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Policy on Tail Alteration Approved by AAEP Board

Walking Horse Report has learned that at a recent Board of Directors meeting of the American Association of Equine Practitioners the following policy relative to tail alteration of the horse was approved.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners is opposed to the alteration of the tail of the horse for cosmetic or competitive purposes. This includes, but is not limited to, docking, nicking (i.e. cutting) and blocking. When performed for cosmetic purposes, these procedures do not contribute to the health of the horse and are primarily used for gain in the show ring (nicking/cutting, blocking and docking) or because of historical custom (docking). When a horse’s tail becomes injured or diseased and requires medical or surgical intervention for the health of the horse, it should be performed by a licensed veterinarian.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners encourages all breed associations and disciplines to establish and enforce guidelines to eliminate these practices. Members of AAEP should educate their clients about the potential health risks and welfare concern involving these procedures.

For further information concerning this policy and other equine policies, please visit AAEP’s website at


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