BEVA Guidelines

BEVA Guidelines

Nobody wants to think about death but the most important thing is that in all cases the horse’s best interests are put at the forefront of any decisions regarding euthanasia.

From an insurance view, all horse owners need to be aware of the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) Guidelines for the Destruction of Horses. To claim for the death of your horse under an insurance policy, the horse’s condition must meet these criteria.

The guidelines state that ‘an affected horse’ needs to meet the following requirements:

“That the insured horse sustains and injury or manifests an illness or disease that is so severe as to warrant immediate destruction to relieve incurable and excessive pain and that no other options for treatment are available to that horse at that time”*

If immediate destruction cannot be justified then the attending veterinary surgeon should provide effective first aid treatment before:

  • i.  requesting that the insurance company be contacted or, failing that
  • ii. arranging for a second opinion from another veterinary surgeon


For an insurer to consider a death claim there must be no treatment options available and this is irrespective of other considerations such as the horse’s age, temperament or ability to perform in a particular discipline.

* Source: BEVA Guidelines for the Destruction of Horses Under All Risks Mortality Insurance Policy
Full details can be found at


We specialise in all equestrian insurance and any equestrian related business.