. This is a free software program that can be downloaded by clicking here

    Illegal Drug Compounding AAEP Equine Veterinary Compounding Guidelines
    Compounding 101 
    by Dr. Jim Morehead
    Compounding 102 
    by Dr. Jim Morehead
    Compounding Basics for the Veterinarian 
    By Dr. Kenton Morgan
    AHI Compounding
    American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Compounding Policy

    AVMA Compounding 101 Video: Helping Veterinarians further understand FDA's rules and AVMA's policies on compounding

    Educational Article Available for Reprint:  Horse Owner's Guide to Drug Compounding

    Drug Compounding Reference Sites

    Product Comparison Chart

    AVMA Drug Compounding Brochure

    National Association of Boards of Pharmacy

    Legal and Ethical Veterinary Compounding 
    Scott D. Stanley, Ph.D., Professor
    University of California, Davis
    School of Veterinary Medicine

    White Paper: Information on Equine Plasma & Serum Products for the Equine Practitioner 
    Developed by the AAEP Biological and Therapeutic Agents Committee
       
       
       
  • Emergency Disaster and PreparednessClick to Expand

    When an emergency or natural disaster occurs, it is always in the best interest of the horses for both the equine practitioner and the horse owner to be prepared. Foreign animal disease outbreaks or other catastrophic events can adversely affect the health and well-being of horses. The preparation must be as thorough as possible knowing that circumstances will highlight the weaknesses rather than the strengths of those involved.

    In today's world, the equine practitioner must prepare him or herself, family, the practice, and the clients for what to do in a disaster situation. The equine practitioner is uniquely qualified to understand and treat the injuries and stresses of horses in a disaster as well as understand the logistical factors associated with a rapid or planned evacuation of horses. Once the catastrophe strikes, the veterinarian will be seen as an important professional resource.

    Important steps to consider in establishing a disaster and emergency response plan include:

    • Educating clients
    • Establishing a local response system
    • Transportation issues
    • Interaction with local and state government officials, including state veterinary organizations
    • Preparing for actual hands-on emergency rescue situations


    Owners Resources

    National Resources
    :

    FEMA
    National Weather Service (National Hurricane Service)
    U.S. and Canadian Animal Health Offices (State/Provincial Veterinary Offices)
    Ready America
    AVMA (Disaster Preparedness Info for Veterinarians)

    USDA Resources:

    USDA Emergency Management Response System
    National Center for Animal Health Emergency Management
    National Animal Health Surveillance System
    Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Center (Biodefense Reference Library)
    National Animal Health Emergency Response Corps

    Bioterrorism:

    Veterinary Response to Terror Alerts

  • Guidelines for Equine Veterinary Case ReferralClick to Expand

    Through the collaborative efforts of the AAEP, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM), American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS), American College of Theriogenologists (ACT), and American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC), Guidelines for Equine Veterinary Case Referral were developed with a goal of providing practical communication guidelines for individuals who collaborate in equine patient care.

    Executive Summary

    Guidelines for Equine Veterinary Case Referral

  • AAEP Guidelines for the Necropsy of RacehorsesClick to Expand

     

    General Guidelines

    The AAEP recommends that all horses that die or are euthanized at a licensed racetrack or training facility undergo a complete necropsy by a board-certified veterinary pathologist at an accredited veterinary diagnostic laboratory.  Necropsy findings should be entered into The Jockey Club Equine Injury Database. 

    It is recommended that regular communication and interaction between the on-site regulatory veterinarian(s), practicing racetrack veterinarians, and the pathology staff at the diagnostic laboratory be established.   This will enhance the necropsy process and the resultant information.  It will also facilitate collaborative efforts when specific research interests are identified.  

    Transportation options for necropsy cases should be identified prior to need.  Storage, pending transport, and transportation of the body should be managed in such a way that tissue degradation and the development of post-mortem artifacts are minimized.  Care should also be taken to employ good infection control practices with respect to equine infectious and/or zoonotic disease. 

    If time or distance constraints preclude the transport of a deceased horse to the veterinary diagnostic laboratory, a field necropsy is recommended.

