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Ethical Practices – Codes of Conduct

The issues associated with ethical practices are generally consistent throughout the horse industry. There is an expected level of ethics for all individuals depending upon their role in the business of horses. Many horse associations establish a code of ethics for their licensed officials, members of their Board of Directors, and members serving on their committees. Each association will modify their rules and regulations, bylaws and constitution to accommodate their individual requirements. There are some accepted standard ethical practices to be applied in all phases of the industry.

Understanding and applying a code of ethics can be a significant legal challenge if the expected standards are not carefully defined and made available for all to access. Assistance with establishment of a code of ethics and related guidelines is fully within the scope of creation and advice of Hipsley and Associates.

A code of ethics must follow reasonable paths of processing, from establishment and distribution, and to enforcement and due process. There are many very clear standards to consider with reasonable timelines for the application of a code of ethics.

Examples include the event and competition areas, prohibiting the judging of owned or trained horses participating in a competition; prohibition of contact with officials for the events; prohibitions of unethical practices associated with the buying and selling of horses within the breed; prohibitions of inhumane treatment of animals in competition and within the ranks of an association’s membership.

The importance of due notice and due process on reviewing a matter before a peer review group or hearing panel is critical to assure a proper handling of a matter. 

Hipsley & Associates has served in advisory capacities as well as in enforcement roles for the actions taken on behalf of ethical practice review boards/committees. Therefore, first hand knowledge can be drawn upon to craft reasonable and proper rules and regulations governing issues associated with ethical practices. 

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