CZAAWE Resource Article

Show Horse Welfare: Evaluating Stock-Type Show Horse Industry Legitimacy
Publication Type 
Journal Article
Year of publication 
Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics
The purpose of this paper is to use the Social Cognitive Theory and its moral disengagement framework to emphasize the need for stock-type horse associations to minimize potential and actual threats to their legitimacy in an effort to maintain and strengthen self-regulating governance, specifically relating to the occurrence of inhumane treatment to horses. Despite having stated rules within their handbooks, the actions of leading stock-type associations in response to reports of inhumane treatment provide evidence of their ability to self-regulate. The authors recommend the following actions: (1) develop a commonly understood and accepted definition of inhumane treatment; (2) publicly communicate with stakeholders violation enforcement efforts of inhumane treatment rules; (3) increase efforts to educate stakeholders on the reasons why certain training techniques or methods are inhumane and harmful to the horse; (4) ensure all actions taken are proactively focused on shaping future behaviors, and (5) critically review more cases of inhumane treatment and the industry's response.