Horse Welfare Statement

As a member of Standardbred Canada, it is your right and your responsibility to uphold the welfare of horses you own or use or have in your care, and to ensure they are not subjected to abuse or neglect.

Abuse: covers malicious or inappropriate infliction of physical injury, sexual abuse, mental abuse, poisoning, asphyxia, and drowning.
Neglect: addresses the failure to provide horses with adequate basic necessities supporting health and well being for extended periods leading to suffering, serious injury or death. This includes food and water, medical attention when wounded or ill, protection from injurious weather, adequate space, sanitary housing, ventilation and lighting, opportunity for exercise, and a stimulating social environment that prevents the inductions of a negative emotional or psychological state.

STANDARDBRED CANADA is committed to the following:

  • Upholding the welfare of horses as a primary consideration in all activities.

  • Requiring that horses be treated with kindness, respect and the compassion they deserve, and that they never be subjected to mistreatment.

  • Ensuring that owners, trainers, drivers and their agents use responsible care in the handling, treatment and transportation of their horses, as well as horses placed in their care for any purpose.

  • Providing for the continuous well-being of horses by encouraging routine inspection and consultation with health care professionals and competition/industry officials to achieve the highest possible standards of nutrition, health, comfort, sanitation and safety a matter of standard operating procedure.

  • Continuing to support scientific studies on equine health and welfare.

  • Increasing education in training and horsemanship practices.

  • All Standardbred Canada members and/or licensees (e.g., owners, trainers, drivers, breeders, grooms, etc.) know and follow their respective sanctioning organization's rules and to work within industry regulations in all equine activities and businesses.

  • Reviewing, revising and developing rules and regulations that protect the welfare of horses.

  • The standard by which conduct or treatment will be measured is that which a reasonable person, informed and experienced in generally accepted equine practices, would determine to not cause neither abuse nor neglect to the horse.

  • Abuse to a racehorse in competition must not be tolerated. Racetracks may consider further action such as prohibiting violators from further participation in racing. It is recommended every racetrack publish a statement in its program regarding its position on the abuse of horses and its commitment to the humane treatment and welfare of horses, with the penalties to be imposed for confirmed abuse of horses at the racetrack.

  • Supporting all governing bodies who have implemented Horse Welfare policies within their respective jurisdictions.

  • Supporting and encouraging Life After Racing through re-homing and re-training of the Standardbred horse.

Codes of Practice

Standardbred Canada endorses the Recommended Codes of Practice for the Care and Handling of Equines published by the National Farm Animal Care Council and can be accessed by clicking here or by visiting

Use of Horses in the Food Chain

Standardbred Canada is aware of the diverse nature of the equine industry and the vital role horses play in a sustainable agricultural economy at the provincial, national and international levels.

Standardbred Canada supports agricultural initiatives and recognizes that Canada's equine meat producers must adhere to industry standards with respect to transportation, feed lots and humane slaughter.

Standardbred Canada acknowledges that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency regulates the use of horse meat as part of the human and animal food chain.
Welfare regulations and standards can be found at the CFIA’s website: