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, a self assessment using the EQUUS Foundation site assessment tool, and/or a recommendation from an EQUUS Foundation Mentor may 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 related board members, 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 provide its written conflict of interest policy and/or the signed statement of any Board member with conflicts of interest.
•  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.
•  The Guardian Designation may be denied if the organization does not have an operating budget of at least $10,000 and/or does not have sufficient cash reserves to offset net losses in any given year.

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.

•  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 Guardian designation may be denied if the organization conduct programs involving less than three equines.

Last Updated July 11, 2022

# # # #




Copyright 2018 EQUUS Foundation
Tele: 203-259-1550 Email: mail@equusfoundation.org