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Equine Abuse and Neglect Resources Available for Veterinarians and Law Enforcement

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Sep 8, 2023

The Welfare & Public Policy Advisory Council of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) encourages the veterinary community and law enforcement agencies to access free veterinarian-developed resources to support the investigation of abuse and neglect cases involving horses and other equids.

Created by the Council and available to veterinarians and the public, the online resources address the veterinarian’s role in assessing and reporting equine abuse and neglect, a practical guide for law enforcement, the prosecution of equine abuse cases, and much more.

All AAEP equine abuse, neglect and abandonment resources can be accessed online here

“Our goal is to empower law enforcement and prepare veterinarians for the investigation process,” said Dr. Alina Vale, chair of the AAEP Welfare & Public Policy Advisory Council. “We appreciate individuals who report concerns about potential equine neglect and abuse violations. Given the link between animal abuse and interpersonal violence, investigating animal welfare concerns can uncover human victims as well.”

The Council also shares key points from the association’s policy statement, AAEP Principles of Equine Welfare:

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

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

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

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


The full statement is available here

The AAEP encourages its members to proactively establish a relationship with local law enforcement to prevent equine neglect and abuse and to form a strong team when faced with a case involving equine welfare.

For more information about available resources or the work of the AAEP Welfare & Public Policy Advisory Council, contact Sally Baker at sbaker@aaep.org or (859) 233-0147.

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The American Association of Equine Practitioners, headquartered in Lexington, Ky., was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse. Currently, the AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its over 9,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.