Unwanted Horse Coalition Takes on Additional Goals

The Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC) met in Washington, D.C., during the American Horse Council's Annual Meeting on June 21, 2010, to discuss the next steps, strategies and goals of the organization.

"After four successful years of educating the industry about owning responsibly, the issue of unwanted horses and possible solutions to the problem, the UHC feels it is time to undertake additional activities and goals," said former UHC Chairman, Dr. Tom Lenz, DVM. A strategic plan proposed by the UHC Steering Committee was presented to the attendees for approval. The plan lists four major goals: continue to develop and distribute educational materials, expand awareness and involvement with current and potential member organizations, collaborate with the horse industry to develop solutions through various types of clinics and wellness programs, and finally to develop resources for equine care facilities.

The plan, which was unanimously approved by UHC members, suggests that the UHC become more involved in working with organizations and equine care facilities. The UHC will move further past the goals of educating and informing the industry, and become a central clearinghouse for resources, information, clinics, and programs. The organization will take action in developing and implementing models for castration clinics, euthanasia clinics and hay/feedbanks. In addition, the UHC will produce a series of webinars dedicated to topics prioritized by the UHC Facilities Committee. A listserv for equine care facilities will also be created in order to foster communication between facilities.

In addition to the strategic plan, the UHC appointed a subcommittee to research funding mechanisms for clinics and programs. The subcommittee, chaired by AAEP Executive Director David Foley, will study the legal ramifications and financial issues in accepting and distributing funds.

"The UHC hopes that with the new strategic plan in place, the industry will observe the commitment and increased efforts in finding solutions for unwanted horses and focus on the public awareness and new involvements," said Dr. Lenz.

Dr. Douglas Corey was elected as the new Chairman of the UHC, replacing Dr. Lenz, who has been Chairman for the UHC since its inception.

"I'm very proud of the accomplishments the UHC has made over the last few years in raising awareness of the unwanted horse issue and providing education on responsible ownership," said Dr. Lenz. "I know that Dr. Corey, with his vast experience in equine welfare, will do an outstanding job of leading the coalition forward as we continue our efforts to decrease the number of unwanted horses."

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