American Quarter Horse Association

Transportation and Processing of Horses for Human Consumption

 The American Quarter Horse Association recognizes the rights of all horse owners to manage their horses, in their best interests as long as their horses are treated humanely, with dignity, respect, and compassion.  

American Quarter Horses have always been known for their versatility and temperament. Therefore horses that have participated in competitive events such as racing and showing are well suited for second careers. AQHA advocates and supports programs that afford horses the opportunity to be enjoyed in other endeavors such as therapeutic riding programs and mounted patrol units.  

AQHA encourages and provides education regarding responsible ownership and management that will foster humane care throughout the life of the horse. AQHA supports the option of equine retirement facilities and adoption groups for owners who are no longer able to care for their horses.  

However, AQHA acknowledges that a small percentage of horses are ultimately unwanted because they are no longer serviceable, are infirm or even dangerous. At present, the processing of unwanted horses currently provides a humane alternative to allowing the horse to continue a life of inadequate care or abandonment and possibly discomfort and pain.   

Regarding the care of horses destined for processing, AQHAs position is that these horses should be:
Treated humanely and with dignity
Transported to the production facility according to the federal regulations adopted and enforced by the United States Department of Agriculture in 2002
Euthanized in a humane manner in accordance with the guidelines established by the American Veterinary Medical Association and federal and state law  

In addition, AQHA recognizes that the human consumption of horsemeat is a cultural and personal issue and does not fall within the purview of the association.