The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) advocates respect for the dignity and the welfare of all horses and recognizes their specialized needs. It is the responsibility of AAEP members to serve as stewards of the horse and to follow practices that promote the health and welfare of the horse.

The AAEP believes:

  • 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
  • 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
  • Equids should be cared for in ways that minimize fear, pain, distress and suffering.¹
  • Equids should be protected from injurious heat or cold and severe weather conditions.
  • Competitions, events, and activities involving equids should continually strive to put the safety and welfare of the horse first.
  • Equine industry organizations should identify areas where equids are being subjected to harmful procedures or training methods and work to eliminate any inhumane acts.
  • Equids should be transported in a manner which minimizes the potential for illness, injury, fatigue or other undue suffering during the transportation process.
  • 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
  • The veterinary profession shall continually strive to improve equine health and welfare through scientific research, education, collaboration, advocacy and the proposal or support of legislation and regulations that promote the humane existence of equids.¹
  • ¹Adapted from AVMA Animal Welfare Principles, 2006.

Revised by AAEP board of directors in 2023.

Resource Type

  • Position Statements


  • Welfare

Publish Date

March 30, 2023