Owners and managers are responsible for euthanasia decisions, and these decisions should never be made without careful consideration. Horses, donkeys and mules serve their owners in many ways and deserve an end of life that is humane. Euthanasia can be performed on farm or at an appropriate off-farm facility. When caring for a sick or injured horse, consult a veterinarian to determine when to stop treatment and instead euthanize.
A key component of euthanasia is timeliness. It is not acceptable to delay euthanasia for reasons of convenience or cost. When euthanasia is deemed necessary, it must be performed without delay, particularly in the case of a severe, traumatic injury. Leaving a suffering animal to die of natural causes (what is known as “letting nature take its course”) is not acceptable.
Consult pages 58 – 60 in the Equine Code of Practice for more information.