The 2014 application for organizations seeking accreditation from the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Foundation is now available online, with a deadline of May 15, 2014.
According to TAA's code of standards accessible at thoroughbredaftercare.org, accreditation status is determined after a complete review of five areas: operations, education, horse health care management, facility standards and services, adoption policies and protocols.
Organizations applying for TAA accreditation must fulfill the following six minimum requirements:
1. The organization must be a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt organization as defined by the Internal Revenue Service or be a registered charity in Canada.
2. The organization must have been operational for a minimum of three years.
3. The organization must house a minimum of 50% and/or a minimum of five Thoroughbreds.
4. The organization must have an official euthanasia policy consistent with that of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) as detailed on its website.
5. The organization's principals have never been convicted of killing, abandoning, mistreating, neglecting, abusing or otherwise committing an act of cruelty against a horse.
6. The organization has no legal proceedings pending against it or against any principal of the organization and/or persons affiliated with the organization.
According to a TAA release, accreditation will be revoked and funding will be discontinued if an organization provides false information in application and all organizations have a duty to notify TAA if any of these conditions are no longer met after an application is submitted.
"The American Association of Equine Practitioners and the American Humane Association, among many others, have helped the TAA create a rigorous and thorough accreditation process that prioritizes one thing above all else--the welfare of retired Thoroughbreds," said TAA vice president Madeline Auerbach.
"The American Association of Equine Practitioners strongly supports the efforts of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance," said AAEP president Dr. Jeff Blea. "The AAEP has worked in partnership with the TAA on the development of its code of standards, best practices, its application, and its site inspector documents, and we support its efforts to improve the care of Thoroughbreds at rescue and retirement facilities throughout North America."
"After a lifetime of work, our magnificent Thoroughbreds deserve a great retirement," said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of the American Humane Association. "The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance has been making significant strides in raising the level of care for these magnificent animals, accrediting nearly two dozen equine aftercare organizations in just the first two years. We encourage all those doing the important work of caring for retired Thoroughbreds to apply and join the growing movement of organizations committed to the highest possible standards."
The TAA serves as both an accrediting body for aftercare facilities and a fund-raising body to support approved facilities.
Funded initially by seed money from Breeders' Cup Ltd., The Jockey Club, and Keeneland Association, the TAA is composed of and supported by owners, trainers, breeders, racetracks, jockeys, aftercare professionals, and other industry groups.