The National Snaffle Bit Association has announced that at its March 8, 2012 Board of Directors meeting, the NSBA Board emphasized its commitment to the aggressive enforcement of its rules regarding the inhumane treatment of horses.
Specifically, Rule 97 of the NSBA rules states that no person shall treat any horse in a cruel or inhumane manner. The rule further states that every horse at an NSBA-approved event shall, at all times, be treated humanely and with dignity, respect, and compassion.
Abuse is defined as an action, or failure to act, which a reasonable, prudent person, informed and experienced in the customs, accepted training techniques and exhibition procedures, or veterinary standards would determine to be cruel, abusive, inhumane or detrimental to the horse’s health.
The rule lists some examples of conduct that the NSBA considers abusive, including tying a horse in a manner as to cause undue discomfort or distress in a stall, trailer, or when longeing or riding and intentional inhumane treatment which results in bleeding.
Additionally, the NSBA Board voted unanimously to institute the following minimum penalties for confirmed cases of inhumane treatment of the horse:
The NSBA, in an effort to ensure the welfare of our horse, will institute the following minimum penalties for individuals who are found to violate NSBA rules regarding the inhumane treatment of the horse:
First Offense-- Fine: $1,000.00 Suspension: 0 Days
Second Offense--Fine: $2,000.00 Suspension: 30 Days
Third Offense--Fine: $3,000.00 Suspension: 1 Year
In commenting on this issue, NSBA Executive Director Dianne Eppers stated that the NSBA wants to make it absolutely clear that the inhumane treatment of a horse will not be tolerated. There should be no misunderstanding. People who are caught violating NSBA rules on the inhumane treatment of horses will be dealt with aggressively and penalized appropriately.