AHA Mission Statement
Growth in the interest in, and demand for the Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horse;
Preservation of the integrity of the breed;
Increased participation in activities involving the Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horse;
Recognition by the equine industry and general public about the value and attributes of the Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horse; and
Ensure services and benefits that are valuable and convenient for the AHA members.
Despite the defining parameters of the Mission Statement, the first agenda item at the May 16th, 2009 Arabian Horse Association Board of Directors meeting was a closed session discussion regarding horse slaughter. This discussion resulted in motion #16-5/16/09-BOD calling for the AHA to officially endorse the re-opening of equine slaughter plants in the United States.
In a stunning display of utter disregard toward the approximate 37,000 AHA members, the 29 members of the Board of Directors then voted unanimously to approve this motion.
Despite assertions by the Board of Directors that the “vast majority” of members support and approve this endorsement, it is based merely on verbal assurances by the Regional directors who claim that the ‘majority of members’ they have spoken with agree with the Board’s decision.
An estimation by the Board of Directors that a majority of the membership supports this motion based merely on ‘verbal assurances’ by the Regional directors, is baseless and deceptive.
Ignoring protests that member input should have been solicited prior to the vote, the Board of Directors continue to turn a deaf ear to opposition. At the August, 2009 board meeting a request was made to review and reconsider the motion, but it was rejected.
Endorsing re-establishment of US equine slaughter facilities is not in keeping with the AHA Mission of promotion and preservation of the Arabian breed.
Based on the directives of the Mission statement, it is not appropriate for the Arabian Horse Association, an organization whose mission is to promote and preserve the Arabian horse, to take any official position on horse slaughter.
We have members who are opposed to horse slaughter and those who support it. These individual members are free to promote their personal views in political debate but the Arabian Horse Association should remain neutral and not take a position. There is no benefit for the organization, it divides the membership, and projects a conflicting public image of the association at a time when we are struggling to build positive momentum for the breed.
It is not necessary for the AHA to take a position on horse slaughter, we are an organization to promote the Arabian horse.
Horse slaughter is a political and personal issue for the people of the US and the individual states to decide and is not the purview of a breed organization whose focus is supporting the Arabian horse.
The negative response to this motion by the equine community, along with significant unflattering press, is damaging to the organization and does little to promote the Arabian horse.
As a Breed Association, it is the Arabian Horse Association’s directive to promote and preserve the Arabian Horse: a slaughter endorsement by the Board of Directors is not in keeping with the Association’s mission and is a betrayal of the very breed it is supposed to represent.