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AAEP Principles of Equine Welfare

As a voice for equids on issues affecting their well-being, the AAEP believes: 

1. The responsible use of animals for human purposes, such as companionship, food, fiber, recreation, work, education, exhibition, and research conducted for the benefit of both humans and animals, is consistent with the Veterinarian's Oath.¹

 2. Equids must be provided water, food, proper handling, health care and an environment appropriate to their use, with thoughtful consideration for their species-typical biology and behavior.¹

 3. Equids should be cared for in ways that minimize fear, pain, stress and suffering.¹

 4. Equids should be provided with protection from injurious heat or cold and harmful adverse weather conditions.

 5. 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 or appearance.²

 6. Events and activities involving equids should continually strive to put the horse first above all other interests.

 7. Equine industry organizations should identify areas where equids are being subjected to adverse procedures or training methods and work to eliminate any inhumane acts.

 8. Equids should be transported in a manner which minimizes the potential for  infirmity, illness, injury, fatigue or other undue suffering during the journey.

 9. Equids shall be treated with respect and dignity throughout their lives and, when necessary and at the appropriate time, be provided a humane death.¹

 10. The veterinary profession shall continually strive to improve equine health and welfare through scientific research, education, collaboration, advocacy and the proposal or support of appropriate legislation and regulations that promote the humane existence of equids.¹

¹Adapted from AVMA Animal Welfare Principles, 2006.

²Adapted from AVMA Policy on Animals Used In Entertainment, Shows, and for Exhibition, 2007.

Revised/Reviewed by AAEP board of directors in 2016.