     

    Field Necropsy

    It is recommended for racetracks where field necropsy must be performed that a dedicated facility be available for performing necropsies.  This facility should be located in a secluded area and be enclosed and covered for both privacy and protection from the elements.  (A temperature-controlled environment is recommended in areas where extreme weather conditions may exist.)  Facility design should allow an equine ambulance to drive through.  The enclosure should contain a large, well-drained concrete or asphalt slab with a rough finish providing adequate traction.   Ample hot and cold water supply and hose are required to clean the area.  Disinfection and/or sanitization protocols should be employed following each necropsy. 

    Field necropsy requires advance communication with carcass removal companies to determine requirements to insure that necropsied remains can be removed.  Carcass removal and disposal should be performed by a licensed animal disposal company and in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.

    Regulatory veterinarians are encouraged to seek guidance from veterinary pathologists to establish field necropsy protocols.  Minimum standards for field necropsy are as follows:

    For appendicular injuries, the affected limb at the site of the injury should undergo gross dissection (+/- diagnostic imaging, toxicology, histopathology) and appropriate documentation of findings (written description and photography).  The necropsy report should include identification of the affected anatomical structure(s) including a description of gross lesions found in bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, skin and blood vessels.

    For non-appendicular conditions, reasonable effort should be made to determine and document the cause of death. For sudden death occurring during or immediately after a race, the cardiovascular and respiratory systems warrant as comprehensive an examination as is possible. 

     

     Race-related Fatalities

    For race-related fatalities, a ‘best practice’ inquest protocol is recommended that incorporates ante-mortem information (examples include: interviews with personnel relevant to the horse and/or the incident, exercise history, race replay video, medical history) and post-mortem findings.

    Ante- or immediately post-mortem blood samples (and urine, when available) should be collected, maintained under chain of custody protocols, and submitted to the official racing laboratory. 

     

    Approved by the AAEP Board of Directors, August 2009.

  • Infectious Disease ControlClick to Expand

    These guidelines were written and updated by the AAEP Infectious Disease Committee for use by veterinarians who encounter cases/outbreaks of an infectious disease in horses. In the event of an infectious disease outbreak, veterinarians are expected to recommend measures for prompt containment of disease that involve isolation and treatment of affected individuals while preventing spread of disease to the unaffected population. The purpose of these guidelines is to emphasize the importance of an effective first response by providing a clear, concise action plan encompassing the clinical signs exhibited to a specific diagnosis of the disease.

    The veterinarian on scene is the most qualified person to guide the outbreak control plan and is critical to effective outbreak control. Each infectious disease outbreak is unique, and an existing plan may require modification for specific situations. If necessary, clinical observations, laboratory results and epidemiologic data, once properly collected, may be evaluated by infectious disease experts off-site.

    In the event of a reportable disease, veterinarians are required to abide by state and federal regulations. These guidelines do not supersede any existing state or federal protocol.

    These guidelines are not intended to replace textbooks, scientific literature, or journal articles. Comprehensive information on the management of infectious diseases is widely available and is recommended reading. 

     

    Guideline Disclaimer

    AAEP guidelines are created to simply serve as guidelines for the practitioner and the equine industry. As such, they do not have the force of law. All guidelines issued by the AAEP should be regarded as one of several tools a practitioner may take into consideration in the context of his or her practice. All practitioners are encouraged first and foremost to understand and comply with the laws, regulations and standard of care of their appropriate jurisdiction. While guidelines are intended to promote a standard for veterinary practice, lack of adherence to any specific AAEP guideline does not constitute grounds for disciplinary action. The AAEP can exercise disciplinary action only in connection with its own members and its action is limited to denial of membership in the AAEP. The AAEP shall have no liability whatsoever for any guideline. 

    A committee, subcommittee, or task force of the AAEP reviews guidelines every three to five years. Any major revisions are approved by the AAEP board of directors. Dates on the document indicate the approval/copyright date of the most current revision.

  • Parasite Control GuidelinesClick to Expand

    Commonly used strategies for parasite control in adult horses are based largely on knowledge and concepts that are more than 40 years old. However, much has changed in this time, necessitating a re-examination of recommendations for parasite control.

