APHA Position Statement on Animal Welfare

The American Paint Horse Association is committed to the humane and
proper treatment of all animals. In this respect;

  • The welfare of the horse is the primary consideration in all activities.
  • Horses will be treated with kindness, respect and compassion at all times.
  • Responsible care will be used by all parties in handling, treatment and
    transportation of horses.
  • Horse men and women as owners, exhibitors or trainers will ensure the health and well being of animals in their care at all times.
  • The standard by which conduct or treatment will be measured is that
    which a reasonable person, informed and experienced in generally accepted animal husbandry standard and equine care, training and exhibition procedure would determine to be neither cruel, abusive nor inhumane. Based on their principles, the Association has developed and enforces strict rules to ensure ethical competition and humane treatment of American Paint Horses. The Association supports the development of procedures that assure equity, fairness, safety, health and welfare for all participants. Because the Association is strongly opposed to animal abuse, any member convicted in a court of law of cruelty to animals may be suspended from the APHA when certified evidence is presented to the Executive Committee.

Applicable rules are listed below from the current APHA Official Rule Book.

Rule GR-060. E., which states in part, “Every member and every non-member who violates in any manner…or who is convicted in a court of law for cruelty to animals and upon submission of certified evidence of such conviction from any court, may be censured, suspended or in the case of a member expelled from membership in the Association and denied all privileges of the Association, …”

Rule GR-060. H., which states: “APHA may accept suspension rulings pertaining to cruel or inhumane treatment of horses from other recognized equine-related associates and state racing commissions, the effect of which is to automatically suspend the individual from APHA membership privileges, for a length of time equal to the initial suspension period. …”

Rule GR-070. B. 1., “In order for a complaint, other than one which can be verified by credible testing, to be considered for investigation, it must be in writing, signed and dated. The individual(s) filing the complaint must be prepared for full disclosure of the complaint to the party (parties) concerned in the complaint and must be prepared to appear at a hearing if it is deemed necessary.”


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