2016 AQHA Animal Welfare Commission

AQHA Animal Welfare Commission convenes its first meeting of 2016 the day prior to convention.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

The 2016 AQHA Animal Welfare Commission. (Journal photo)

The four-year-old AQHA Animal Welfare Commission met on Thursday, March 10, prior to the start of the 2016 AQHA Convention at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The commission’s agenda included an overview of what the commission has done in four years, as well as animal welfare topics that commission members believed needed their attention and discussion. 

Commission members in attendance:

AQHA Professional Horseman Sam Rose, chairman

Dr. Jerry Black

Dr. Eleanor Green

Jim Hunt

Dr. Tom Lenz

Mike Robbins

David Whitaker

AQHA Professional Horseman Luke Castle

AQHA Professional Horsewoman Lainie DeBoer

AQHA Professional Horseman Kevin Dukes

AQHA Professional Horseman Gil Galyean

AQHA Professional Horsewoman Stephanie Lynn

AQHA Professional Horsewoman Karen McCuistion

AQHA Executive Committee member Ralph Seekins 

The AQHA Executive Committee created the Animal Welfare Commission in 2012 to serve as AQHA’s primary body for rules, policies and procedures related to all areas of animal welfare. In addition, the commission oversees the educational processes associated with AQHA officials responsible for animal welfare. 

The commission’s mission is to provide a framework for its members to 1.) identify issues to improve the welfare of the American Quarter Horse, 2.) stay current on all animal welfare 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 commission reports directly to the Executive Committee, which evaluates all proposals in relation to the current state of the industry. 

At the commission’s March 10 meeting, commission members opened the meeting by agreeing to meet at least twice a year – once prior to each convention and then again in 2016 during the AQHA Select World Championship Show, presented by Adequan ® (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan). Commission members also emphasized that they want AQHA member input on animal welfare issues, and discussed setting up a variety of avenues through which members can communicate their concerns to the commission. 

Commission members heard an overview from AQHA staff of the AQHA Multiple Medication Violation System and the reasoning behind the AQHA Executive Committee’s temporary suspension of the program. 

Then commission members spent the rest of the meeting discussing several show-related animal welfare topics touching on medications, tack, training, equipment, stewards and exhibitors.

You can find more details on AQHA's animal welfare efforts here.