The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance announced March 5 that Thoroughbred aftercare organizations may now apply for TAA accreditation. Passing the TAA's on-site accreditation inspection will make a facility eligible to receive financial support for the ongoing care of retired Thoroughbreds.

Facilities eligible to apply for TAA accreditation include those conforming to the following four broad standards:
•    Possess 501 (c)(3) tax exempt status
•    Have been operational for at least three years
•    Care for a resident population of at least five, with at least 50% being Thoroughbreds
•    Follow a euthanasia policy consistent with that of the American Association of Equine Practitioners

Applications for accreditation must be submitted by June 1 for organizations to be eligible for consideration for grants in 2013 and 2014. The complete TAA Code of Standards for aftercare facilities and the accreditation application are available at http://www.thoroughbredaftercare.org/.

"The Code of Standards and application materials are products of a great deal of input from all around the Thoroughbred community, including the American Association of Equine Practitioners and the American Humane Association," said TAA executive director Mike Ziegler in a release. "Our guiding principle in the creation of all of these documents was to make the welfare of retired Thoroughbreds our top priority."

"The American Association of Equine Practitioners strongly supports the efforts of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance," added AAEP president and veterinarian Ann Dwyer in a statement. "The AAEP has worked in partnership with the TAA on the development of its Code of Standards, best practices, and application and site inspector documents and supports its efforts to improve the care of Thoroughbreds at rescue and retirement facilities throughout North America."

Added Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane Association: "The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance will help give Thoroughbreds the post-racing life they deserve. By establishing standards for aftercare facilities and supporting those facilities that adhere to them, we believe the TAA's work will have a truly lasting impact on the welfare of Thoroughbreds."

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