Eligibility Requirements for Forever Farm Designation
Eligibility Requirements for Forever Farm Designation
The Forever Farm Designation is awarded annually to an organization that meets the following business and equine welfare practices.
Eligible organizations are equine organizations other than non-profits that:
• Adopt and provide a forever home for at least one equine rescued from abuse, neglect, the threat of slaughter, or surrendered due to owner hardship;
• Foster at least one equine until they are adopted or until a rescue center has space to directly provide care and shelter for the equine;
• Provide peaceful and humane retirement and end of life for aged equines that ensures that they are able to live out their lives in comfort and with dignity;
• Provide mutually beneficial opportunities for people and equines to partner for the purpose of contributing positively to cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being, including competitive, recreational, and therapeutic equine programs.
• The organization must have practices in place to ensure that all equines in the care of the organization and/or equines that participate in the organization'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 organization 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 organization, or willfully slaughters an animal to benefit the organization.
• The organization must certify that the organization has not allowed, or would 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.
• The organization must certify that the organization has not made, or would 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 organization 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 a health certificate signed by a veterinarian and dated no more than seven (7) days prior to arrival.
• The organization 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 organization must adhere to a policy which does not permit euthanasia of equines on the sole basis of needing space.
• Until such time that equines are no longer at risk of 'slaughter' defined as the killing and processing of horses for human or animal consumption either in the United States, or by being transported outside of the United States vs. 'euthanasia' which is defined as the practice of ending the horse's life painlessly to relieve suffering, the organization's re-homing agreement must state or reflect that any individual or organization in possession of the equine as of the date of the agreement and any time thereafter is bound to not sell the equine at auction for slaughter or allow the equine to be sold, transferred, released, or otherwise placed into possession of any person or organization that will cause or allow the equine to be sold at auction for slaughter.
1. This statement is not required to be included in the organization's re-homing agreement if the organization:
a - retains ownership of re-homed equines;
b - requires that re-homed equines be returned to the organization should the adopters no longer wish to, or cannot, care for the equines;
c - includes a statement in its re-homing agreement that the equine cannot be sold, transferred, released, or otherwise placed into possession of any person or organization that will cause or allow the equine to be sold at auction for slaughter AND includes a statement that the terms of the agreement are binding on any future adopter and the agreement between the adopter and the organization shall be incorporated as an addendum to any future agreement;
d - includes a statement in its re-homing agreement that the equine cannot be sold, transferred, released, or otherwise placed into possession of any person or organization that will cause or allow the equine to be sold at auction for slaughter AND includes a statement that requires the adopter to obtain the organization’s approval of any future adopter;
e - includes a statement in its re-homing agreement that the equine cannot be sold, transferred, released, or otherwise placed into possession of any person or organization that will cause or allow the equine to be sold at auction for slaughter AND includes a statement that requires any future adopter to re-sign an agreement with the organization.
2. A re-homing agreement is not required if the organization does not have the authority to transfer ownership and/or does not own any of the equines involved with its programs.
It is the position of the EQUUS Foundation that including verbiage on the future re-homing of the equine reflects the shared recognition of the organization and the adopter that horses continue to be inhumanely 'slaughtered' and the shared commitment of the organization and the adopter to ensure that the equine be protected for his or her lifetime.
• The designation may be denied if the organization conducts programs involving less than three equines.
• The designation may be denied if an insurance claim has been filed against the organization depending on when the claim was filed as well as the circumstances and outcome of the claim.
• The designation may be denied if the organization 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 organization 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 organization 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 organizations that conduct Equine Assisted Services (EAS), until such time there is consensus in the EAS community on terminology and enforcement of guidelines for conducting EAS, the organization must comply with the EQUUS Foundation Guidelines for Conducting Equine Assisted Services.
• The organization must carry General Liability Insurance and may be requested to provide a Certificate of Insurance.
Last Updated November 8, 2022 and subject to change without notice
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