Eligibility Requirements for Forever Farm Designation
Eligibility Requirements for Forever Farm Designation
EQUUS Foundation Forever Farms
are equestrian facilities and farms, either privately-owned or operating as for-profit businesses, that demonstrate a commitment to safeguarding the comfort and dignity of horses, donkeys and mules (collectively referred to as horses) throughout their lives by adhering to EQUUS Foundation standards for equine welfare.
Eligible organizations include those that:
• Conduct competitive, recreational, and/or therapeutic equine programs that 1) contribute positively to the physical, athletic, emotional, cognitive and/or social well-being of participants and 2) are mutually beneficial to both the people and the equines involved in the programs;
• Provide humane retirement and end of life for one or more aged equines; and/or
• Provide foster care for one or more equines until they are adopted or until a rescue/transition center has space to directly provide care and shelter for the equine;
• Have adopted one or more equines with the intent to provide a forever home to the adopted equine(s).
The Forever Farm Designation is awarded annually. To attain the Forever Farm designation, the farm/facility must meet the following standards for business and equine welfare practices:
• The farm/facility must be directly responsible for the care and shelter of a minimum of three equines.
• The farm/facility must have practices in place to ensure that all equines in the care of the farm/facility and/or equines that participate in the farm/facility's programs have access to clean drinking water at all times; nutritious food in sufficient quantity, including natural forage such as pasture grass and/or hay; appropriate veterinary, farrier, and dental care; shelter and protection from the weather; and sufficient safe space for horses to move around comfortably and where horses have contact with other horses.
• The farm/facility does not engage in any activity that disregards the welfare of animals of any kind, causes an animal to feel pain or fear, exploits or harms an animal to benefit the farm/facility, or willfully slaughters an animal to benefit the farm/facility.
• The farm/facility acknowledges that 'equine slaughter', in its current form and herein defined as the killing and processing of equines for human or animal consumption, is not 'Euthanasia', which is defined as the practice of ending the equine's life painlessly to relieve suffering.
• The farm/facility acknowledges that at the present time there is no assurance that the methods of slaughter of equines transported from the United States to slaughter plants in Canada and Mexico adequately protect equines from suffering and equines transported from the United States to slaughter plants in Canada and Mexico can suffer long journeys without adequate food, water or rest;
• The farm/facility acknowledges that at the present time donkeys, mules, and horses (collectively referred to as horses) in the United States are bred and raised as livestock but not as a food product. Horses in the United States are fed and medicated in a manner inconsistent with food safety standards, and there is no assurance that the horse meat has been tested to be safe for human or animal consumption.
• The farm/facility has not knowingly allowed, and would not consider allowing, an equine to be sold, transferred, released, or otherwise placed into possession of any person or organization that would cause or allow the equine to be sold at auction for slaughter.
• Accordingly, the organization agrees to include the following statements in its agreement, Bill of Sale and/or document evidencing transfer of title or ownership:
1) The individual or organization in possession of the equine as of the date of the agreement acknowledges that 'equine slaughter', in its current form and herein defined as the killing and processing of equines for human or animal consumption, is not 'Euthanasia', which is defined as the practice of ending the equine's life painlessly to relieve suffering.
2) The individual or organization in possession of the equine as of the date of the agreement has not knowingly allowed, and would not consider allowing, the equine to be sold, transferred, released, or otherwise placed into possession of any person or organization that would cause or allow the equine to be sold at auction for slaughter.
• The above statements are not required if the farm/facility:
a - retains ownership of the equine; or
b - requires that the equine CANNOT be sold, adopted, transferred, auctioned, released, given away, or otherwise placed into the possession of another individual or organization under any circumstances and the equine must be returned to the organization should the adopter no longer wish to, or cannot, care for the equine.
• The farm/facility has not made, and would not consider making, equines available for research studies or medical training that involves invasive procedures and/or that which may cause pain or suffering to the equine.
• To ensure that an equine is free of contagious diseases on arrival, the farm/facility must adhere to a practice that either 1) quarantines an equine for a minimum of 7 days if the equine is arriving from a facility with minimal perceived risk or 21 days if the equine is arriving from a facility of unknown risk or 2) requires that a health certificate signed by a veterinarian and dated no more than seven days prior to arrival is provided to the organization either prior to or upon arrival of the equine or a pre-purchase examination by a veterinarian is conducted attesting to the health status of the equine.
• The farm/facility must have a mechanism in place to ensure that sick, affected, and/or quarantined equines do not have contact with other equines, and that all reasonable precautions are taken to prevent spread of disease by humans, equipment, and/or disposal of potentially contaminated substances.
• The farm/facility must adhere to a policy which does not permit euthanasia of equines on the sole basis of needing space.
• The designation may be denied if an insurance claim has been filed against the farm/facility depending on when the claim was filed as well as the circumstances and outcome of the claim.
• The designation may be denied if the farm/facility has been investigated by any animal control or protection authority - federal, state or local depending on when the date of the investigation as well as the circumstances and outcome of the investigation.
• The farm/facility does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, creed, national origin, disability, handicap, age, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by law.
• The farm/facility conducts publicity and promotional activities based upon its actual program and operations, and that these activities are truthful and non-deceptive, include all material facts, and make no exaggerated or misleading claims.
• For a farm/facility that provide services to the public, the farm/facility must have a presence on the internet, i.e., a unique domain/url address that clearly defines its equine programs and ensure that the content displayed is kept current and based on actual programs and operations.
• For the farm/facility that conducts Equine Assisted Services (EAS), until such time there is consensus in the EAS community on terminology and enforcement of guidelines for conducting EAS, the farm/facility must comply with the EQUUS Foundation Guidelines for Conducting Equine Assisted Services.
• The farm/facility must carry General Liability Insurance and may be requested to provide a Certificate of Insurance.
Last Updated April 19, 2023 and subject to change without notice
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