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Re: [RC] 15 day dead horse rule - Heidi Smith

>The issue that I have with the 30 day dead horse rule is NOT about  research or education.  If my horse died after a ride and I and my at home vet decided that it was remotely possibly endurance related I would be more than happy to volunteer any and all information to help out. I am very concerned about the death of horses, and the reasons for it. Or any horse discomfort. What I have issue with is making it a rule, something that riders have to sign away rights to privacy or face penalty.    How can you hope to keep track or enforce?  If you hear a rumor that my horse died and you call me up and ask and I tell you that it is not dead, what are you going to do about it? Sit on the highway with binocs and watch for buzzards over my ranch? Get a court order and a back hoe to dig  looking for bodies. Who will pay for all this documentation,enforcement,record transferring?  I mean what are you going to do about it?   There is nothing you can do. So why make a rule that is completely unenforceable,
Annie, thank you for so eloquently stating my own reservations about this proposed rule.  I'm happy to add to AERC's info base, and as a ride vet, I've meticulously filled out death reports, followed up with owners, etc. and have gotten the info in.  That said, if I come home from a ride, and lightning strikes my horse the next day, it is none of AERC's business.  An unenforceable rule is in many ways worse than no rule at all.
Personally, I think a better approach would be an exit exam as the horses leave the ride site--if they are in good shape then, that is all the jurisdiction AERC can really have.  Through education, we can make riders aware of the importance of other post-ride information, and ask for voluntary reporting.  And if the horse is not in good shape leaving the ride site, we could (and should) make it policy (not a rule) to ask that the veterinarian in charge of that case at the ride follow up with that horse and report to AERC--veterinarians follow up on cases referred out or sent home routinely anyway.  The BoD and the veterinary committee would do much more good by working out a protocol for this to happen (veterinarian getting contact info from RM, etc.) than making an arbitrary rule that is a) unenforceable, and b) may in many cases be odiously intrusive without yielding information pertinent to our sport.

[RC] 15 day dead horse rule, Annie George