Goal is to enhance programming for transitioning and at-risk horses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Washington, DC)- The Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC) is pleased to announce the creation of the Equine Welfare Data Collective (EWDC), a collaborative effort to accumulate, analyze and apply data to enhance programming for transitioning and at-risk horses. Funding partners of the Collective are The Right Horse Initiative, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP).

“The equine industry has primarily been working off of anecdotal data when it comes to horses in the rescue pipeline,” said UHC Chair Kristin Leshney. “With the various industry initiatives that are taking place to help horses in transition, it’s essential to have up to date and concrete numbers to determine if the programs in place are effective in helping horses transition safely and find homes. This collaborative effort will benefit the entire equine community and most importantly, the at-risk horses in the United States.”

“Solid data is critical to measuring the impact of any large-scale effort,” said Christy Counts, President of The Right Horse Initiative. “As our partners continue to create innovative solutions in equine welfare, we look forward to being able to measure the positive impacts on horses in transition as well as guide future decision-making and strategy.”

“Understanding the landscape of risk for equines is a vital component for us all to develop meaningful, impactful and sustainable solutions for improving equine welfare,” said Dr. Emily Weiss, Vice President of Equine Welfare for the ASPCA. “This Collective will give the equine industry a better understanding of risk and opportunities for horses, and it will help us all as we move forward to assure impactful programming.”

“Data is knowledge and this information will help the industry to continue to improve the health and welfare of these horses,” said AAEP President Dr. Margo Macpherson. “We look forward to working collaboratively for the good of the horse and their caretakers.”

All who are involved with horses in transition will be able to have access to the aggregate data. The success of the EWDC depends upon shelters, rescues, sanctuaries, funders and other organizations that house, or support the housing of, horses in transition to contribute data to the collective and to encourage all groups to do the same. The funding organizations have committed to work collaboratively to bring this resource to the industry and encourage all to participate.

The EWDC anticipates the data collection to begin this year. The initial data set will focus on baseline data from rescues and sanctuaries such as: current capacity of rescues and sanctuaries, age, sex, breed of horses in their care, how many horses are taken in each year and similar. All data collected will be aggregated so no individual organization is identified, and all data will be used to help develop programs and solutions to fill any gaps in current programming, as well as measure progress in current initiatives. The EWDC hopes that all rescues and sanctuaries will assist in the effort to collect this much-needed data.

Please contact the UHC if you have any questions at 202-846-1607 or uhc@horsecouncil.org.

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About the Unwanted Horse Coalition

The Unwanted Horse Coalition represents a broad alliance of equine organizations that have joined together to educate the horse industry about the unwanted horse issue.

The UHC was a direct result of the Unwanted Horse Summit, which was organized by the American Association of Equine Practitioners and held in conjunction with the American Horse Council’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., in April 2005. The summit was held to bring key stakeholders together to start a dialogue on the plight of the unwanted horse, defined as any horse no longer wanted by its current owner. Operating under the American Horse Council Foundation, the UHC provides resources to prospective owners, current owners, rehoming facilities, and industry leaders in its effort to encourage responsible ownership.

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