2009 Accomplishments

  • Worked to pass the USDA funding bill that directed the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study the status of horse welfare as it relates to the closing of horse slaughter plants in the United States.
  • Introduced the National Welfare Code of Practice that outlines what it means for an organization to be committed to the responsible breeding, training, care, use, enjoyment, transport, and retirement of horses. To-date the welfare code of practice has been signed by 28 organizations.
  • Submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) concering proposed regulations governing the H-2A temporary agriculture alien worker program, including those at horse farms.
  • Launched the Equestrian Access on Public Lands Survey to gather information on access issues equestrians have experienced on federal land in recent years.
  • Submitted comments on the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Comploance Board’s proposed rules on accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas that highlighted the role horses can play helping disabled Americans experience the great outdoors.
  • Released national Welfare Code of Practice endorsed by many Equine Industry Organizations. The Welfare Code of Practice, drafted by the American Horse Council, outlines in generic terms what it means for an organization to be committeed to the responsible breeding, training, care, use, enjoyment, transport, and retirement of horses.
  • Held “The Welfare of the Horse” forum in Washington, DC. The Forum was held as part of the AHC’s National Issues Forum and featured speakers from segments of the horse community as varied as competition, sport, work and entertainment. Speakers and panelists discussed the many welfare and safety initiatives that various segments of the horse industry have in place or are instituting.
  • The Unwanted Horse Coalition conducted its 2009 Unwanted Horses Survey, a national survey taken by more than 27,000 horse owners, equine industry stakeholders, resuce and retirement facilities and non-horse owners. The results helped to show the magnitude of the issue of the unwanted horse, the perception of the problem, awareness of options, the economic impact and possible solutions.
  • The Unwanted Horse Coalition releases its handbook, Best Practices: How Your Organization Can Help Unwanted Horses, which details initiatives and activites organizations can undertake to help reduce the number of unwanted horses.
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