Arabian Horse Association Betrays Breed

Arabian horsesby John Holland and Vicki Tobin, founders, Equine Welfare Alliance, reprinted with permission 

Update June 16:  After the original report below from 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.

Arabian horseIn 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!"

5 thoughts on “Arabian Horse Association Betrays Breed”

  1. Mr. Walters and the AHA are ridiculous! I agree with everything that John Holland has said.
    The question is not: “do you support horse slaughter?” The question is: “do you support the hideous,cruel and terrifying transport of horses for hundreds of miles in their journey to death?”
    The question is: “do you support the cruelty of the death trucks and killer chutes for crippled ones who can barely walk,pregnant mares,mare with terrified foals by their sides?”
    The question is: “how can you call yourself a horseman or woman if you would subject horses to this?”
    The question is: “can you look at the undercover photos taken of horses with eyes gouged out, hooves ripped off, legs broken, faces smashed in from being on the transport trucks and call yourself a decent human being?”

  2. Hello Ms. Baker.
    Slaughter is the most evil thing I have ever
    seen or heard of …we the American people
    must ban this …Our President must enforce
    this…we must protect our horse..they do not
    deserve this terrifying cruelty.

    AMEN to all you stated.

  3. I am writing to express my discontent with the Arabian Horse Association for their decision to support horse slaughter. This is NOT their agenda! Horses are domesticated companion animals and should be treated humanely and with compassion.
    The Arabian Horse Association should spend it’s time and efforts educating the new horse owner and/or breeder that purchasing a horse is taking on the responsibility for the life of that horse. If situations change and a horse needs to be “rehomed” it is the owner’s responsibility to find a suitable home for the horse. If this is not possible or the horse is unusable, it must be humanely euthanized by a veterinarian. This must be in every horse owner’s budget and if it’s not, then they have no business buying or breeding the horse in the first place!

    The Arabian Horse Association should set themselves apart from the rest of the “horse industry” and become leaders in the animal welfare movement. Step up to the plate and you may be surprised that the animal-loving public will support your efforts.

    When I phoned to complain about the horse slaughter policy I found it amusing that I could not “cancel” my membership. Rest assured, I will not rejoin, and I will devote my efforts to informing horse and animal lovers about their ridiculous support of horse slaughter.

    Kathy Pobloskie
    North Prairie, Wisconsin
    Proud owner of 3 purebred Arabian geldings (aged 15, 20 and 25)

  4. WTF?! I am soooo pissed right now! I cannot believe the AHA/AHF condones the practice of slaughter! I am so upset I can’t even think straight to type a decent response right now! Our horses ar enot bred for food, they are bred for love, companionship, and sport! I was so upset when I read about the AQHA thinking this was an option to be had, but to find out that the community with which I am affiliated also believes this is an acceptable end to the lives of some of the worlds most beautiful and highly intelligent creatures is dispicable! There are truly no words! I am ashamed of the AHA/AHF for this announcement, and I feel that Lance Walters should step down from his position!

  5. I love how you got straight to the point! All valid questions! I have seen too many so-called horse people who watch as they knowingly sell their horses to the meat man at auction. I don’t know how they call themselves that, in my eyes, they are only money hungry jerks who care nothign for the animal and only want the money.

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