    In response to this need, the AAEP’s Parasite Control Subcommittee of the Infectious Disease Committee has produced a comprehensive set of recommendations for helping veterinarians develop improved strategies and programs for parasite control in horses of all ages.

    It is important to keep in mind that the information contained within these guidelines are suggestions; there are many variations of these suggested programs that will still meet the same goals and follow the same principles. Ultimately, each farm (with veterinary guidance) should develop its own program tailored to the specific needs of the farm and each animal. There is no such thing as a “one size fits all” program.

    Guidelines are specified separately for adult and young horses (less than 3 years). All treatment and non-treatment recommendations are made within the context of a preventive program where fecal egg count (FEC) surveillance is being performed.

    Read Parasite Control Guidelines.


    Parasite Control Guidelines Webinar: Putting New Strategies to Work in Your Practice


    The AAEP held a webinar on May 15, 2013, led by Dr. Martin Nielsen of the University of Kentucky's Gluck Equine Research Center about the association's Parasite Control Guidelines. During his talk he covered the current status of anthelmintic resistance, how to generate and interpret parasite surveillance data, the smart application of available anthelmintic formulations, and the specific control recommendations for foals, young horses and adults.
     
    *Please note: when the presentation first opens, you will be asked to enter your name and contact information.
     
    At the end of his presentation, Dr. Nielsen answered questions from webinar attendees, which have been transcribed to a FAQ here.
  • Reporting Purchase ExaminationsClick to Expand

    Report of Radiographic Findings form

    This is a standardized form developed by the AAEP Public Auction Task Force that is recommended for use by veterinarians at all sales of public auction. The reporting form is designed as a Microsoft Word document so that you can enter your radiographic findings directly onto the form.  We do recommend, however, that you save the final version of each report as an Adobe PDF to help secure the information before dissemination to your respective clients.

    Guidelines for Reporting Purchase Examinations
    The American Association of Equine Practitioners has approved the following guidelines for reporting equine purchase examinations. The spirit of these guidelines is to provide a framework which will aid the veterinarian in reporting a purchase exam, and to define that it is the buyer’s responsibility to determine if the horse is suitable. These guidelines are neither designed for nor intended to cover any examinations other than purchase examinations. (e.g. limited examinations at auction sales and other special purchase examinations, such as lameness, endoscopic, ophthalmic, radiographic, reproductive examinations, etc.). While compliance with all of the following guidelines helps to ensure a properly reported purchase examination, it remains the sole responsibility of the veterinarian to determine the extent and depth of each examination. The AAEP recognizes that for practical reasons, not all examinations permit or require veterinarians to adhere to each of the following guidelines.

    1. All reports should be included in the medical record.
    2. The report should contain:
      • A description of the horse with sufficient specificity to fully identify it.
      • The time, date and place of the examination.
    3. The veterinarian should list all abnormal or undesirable findings discovered during the examination and give his or her qualified opinions as to the functional effect of these findings.
    4. The veterinarian should make no determination and express no opinions as to the suitability of the animal for the purpose intended. This issue is a business judgment that is solely the responsibility of the buyer that he or she should make on the basis of a variety of factors, only one of which is the report provided by the veterinarian.
    5. The veterinarian should record and retain in the medical record a description of all the procedures performed in connection with the purchase examination, but the examination procedures need not be listed in detail in the report.
    6. The veterinarian should qualify any finding and opinions expressed to the buyer with specific references to tests that were recommended but not performed on the horse (x-rays, endoscopy, blood, drug, EKG, rectal, nerve blocks, laboratory studies, etc.) at the request of the person for whom the examination was performed.
    7. The veterinarian should record and retain the name and address of parties involved with the examination (buyer, seller, agent, witness, etc.).
    8. A copy of the report and copies of all documents relevant to the examination should be retained by the veterinarian for a period of years not less than the statute of limitations applicable for the state in which the service was rendered. Local legal counsel can provide advice as to the appropriate period of retention.

