Additional Endorsements of National Welfare Code of Practice

The American Horse Council (AHC) is pleased to announce the American Endurance Ride Conference, the American Paint Horse Association, the National Cutting Horse Association, and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association have recently endorsed the Welfare Code of Practice further broadening the industry support of a national code. The AHC drafted the Welfare Code of Practice, which outlines in generic terms what it means for an organization to be committed to the responsible breeding, training, care, use, enjoyment, transport, and retirement of horses.

Many associations have undertaken studies, reviews, and initiatives that indicate their commitment to the welfare of their horses. This generic code is simply a continuation of that effort.

"The American Horse Council's Welfare Code of Practice demonstrates the equine industry's commitment to the welfare and safety of the horse," said Dan Metzger, president of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. “We wholeheartedly endorse these principles and encourage other equine organizations to do so as well."

In endorsing the code, Laura Hayes, Vice President of the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) and Chair of the AERC's Welfare of the Horse Committee said, "We are pleased to endorse this document as an extension of our commitment to the health, welfare and longevity of our equine partners."

"The American Paint Horse Association (APHA) is and always has been committed to the humane and proper treatment of all horses," said Lex Smurthwaite, Executive Director. "By supporting and endorsing the Code of Practice, APHA's leadership has taken that commitment to an even higher standard. We are pleased that the American Horse Council has provided a vehicle for all associations to join together to see that the welfare of our horses continues to be our primary concern."

"The 20,000-member National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) is proud to add our organization to the list of those in the horse industry that have adopted the AHC Welfare Code of Practice," said Lindy Burch. Burch is Past-President of the NCHA and currently serves as Chairperson of the NCHA Horse & Cattle Welfare Committee. "Adopting this policy and having our members abide by its standards is just one of the many ways the NCHA is proactively ensuring the welfare of our horses in cutting horse competition. We appreciate and respect the leadership exhibited by the AHC in formalizing this Code of Practice so that all disciplines can work together in this important initiative."

"We are pleased with the positive feedback and continued interest we have received from a broad spectrum of equine organizations since the Welfare Code of Practice was announced this past November," said AHC President Jay Hickey. "This latest round of endorsements further demonstrates to the public the industry’s unified commitment to the welfare and safety of horses, and we hope to build upon this momentum to bring in as many organizations as possible to further reinforce the industry's commitment to safety, health, care and welfare of all horses."

The AHC's Welfare Code of Practice has already been supported by the American Association of Equine Practitioner, the American Quarter Horse Association, the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, the U.S. Equestrian Federation, and the U.S. Trotting Association. The Code is not intended to replace or pre-empt those activities or any rules and regulations specific to a segment of the industry. Rather it is hoped that the endorsement of a broad, more generic Welfare Code of Practice by as many organizations as possible will be another indication to the public, the media, federal and state officials and the horse community that the horse industry "Puts the Horse First."

To view the complete Welfare Code of Practice please visit the AHC website at: https://www.horsecouncil.org/newsroom.php.

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