Vets Form Equine Health and Welfare Alliance

Alliance started by veterinarians is open to other individuals and groups.

A group of equine veterinarians have formed the Equine Health and Welfare Alliance, which will be “dedicated to the proper care and maintenance of the horse and all equines,” according to a release.

“The mission of the EHWA Inc., the first organization dedicated solely to improving the care and welfare of horses, is to advocate on behalf of all horses through fiscal, professional, legislative and research support,” the release said.

“As the horse has played such a special role in our history, we seek to protect the dignity of all horses,” said Dr. Frank Dwayne Marcum, president of the EHWA. “The EHWA is positioned to provide expertise and coordinate other organizations in developing strategic plans for improving standards of care, regulatory oversight and current policies pertaining to the treatment of the equine.

“Seldom a week goes by that the story of an unwanted or abused horse doesn’t appear in the press. We can no longer turn our heads.”

“The horse is a deaf mute,” Dr. Doug Byars, another founding member of the EHWA, said in the release. “It can’t speak for itself. So our focus will be solely on issues and mechanisms that protect, promote and preserve adequate humane measures of basic needs for the horse.”

Other founding members of the Alliance include: Dr. Norm Umphenhour, Dr. Mike Cavey, and Dr. Gary Lavin.

The release said the alliance’s core membership and origin of the EHWA consists of veterinarians, but that the organization is not limited to veterinarians. The EHWA “will actively seek and recruit individuals, organizations and companies interested in improving the welfare of the horse,” the release said.

The EHWA said its goals are to: identify issues adversely effecting the humane treatment of horses and identify solutions through legislative or regulatory action; promote research to improve equine health; improve the quality and oversight of horse rescue operations; and build a nationwide grassroots network to advocate on behalf all equine breeds.

“The horse has been long overlooked,” Marcum said. “Now, more than ever, we are obligated to take care of those that truly cannot take care of themselves. We have a moral obligation to be proper stewards of this important part of our nation’s heritage.”

The EHWA has applied to be established as a non-profit 501c3 corporation so tax deductable contributions can be accepted.

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