The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is forming a “Responsible Horse Breeders Council” composed of horse breeders around the country who are dedicated to improving horse welfare. The goal of the council is to decrease the number of horses in the United States who are at risk of being neglected, abused, or slaughtered for human consumption. Council members will work with the HSUS to discourage overbreeding and to promote responsible horse ownership and nationwide horse rescue and rehoming efforts.
“We have a responsibility to every horse born, and for some time now there has been a crisis of overbreeding that is having a terrible impact on the welfare of horses,” said Keith Dane, director of equine protection of the HSUS. “Horse slaughter has been used as an outlet for irresponsible breeders to continue to overbreed horses and to treat them as disposable commodities. The Humane Society of the United States is working to end this unnecessary slaughter of horses, and we commend the responsible breeders who have chosen to be part of the solution.”
“As a breeder of Arabian horses for 30 years, I believe that responsible breeding means not only breeding for the finest conformation and behavior, but also ensuring that our foals lead happy, productive lives,” said council member Melissa Forberg. “This commitment to the welfare of our foals must be lifelong and unwavering.”
As a first step, the council is encouraging horse breeders to sign a pledge to be a responsible breeder. In doing so, they agree to take back any horse they have bred should the horse become homeless or at-risk of being abused or sent to slaughter. More than 800 breeders have already joined the responsible breeder’s list. Horse breeders can join the initiative online or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Horse owners can also use this list to search for their horse’s breeder in the event that they need assistance in continuing to humanely care for their horse.