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About Abuse
Defining Abuse and Neglect

Abuse is defined as the act or practice of mistreating or causing harm to a person or animal.

Neglect is defined as failure to take care of or give attention to someone or something.

Horse owners in Maryland are required by law to provide their horses with six minimum standards of care; if these standards are not met, the horse may be considered abused or neglected and animal protection authorities may seize the horse.

Since its founding in 1989, Days End Farm Horse Rescue (DEFHR) has supported animal protection authorities in rescuing over 2,000 horses from situations of abuse and neglect in Maryland and the surrounding states.

Minimum Standards of Care For Equines

Maryland State Law, Title 10, Subtitle 604 requires that any person having the charge or custody of an animal must provide:

  • Nutritious food in sufficient quantity
  • Necessary veterinary care
  • Proper drink
  • Space
  • Shelter or protection from the weather

In 1996 The Maryland Horse Council brought together the Maryland horse industry and further defined what that law means in industry standards. This document is often used in training animal welfare officers and to support court evidence. 

For more information, click here to download the Maryland Horse Council’s “Guide to Minimum Standards of Care for Equines.”

Click here to learn more about laws preventing animal cruelty in your state.

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