Quarter Horse Association convenes first AQHA Animal Welfare Commission meeting.
The American Quarter Horse Journal, February 8, 2012 – Recognizing that
animal welfare is the single-most important issue facing the equine industry
today, the American Quarter Horse Association Executive
Committee has appointed the 12-member AQHA Animal Welfare Commission, which
met February 6-8 in Dallas.
The Animal Welfare Commission’s mission “is to provide a framework for its
members to 1) identify issues negatively affecting the welfare of the American
Quarter Horse, 2) discuss issues, and 3) recommend actions that will help to
protect the American Quarter Horse from inhumane practices and AQHA and its
members from the negative impacts associated with those practices. The AQHA
Animal Welfare Commission, in an effort to do right by the horse, will share
discussion, action items and recommendations with alliance partners.”
Jim Heird, executive professor and coordinator of the equine sciences initiative
University, is the chairman of the commission.
“This commission has the opportunity to move forward with what we feel we need
to do,” Heird said. “We have made some significant progress in the past, but
we need to do more. The public and our membership demands it, our horses deserve
The commission reviewed what AQHA has done with regard to animal welfare.
“We have the best education system for our judges,” said George Phillips,
AQHA Executive Committee member and commission member. “We started the AQHA
Stewards program … while the program represents steps forward, as we move into
the third year of having stewards, we need to make adjustments and improve it to
do more in the name of animal welfare. On the racing side, AQHA has been
involved with better regulation of medication and drug use in racing American
Commission members then laid out what they consider the big issues in the
American Quarter Horse industry with regard to animal
welfare. Some of those include penalties, the AQHA Steward program,
equipment, communication and education, treatment of the animal, security,
judges, and medication and drugs.
The commission will present its actions and ideas for improvement to the AQHA
Show and Professional Horsemen Committee at the 2012
AQHA Convention in March in
. Also at the convention, AQHA Executive Vice President Don Treadway Jr. will
present a report on the commission’s activity to the directors during the
summit on Friday, March 9, and to the general membership on Saturday, March 10.
The commission is about “protecting the industry, our livelihood and, most
importantly, the horse,” Heird said.
Commission members are Sandy Arledge, Dr. Glenn Blodgett, Kevin Dukes, Dr.
Eleanor Green, Carol Harris, Paul Jones, Dr. Tom Lenz, Clark Parker, Sam Rose
and Sandy Vaughn.
AQHA news and information is a service of AQHA
publications. For more information on The American Quarter Horse
’s Horse, visit AQHA
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