Horse Council Forum to Highlight Welfare Issues

The focus this year's American Horse Council (AHC) National Issues Forum will be the "Welfare of the Horse." The Forum will be held June 16, 2009, in Washington, D.C., as part of the AHC's annual meeting.

Over the last year, concerns about the welfare of horses used in racing, showing, recreation, or work have been raised by fans, the general public, the media, and Congress. Such concerns have been expressed before, but perhaps not as broadly as now.

"Those involved in the horse industry day-to-day know that the horse community has long recognized its responsibilities for the safety, welfare, and stewardship of its horses," noted AHC President Jay Hickey. "Unfortunately, those who are not so involved are often not as aware of our many welfare and safety requirements and efforts."

Each segment has its own rules, regulations and welfare activities. Sometimes one segment is not aware of what other segments are doing. It is up to the horse industry to ensure that our activities and efforts in the area of equine welfare are understood by all. The Forum will be a discussion of the welfare and safety requirements that various segments of the horse industry have in place or are proposing. It will allow the sharing of rules, studies, knowledge, and ideas.

"The AHC hopes that focusing on the 'Welfare of the Horse' at its National Issues Forum will be an opportunity to discuss the common goal of being good stewards of the horse and facilitate our all working together to that end, regardless of our varied activities," said Hickey. "By doing this, we hope to provide not only an opportunity to educate ourselves, but also an opportunity to educate the public, media, and federal and state officials about how important the welfare and safety of the horse is to the industry."

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