AVMA supports AAEP statements

Welfare statements deal with transportation and processing, soring, and urban horses
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The AVMA has endorsed the American Association of Equine Practitioner's position statement concerning the transportation and processing of horses.

The statement comes after New York Rep. John Sweeney introduced the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 857), which prohibits horses from being processed for human consumption and bans the sale, possession, and trade of live horses for slaughter for human consumption.

According to the statement, "The AAEP recognizes that the processing of unwanted horses is currently a necessary aspect of the equine industry, and provides a humane alternative to allowing the horse to continue a life of discomfort and pain, and possibly inadequate care or abandonment."

The statement also iterates the AAEP's belief that horses should be treated humanely; transported to the processing facility according to federal guidelines; and euthanatized in a humane manner in accordance with AVMA guidelines.

The AVMA Animal Welfare and Legislative Advisory committees recommended that the Executive Board support the AAEP position statement.

The LAC also recommended, and the board approved, that the AVMA oppose bills such as Sweeney's that fail to address horse welfare, costs related to their care, environmental concerns with horse carcass disposal, and prohibit use of euthanasia methods indicated as acceptable or conditionally acceptable in the 2000 Report of the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia.

Two additional AAEP position statements were endorsed by the board on the recommendation of the Animal Welfare Committee.

The first AAEP statement condemns the practice of soring, which involves any number of methods of injuring a horse to accentuate its gait for training or show purposes. The AVMA also condemns soring in its position statement on the Welfare of Animals in Spectator Events. Members of the AWC thought it wise to endorse the AAEP statement, since it includes additional guidance.

The second statement addresses the unique issues of horses working in urban environments. The AWC believes that the AAEP statement appropriately addresses related concerns.