Veterinary Outreach Programs Discussed at AAEP

Equitarian efforts have been under way for decades but are benefiting from new emphasis by the AAEP.
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The equine side of veterinary medicine was founded in the furrows plowed by equids. Today, when most vets exclusively care for animals kept for pleasure and sport rather than work, some have taken it upon themselves to reach out, to go beyond personal success and into the realm of significance.

"There’s a large part of the world that depends more than ever on working equids," said Jay Merriam, DVM, of Massachusetts Equine Clinic, in Uxbridge, Mass., who moderated the first-ever official session on equitarian initiatives during the 2009 American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Convention held Dec. 5-9 in Las Vegas, Nev. Merriam defined an equitarian as "one who serves equids with compassion, and whose only reward is their improved health and welfare."

For years the equitarians met during a Table Topic session. The 2009 Convention marked the first time the subject was presented as a full afternoon session that featured 11 speakers.

This reflects the AAEP’s new focus on these outreach efforts, which Merriam credited to the attention and efforts of 2009 AAEP President Harry Werner, VMD

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Written by:

Erin Ryder is a former news editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care.

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