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End of Life

Equine Euthanasia: A Humane End-of-Life

While end-of-life decisions aren’t easy for anyone who has cared for horses, ultimately there will come a time when they are necessary. To ensure the animal’s well-being, comfort, and humane end, caregivers should always have a plan in place for euthanasia.

Being proactive not only gives owners an opportunity to make informed choices based on quality of life and financial considerations, it allows for the exploration of euthanasia and disposal options that are in alignment with individual values. A planned approach is important because it can help alleviate stress during difficult times and ensure proper care for an animal in their final moments.

The Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada (HWAC) is committed to ensuring that all equine owners and caretakers across Canada have access to equine welfare and best practice resources. We advocate for continual improvement in all aspects of animal care and stress the importance of considering equine welfare on a daily basis and through the animal life cycle.

This manual will provide comprehensive guidance on end-of-life decisions for equine, including:

  • Reasons to consider euthanasia
  • Approaches for a humane ending
  • Guidance and support
  • After care logistics

This resource is presently under review and will soon be available. Contact us to be added to our email list and receive notification when the document is ready.

CVMA position state on Euthanasia 

Position: The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) holds that when an animal is euthanized the method used must be appropriate for the species, reliable, humane and must minimize fear, pain, and distress. <read more>

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