AHC Position on Slaughter

The American Horse Council (AHC) is a national association that represents all segments of the horse industry.  The AHC includes equine organizations representing all horse breeds, disciplines and virtually every other facet of the horse industry, as well as individual horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, race tracks, horse shows, trainers, rodeos, farriers, breed registries, horsemen’s associations, state horse councils and commercial suppliers.

The United Horse Coalition (UHC), formerly named the Unwanted Horse Coalition, is a broad alliance of equine organizations that have joined together under the American Horse Council to educate the horse industry about the problems facing at risk horses. This coalition reflects the industry’s interest in collaborating around the importance of aftercare and the progress and extensive resources that have come to fruition since the UHC’s inception.

A recent effort to quantify the breadth and severity of the unsupported equine population in the United States has caused some individuals unfamiliar with the AHC to suggest that the AHC and the UHC have taken, or are planning to take, a position either in support of, or opposed to, equine slaughter or processing. A survey of AHC member organizations in early 2018 indicated an equal divide amongst those organizations who have developed a formal position. Because the American Horse Council has members both supporting and opposing slaughter, the organization will continue to maintain their neutral position.

From its inception, the UHC has focused on the common interests of its members, their concern for horses that may become unwanted and un-homed, rather than their differences, including slaughter. All members of the UHC agreed the coalition would not take a position on the federal legislation or get involved in lobbying; and it hasn’t. The function of the UHC was always, and will continue, to prioritize that common concern of the welfare and safety of the horse. UHC members are working together in a common effort to help horses transitioning between homes.

It is true that the horse industry has continually tried to resolve this difficult issue and the underlying problem of horses who do not have a permanent home. Despite their neutral position, the AHC will continue to monitor the debate and facilitate conversation and education at all levels on behalf of all segments of the equine industry. Stakeholders can be assured that any and all undertakings of the AHC or the UHC are done so with transparency and good faith.

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