Veterinarians for Equine Welfare (VEW) was created by a group of veterinarians* from all disciplines who are concerned about misinformation being transmitted to the public regarding the national debate on horse slaughter. We believe that our profession's integrity is being undermined by the hard line stance of a few misinformed individuals whose opinions have been swayed by unfounded logistical concerns as opposed to what should be a primary concern for animal welfare. Veterinarians should put animal welfare at the top of their priorities, not relegate it to an also-ran concern.
We developed www.vetsforequinewelfare.org as a resource to educate other veterinarians, animal health professionals and horse owners about the options available for day-to-day proper treatment of horses, and to provide humane information and options to those who can no longer care for (or must end the lives of) their horses. The website is also a forum to inform other veterinarians, horse owners, politicians and the American public about the truth behind horse slaughter.
Horse slaughter has never been considered a legitimate form of euthanasia by veterinary professionals or organizations, and we are disturbed by the fact that a few pro-horse slaughter political associations are distorting this message. Congress must hear from veterinary professionals that horse slaughter is not and should not be equated with humane euthanasia.
VEW was developed by veterinarians, who have consulted with representatives of the horse industry, the field of equine rescue and the humane community throughout the development of the organization and this VEW website to ensure that we are responsive to their concerns. We have listened to those who work with horses every day and try to improve equine welfare as a profession, with the goal of facilitating a dialog that will strengthen our ability to improve the life-quality of all horses. Sadly, it has been common practice in the veterinary profession to marginalize animal welfare advocates but the veterinarians involved in VEW believe that it is time for a change. In the absence of dialog on these issues, no one, especially the horses, benefit.
VEW and www.vetsforequinewelfare.org is a growing concept, so please continue to check back for more information. We hope to create the ultimate resource for better equine welfare. Meanwhile, please contact us if you have a question or are interested in lending a hand in developing VEW and/or our website.
VEW Founding Executive Committee
Theo G. Antikas, LLB, DVM, PhD
John Dennigan, DVM
Nicholas H. Dodman, DVM, Diplomate ACVA and ACVB
Patricia Hogan, VMD, ACVS
Nena Winand, DVM, PhD
*While there are many veterinarians working with VEW, some of those helping with this project are unable to make their involvement public, due to work-related restrictions. We hope this fact will change in the future, as cultural norms shift and more veterinarians are permitted to share their views with the public without fear of retribution or job loss.