angle-left What to Do if You Witness or Suspect Inhumane Treatment

What to Do if You Witness or Suspect Inhumane Treatment

AQHA has processes in place to oversee humane treatment at its AQHA events, to receive and review reports of inhumane treatment. 

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AQHA supports humane treatment of horses at all equine events, as well as at other locations, and recognizes that all of us are responsible for protecting the horse. 

AQHA has processes in place to oversee humane treatment at its AQHA events, to receive and review reports of inhumane treatment, and to impose penalties commensurate with the inhumane treatment. 

If an incident occurs at an AQHA event:

  • First and foremost, do not put yourself in danger.
  • If possible, get other witnesses.
  • Promptly report the matter to show management and an AQHA steward (if one is present).
  • Provide documentation to show management and AQHA steward.
  • Documentation should include your name and contact information; name and date of show; date, time, and location of observed inhumane treatment; detailed description of the observed inhumane treatment; name of person(s) involved; names and contact information of any witnesses; names of show. management and steward to whom the matter was reported.
  • If possible, provide photos and/or videos of the incident evidencing the inhumane treatment.
  • Maintain copy of above documentation for yourself.

At locations other than an AQHA event:

AQHA is a worldwide organization with more than 250,000 members and a horse population exceeding 2.8 million. While AQHA denounces inhumane treatment outside of AQHA events (for example, at a private training facility), such incidents are more properly reported to local law enforcement and/or animal welfare authorities. Such authorities proximity to the incident, investigative resources, jurisdictional/subpoena powers, and if necessary, ability to confiscate horse(s) that have been subjected to inhumane treatment places such authorities in a more effective position to address matters that occur at locations other than AQHA events. 

  • Do not put yourself in danger.
  • If possible, get other witnesses.
  • Promptly report the matter to local law enforcement or animal welfare authorities.
  • Provide documentation to such authorities in form requested.
  • Be prepared to report the following to authorities: your name and contact information; date, time and location of observed inhumane treatment; detailed description of the observed inhumane treatment; name of person(s) involved; detailed description of the horse, such as color, markings and name (if possible); names and contact information of any witnesses.
  • If possible, provide photos and/or videos of the incident evidencing the inhumane treatment.
  • Provide AQHA with same information provided to authorities, as well as detailed description of contact with such authorities including name and phone number of the authority, date contacted and name of authority representatives contacted.
  • Maintain copy of above documentation for yourself.
  • AQHA will seek updates on the status of the case from the authority in question; however, AQHA appreciates any assistance from you and others in that regard.
  • According to AQHA Rule V10205, AQHA may accept (1) an individual’s conviction, no contest plea, or deferred adjudication or (2) judicial confiscation of a horse for an offense inhumane treatment as a presumptive violation of AQHA inhumane treatment rules, the effect of which is to automatically suspend the violator’s AQHA membership.