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Welfare Forum at AQHA Convention

AQHA members invited to forum on animal welfare March 8 at AQHA Convention.

AQHA
March 1, 2013

Generic Racing Photo

Animal welfare, the single-most important issue facing the equine industry today, is the topic of the AQHA Member Forum at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 8, in the Imperial Ballroom at the 2013 AQHA Convention at the Hyatt Regency Houston.

In February 2012, the AQHA Executive Committee appointed a 12-member AQHA Animal Welfare Commission and since its formation, much has been done to proactively safeguard horses.

Today’s environment is vastly different than it was 20 or 30 years ago as it relates to animal welfare. The standards for the treatment of horses are much higher from the perspective of horse owners, the public and even the government. While the welfare of the horse has always been paramount to AQHA, the role of the Association has had to evolve as those expectations change.

During the forum, attendees will learn more about the proactive measures AQHA has taken to meet these expectations and will have the opportunity to give their input on animal welfare-related topics. There will be multiple presenters at the forum to speak on these subjects.

  • Jim Heird, the chairman of the AQHA Animal Welfare Commission, will provide an update on the progress made by AQHA and on new topics the commission will be addressing.
  • Industry trainers Russell Harris and Professional Horsewoman Stephanie Lynn will speak about animal welfare and what it’s like to train a horse for the racetrack or show pen in today’s environment. It goes without saying that customers want to win. However, today’s show and race industries cannot live by a win-at-all-costs mentality. Harris and Lynn will discuss managing owners’ demands with doing right by the horse.
  • There could be up to five pieces of animal welfare-related legislation introduced into congress this session, including amending the Horse Protection Act. Jay Hickey Jr., president of the American Horse Council, will update members on the current happenings in Washington and how they can help guide the legislative process.
  • Dr. Stephen Schumacher, chief administrator for the United States Equestrian Federation, the national governing body for equestrian sports, equine drugs and medication program, will discuss AQHA’s drug-testing policy and the steps AQHA is taking to stay ahead of those who choose to use drugs in horses. 
  • Dr. Tom Lenz of Zoetis developed a presentation on animal welfare. Dr. Lenz authors the horse health column in The American Quarter Horse Journal and will wrap up the forum with his presentation.

Member Forum Information Session

The member forum starts at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 8, in the Imperial Ballroom at the 2013 AQHA Convention at the Hyatt Regency Houston. The member forum is open to all AQHA members, even those not attending the convention. If not attending the entire convention, AQHA members can pay $25 to attend the member forum. Members can register for the forum on site.

1:30-4:30 p.m. – Open Member Forum (Open to all AQHA members)

  • Medication, Drugs and Training Practices
    • A Changing Industry
  • Showing
  • Racing
  • Veterinary Practices
  • Animal Welfare