by John Holland and Vicki Tobin, founders, Equine Welfare Alliance, reprinted with permissionÂ
Update June 16:Â Â After the original report below fromÂ Equine Welfare Alliance, calling attention to the Arabian Horse Association’s (AHA) passing a resolution in support of horse slaughter, the AHA Rescue and Rehoming Subcommittee, chaired by Carol Darnell, who is also chair of the Arabian Horse Foundation’s Rescue and Rehoming Advisory Panel, took strong exception to the AHA move, issuing the following position statement:
"We, the members of the Rescue/Rehoming Subcommittee of the Equine Stress, Research and Education Committee of AHA, take serious issue with the recent BOD action in support of equine slaughter.
"Quite aside from the reality that some of the membership of AHA does support slaughter," the release continued, "we believe it to be inappropriate for our BOD to take any position whatsoever on such a passionate and divisive issue, especially without polling our membership for consensus or consulting with our two rescue entities within the AHA/AHF complex. We believe it should be the role of a breed promotion organization to support husbandry practices and organizational goals which sustain our horses, rather than endorse practices which enable irresponsible husbandry at the horses’ expense."
The committee went on to say, "On a practical level, the negative response by much of the Arabian community and the equine community as a whole, along with significant negative press, is damaging to the organization at a time when we can ill-afford such damage, especially when it is self-inflicted.
We, along with many others in the Arabian horse community, are striving to have the Board of Directors revisit and reconsider the action taken."
The original press release issued to media outlets by the AHA led readers to believe the AHF was involved in the passing of the resolution. The AHF has a separate BOD, functions independent of the AHA and was not involved in the discussion and passing of this motion.
CHICAGO, (EWA) – In a move reminiscent of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), the Arabian Horse Association (AHA) and the Arabian Horse Foundation has gone on record supporting horse slaughter with the passage of a resolution.
According to reports, the move was prompted by the elevation of AHA president Lance Walters to the American Horse Council board.
In an attempt to mitigate this announcement and ease the ultimate betrayal of their breed, the AHA and foundation also voiced support for equine rescue and responsible horse ownership. EWA questions how AHA can promote slaughter and responsible ownership since they contradict each other. AHA did not name any rescues or programs that are currently supported or planned by the AHA in support of their breed, saying only that they promote slaughtering the magnificent horses they purport to represent.
Walters stated, "Since Arabian horses are involved in racing, showing, competition, and recreation, our owners and events are greatly affected by federal actions".
Walters did not describe how horse slaughter comes into play with racing, showing, competition and recreation events.
The AHA foal count was only 6,500 in 2008 – a commendable example of responsible breeding, and AHA bloggers have recently been discussing how well Arabian prices are holding up in the sagging economy. The only explanation for this move would thus appear to be stunning political self interest.
Scores of AHA members have told EWA they plan to discontinue membership in their breed association because of Walter’s and his board’s shameful toadying to advance his position within the pro-slaughter AHC.
Both the Arabian Association president and his board are far out of the mainstream of American’s opinion where more than 70 percent consistently say in polls that they are opposed to horse slaughter.
The Equine Welfare Alliance asks the Arabian Horse Association for its membership list in order to commission polling by an outside agency to determine whether Arabian owners really support the brutal and painful killing of their breed to supply foreign markets with a meat Americans don’t even eat.
EWA’s John Holland, himself a proud owner of Arabians, said of the action, "It is high time the members of these organizations let their management know just who they work for!"