EQUUS Foundation
Eligibility Requirements for Guardian Designation
 



Eligibility Requirements for Guardian Designation


The Guardian Designation is awarded annually to an organization participating as a Member of the EQUUS Foundation Equine Welfare Network that meets the EQUUS Foundation guidelines for transparency in addition to the following business and equine welfare practices.

While the Guardian Seal of Transparency is not an endorsement, the Guardian Seal of Transparency is a recognition of an organization's commitment to transparency and accountability by their willingness to make comprehensive data about their programs, horse care practices, and governance available for public scrutiny. A site visit or a self assessment using the EQUUS Foundation site assessment tool may be required. A recommendation from an EQUUS Foundation Mentor may also be required.

I. Business Practices
•  The organization must have a written conflict of interest policy that ensures that any compensated board member is a NON-VOTING (Independent) board member or that any compensated board member or any board member related to a compensated staff member, independent contractor, or any individual or organization that might benefit from a board decision, abstains from voting on issues impacting such compensation and requires officers, directors or trustees, and key employees to disclose at least annually in writing interests that could give rise to conflicts. The Guardian Designation may be denied if all or a majority of the Board are compensated and/or have family and/or business relationships. The organization may be required to upload its written conflict of interest policy.
•  The organization must carry General Liability Insurance and may be requested to provide a Certificate of Insurance.
•  The Guardian 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 Guardian 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.

II. Equine Welfare Practices:
•  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 Guardian designation will be denied if the organization adheres to a policy which permits euthanasia of equines on the sole basis of needing space.

•  For organizations that re-home equines for any reason, 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 vs. 'euthanasia' which is defined as the practice of ending the horse's life painlessly to relieve suffering, either in the United States, or by being transported outside of the United States, the organization's re-homing agreement must state 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.

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