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AAEP Position Statement on Equids Used in Entertainment, Shows and for Exhibition (2014)

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) supports the humane and ethical use of equids in spectator events, competitions, exhibitions, and entertainment in accordance with existing federal, state and local animal protection laws.  Examples include but are not limited to racing, horse shows, polo, rodeo, and audiovisual media such as movies and television.  The AAEP encourages all organizations and individuals involved in such events to develop and abide by stringent standardized rules, policies and procedures that ensure  equids shall at all times be treated humanely and with dignity, respect and compassion.  This should also include proper housing, transportation, nutrition, restraint, management oversight and veterinary care before, during and after use. 

The AAEP opposes tripping, injuring or causing the death of horses, mules and donkeys for any entertainment purpose or during the training of such equids for any entertainment purpose and recommends that all equine welfare guidelines or standards be adhered to. Similarly, the AAEP believes that equids used in competition, spectator events, shows, exhibitions, motion pictures and television should not be subjected to the fraudulent use of drugs, non-nutritive agents, equipment or procedures intended to alter performance, conformation, appearance or function.  The AAEP encourages quality, standardized drug testing to ensure equity, fairness and the appropriate use of therapeutic medications. 

Certain events involving equids are prohibited in some jurisdictions.  The organizers of any kind of competition, spectator event, show, exhibition, motion picture or television production should contact the local and state authorities prior to scheduling such an event to be sure they are acting in accordance with local laws and regulations.