Animal Welfare Council Working For The Equestrian Industry

Imagine opening your newspaper one morning and seeing the headline: "Animal Ownership Banned." The article goes on to say, "The riding of horses has been voted to be an act of animal cruelty. It is henceforth illegal to own, ride, exhibit or compete on a horse. The ownership of all other animals has also been determined to be a form of animal slavery and has been banned under the same ordinance."

As unbelievable as this scenario may seem, there are animal activist organizations which would endorse and celebrate such legislation. Although most people may not want to believe that the equine industry could someday be faced with a major threat such as this, those who are informed about the true agenda of animal activist groups know that a serious threat is on the horizon.

Whether you own one or more pleasure horses, show horses, race horses, exhibition horses or working horses, you'll want to learn about the work being done on your behalf by the Animal Welfare Council. The Council is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of humane and responsible care of all animals; while at the same time, endeavoring to protect our rights to interact with, learn from, exhibit, ride, and own them.

The Animal Welfare Council's mission statement says that it "supports the use of animals in recreation, entertainment, sports and industry, and is dedicated to advancing responsible care and humane treatment in these activities."

Millions of people work with animals every day and the majority are committed to the highest standards of animal welfare for the creatures under their care. Unfortunately, well-financed critics of the animal industry are actively promoting poorly researched and highly sensationalized information to the public, based on allegations of abuse which are rarely true.

Until the founding of the Animal Welfare Council in 1994 by the leaders of the largest and most influential animal industry organizations -- including many leaders of the equine industry -- few voices were speaking out on behalf of those of us involved with animals. In the intervening four years, the Council has worked diligently to advance the responsible care and humane treatment of animals, provide a reliable public information resource, network with industry representatives on voluntary welfare standards, provide assistance on management issues and establish programs to educate the public about those who work with animals and treat them properly, kindly, respectfully and responsibly.

Council membership ranges from concerned horse owners, breeders, trainers and competitors to wildlife parks, circuses, marine parks, rodeo organizers and major corporations which provide products and services to the animal industry.

The Animal Welfare Council has become a national clearing house of information on potential legislation that could impact those of us who work with animals for recreation, sport, entertainment and industry. In order to continue the Council's positive efforts, we need the support of every individual, association, organization and corporation interested in protecting our rights to interact with, learn from, exhibit, ride, and own animals.

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