Message from the AANHCP Board of Directors:
The AANHCP vital mission specifies that we "advance the humane care and management of domestic equines worldwide". One way we do this is by providing good information that people can apply in the care of their horses. Another way is to sanction NHC practitioners who are trained according to our standards. Providing tours of our field headquarters is still another. But beyond these very tangible resources that the AANHCP makes available to horse owners, there is also the realm of "advocacy". What does that mean exactly?
At the heart of AANHCP advocacy -- once more in keeping with our vital mission -- is to bring to light issues of importance concerning the well-being of the horse. Education is our main instrument of advocacy. Conducting and/or supporting certain types of research that cause no harm and are consistent with our vital mission are also part of our advocacy.
As a 501c3 non-profit organization, we are subject to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service's restrictions and prohibitions against engaging in political activities such as endorsing, making public statements of behalf of, or distributing information for, a political candidate. We can educate them, however! As advocates, thus, we are given much leeway by the law to "make a difference" by providing good information to those who need it. Matters of blatant animal cruelty, of course, are a matter of law enforcement and our advocacy does not extend to that, although our DP (Disciplinary Policy) calls upon us to report such offenses to the authorities. On the other hand, when we believe that certain "accepted" practices, such as shoeing and stalling horses, are unnatural and harmful to the horse, then our vital mission requires that our advocacy extend to educating horse owners, barn managers, government agencies, and others why it is harmful. It is the task, then, of political advocates, politicians, government regulatory agencies, and law enforcement to do something about it.
You can help with our role as advocates by bringing to our attention issues that fall within the guidelines of our vital mission.