     

    Recommendations for Purchase Exams at Public Auction

    • Radiographic interpretation for potential buyers should be performed by a veterinarian retained to represent that buyer’s personal interest with their particular needs and level of risk tolerance in mind.
    • Use of radiographic reports composed by the sellers’ veterinarian for proposed buyers has the potential to jeopardize all parties involved. The buyer may not be represented adequately, the seller incurs greater risk by potentially misrepresenting the horse and the veterinarian does not have the opportunity to explain his/her findings and their relevance to resale or training, in their opinion.
    • Veterinarians are encouraged to report all radiographic findings when interpreting radiographs for either the seller or buyer at public auction, with particular emphasis on those areas where pathology would commonly occur.
    • Modifying or altering radiographic reports, including deleting findings by either the veterinarian or anyone with access to the report, so that they might be used as a positive marketing tool in the auction venue is considered unethical and fraudulent.
    • Veterinarians with ownership in horses being presented for public auction should avoid being involved in the representation of those horses to potential buyers including, but not limited to, performing a radiographic or endoscopic assessment.
    • Veterinarians involved in performing radiographic examinations on horses for sale at public auction should strive to provide optimumradiographic quality with respect to proper positioning and appropriate exposure of all required views to ensure accurate and reliable determinations of findings.

     

    Radiographs – Custody and Distribution
    The AAEP recommends the retention of all radiographs on file for a period of three years. The AAEP and AVMA consider this essential for protection against litigation. The assertion of legal precedent is that radiographs are the property of the veterinarians who produced them, and only the information interpreted from the radiograph is the property of the client. In extenuating circumstances a copy of the radiograph can be made for distribution, including for referrals and consultations.  Distribution of the original radiographs risks loss or misplacement such practice should be restricted to use in referrals and consultations, and then released only upon proper request.

    Updated January 2009 by approval of the AAEP board of directors.

     

    Position on Sale Disclosure (1998)
    The AAEP supports the position that when a horse is sold, any known invasive surgery, disease, injury, or congenital defect which is not apparent should be disclosed to the intended buyer by the owner and/or agent. The AAEP supports disclosure of ownership by single or multiple owners of a horse at the time of offering for sale.

  • Rescue and RetirementClick to Expand
  • Transitioning Retired RacehorsesClick to Expand
  • Vaccination GuidelinesClick to Expand

    These guidelines are intended to be a reference for veterinarians who utilize vaccines in their respective practices. They are neither regulations nor directives and should not be interpreted as such. It is the responsibility of attending veterinarians, through an appropriate veterinarian-client-patient relationship, to utilize relevant information coupled with product availability to determine optimal health care programs for their patients. Based on the professional judgment of those involved with the development of these guidelines, the recommendations for vaccine administration in this document may differ from the manufacturer’s recommendation. However, it is incumbent on each individual practitioner to reach a decision on vaccine usage based on the circumstances of each unique situation and his or her professional experience. 

    Information provided in these guidelines addresses only those products licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for use in horses (including draft and pony breeds).  There are limited data regarding the use of vaccines in other equidae (i.e. asses, donkeys, mules, miniature horses, and zebra); vaccination of these animals is at the discretion of the attending veterinarian

     

    Guidelines Review Group (2015): Drs. Udeni Balasuriya, Amy Johnson, D. Paul Lunn, Kenton Morgan, Nicola Pusterla, Peter Timoney, Wendy Vaala, W. David Wilson and Jeremy Whitman. 

    Disclaimer 

    AAEP guidelines are created simply to serve as guidelines for the practitioner and the equine industry. As such, they do not have the force of law. All guidelines issued by the AAEP should be regarded as one of several tools or resources, which a practitioner may take into consideration in the context of his or her practice. All practitioners are encouraged first and foremost to understand and comply with the laws, regulations and standard of care of their appropriate jurisdiction. While guidelines are intended to promote a standard for veterinary practice, lack of adherence to any specific AAEP guideline does not constitute grounds for disciplinary action. The AAEP can exercise disciplinary action only in connection with its own members and its action is limited to denial of membership in the AAEP. The AAEP shall have no liability whatsoever for any of its guidelines. A subcommittee of the AAEP board reviews all of the AAEP guidelines and position statements every five years. Any proposed revisions are approved by a vote of the full board. Dates listed in parenthesis indicate either the date the original statement was approved or the approval date of the latest revision.

     

    © Copyright AAEP 2015

      

     

  • White PapersClick to Expand