2023 Horse News: Updates to Animal Welfare Rules

The AQHA Animal Welfare Commission has recently approved rule changes in regards to animal welfare and inhumane treatment.


New animal welfare regulations will be in effect soon, per the AQHA Animal Welfare Commission. Effective October 1st, 2023 the American Quarter Horse Association will be implementing new minimum penalty levels of offense. The association has also adjusted fines and penalties in regards to inhumane treatment violations.

Exhibitors can find these new rules under AQHA Rule VIO204, in the AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations. Inhumane treatment includes: excessive jerking of reins, hitting the horse on the head, intentional or negligent treatment which results in any bleeding, open wound and/or raw area, among many other examples.

From the AQHA site, ” Inhumane treatment can be considered any excessive and/or repetitive action to cause obvious distress or discomfort to a horse.” These rules will apply to not only AQHA members, but also nonmembers.

Find more from AQHA in regards to these new policies HERE.



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