NSBA Announces Penalties for Horse Welfare Rule Violations

At a recent Board of Directors meeting, the National Snaffle Bit Association (NSBA) Board emphasized its commitment to the aggressive enforcement of its rules regarding the inhumane treatment of horses. Specifically, Rule 97 of the NSBA bylaws states that no person shall treat any horse in a cruel or inhumane manner. The rule further states that every horse at an NSBA-approved event shall, at all times, be treated humanely and with dignity, respect, and compassion.

Abuse is defined as an action, or failure to act, which a reasonable, prudent person, informed and experienced in the customs, accepted training techniques and exhibition procedures, or veterinary standards would determine to be cruel, abusive, inhumane, or detrimental to the horse's health. The rule lists some examples of conduct that the NSBA considers abusive, including tying a horse in a manner as to cause undue discomfort or distress in a stall, trailer, or when longeing or riding and intentional inhumane treatment which results in bleeding.

Additionally, the NSBA Board voted unanimously to institute the following minimum penalties for confirmed cases of inhumane treatment of the horse:

The NSBA, in an effort to ensure the welfare of our horse, will institute the following minimum penalties for individuals who are found to violate NSBA rules regarding the inhumane treatment of the horse:

  • First Offense--$1,000 fine and no suspension
  • Second Offense--$2,000 fine and a 30-day suspension
  • Third Offense--$3,000 fine and a 1 year suspension

Dianne Eppers, NSBA executive director, stated that the organization wants to make it absolutely clear that the inhumane treatment of a horse will not be tolerated. People who are caught violating NSBA rules on the inhumane treatment of horses will be dealt with aggressively and penalized appropriately, she said.

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