Consortium Suggested for 'Unwanted Horse' Issue

A follow-up report on the April 19 Unwanted Horse Summit in Washington, D.C., lists "action steps," including development of an organization structure to address the controversial issue.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners organized the summit, at which industry representatives discussed responsible horse ownership and breeding, long-term care options, and affordable and accessible means of humane euthanasia.

The group first plans to form a national steering committee or consortium. It also wants to develop a mission statement, a message strategy, a communication and marketing strategy, an education strategy, and a funding strategy. The group also seeks to identify existing education materials and resources to be used by working groups that would fall under the consortium.

Summit participants identified "key players" in dealing with the causes for unwanted horses. They include veterinarians, breed organizations, rescue and rehabilitation organizations, animal welfare groups, government agencies, animal control officials, trainers, and horse owners.

The AAEP has agreed to host a follow-up workshop at its annual meeting in December in Seattle, Wash.