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Bill to Allow State and Tribal Management of Wild Horses Introduced

On July 22, 2015, Congressman Chris Stewart (R-Utah) re-introduced the Wild Horse Oversight Act (H.R. 3172) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced a Senate version of the bill (S. 1845). The bills would amend the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act to allow states and Indian tribes to assume the management and protection of wild horses and burros.

The bills would allow a state or federally recognized Indian tribe to assume all management and protection functions of wild horses and burros within its borders, if requested by the legislature or Governor of a State, or the governing body of an Indian tribe. Currently, the federal land management agencies, primarily the Bureau of Land Management, are responsible for overseeing the wild horse and burro population. The bills would not alter any of the protections for wild horses under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and the federal land management agencies would continue to be responsible for tracking the number of wild horses and burros even if a state or tribe assumed management of its wild horses.

The House bill has been referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources and the Senate bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Categories: Regulatory

Disaster Assistance Available For Horse Farms and Ranches

News update from the American Horse Council:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that farmers and ranchers, including horse breeding farms and ranches, can sign-up for disaster assistance programs, reestablished by the 2014 Farm Bill, beginning Tuesday, April 15.

The 2014 Farm bill reauthorized the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), the Livestock Forage Program (LFP), and the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP), which had expired in 2011. These programs are administrated by the USDA Farm Service Administration (FSA) and compensate livestock producers, including horse breeding farms and ranches, for the loss of animals from natural disasters and diseases, and help producers who have lost grazing land from drought pay for feed.
• LIP provides compensation to eligible livestock producers that have suffered livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather. Eligible livestock includes beef cattle, dairy cattle, bison, poultry, sheep, swine, horses, and other livestock as determined by the Secretary.
• LFP provides compensation to eligible livestock producers that have suffered grazing losses due to drought or fire on publicly managed land. An eligible livestock producer must own, cash lease, or be a contract grower of eligible livestock during the 60 calendar days before the beginning date of the qualifying drought or fire in a county that is rated by the U.S. Drought Monitor as D2, D3, or D4.
• ELAP provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish that have losses due to disease, adverse weather, or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires, as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture.

For more information or to determine your eligibility visit the FSA disaster assistance website http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/webapp?area=home&subject=diap&topic=landing or contact your local FSA office.

USDA Adopts Animal Disease Traceability Program

In case you hadn’t been made aware of “new” official USDA regulations, here’s a recent release from the American Horse Council regarding identification of horses involved in interstate transportation:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has instituted its Animal Disease Traceability Program (ADTP) to improve its ability to trace livestock, including horses, in the event of a disease outbreak. The new system applies to all livestock moving interstate.

Under the new federal regulations, horses moving interstate must be identified and accompanied by an Interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (ICVI). The new system is built on methods of identification and movement documentation that are already employed in the horse industry, e.g., written descriptions, digital photographs, brands, tattoos, electronic identification methods, and interstate certificates of veterinary inspection. The person or entity responsible for moving the horse interstate must ensure that it has an ICVI or other document required by the new rule.

The ADTP will be administered by the states with federal support. The new rules also apply to movements to and from a Tribal area. In those cases, the Tribal authorities are involved in the system.

The new rule will be effective March 11, 2013. The American Horse Council expects that there will be a transition period during which USDA has suggested it will not enforce the new rule. This is to give livestock owners time to understand the rules and make any changes necessary to comply.

Under the new regulations, horses moving interstate must be (1) identified prior to movement and (2) accompanied by an Interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (ICVI) or other state-approved document. All states now require an ICVI to accompany any horse entering their state. This should make for a smooth transition to the new traceability rule since most horse owners moving their horses interstate for breeding, racing, showing, recreation, etc. should already be in compliance with the provisions in the new rule.

Identification of Horses – Horses that are required to be officially identified under the new rules may be identified by one of the following methods:
•A description sufficient to identify the individual horse including, but not limited to, name, age, breed, color, gender, distinctive markings, and unique and permanent forms of identification, such as brands, tattoos, scars, cowlicks, blemishes, or biometric measurements. In the event that the identity of the horse is in question at the receiving destination, the state animal health official in the state of destination or APHIS representative may determine if the description provided is sufficient; or
•Electronic identification (Animal Identification Number) that complies with ISO 11784/11785; or
•Non-ISO electronic identification injected into the horse on or before March 11, 2014; or
•Digital photographs sufficient to identify the individual horse; or
•A USDA backtag for horses being transported to slaughter as required by the Commercial Transport of Horses to Slaughter regulations.

Exclusions to the new requirements – Horses used as a mode of transportation for travel to another location that return directly to the original location; horses moved from a farm or stable for veterinary treatment that are returned to the same location without change in ownership; horses moved directly from a location in one state through another state to a second location in the original state; or horses moved between shipping and receiving states with another form of identification or documentations as agreed to by the shipping and receiving states or tribes involved in the movement.

The complete text of the new regulations can be found at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-01-09/pdf/2012-31114.pdf

Canada Introduces Import Restrictions

CFIA has announced the introduction of import restrictions on horses and equine semen originating from the USA as a result of the current US outbreak of Contagious Equine Metritis. Horses and other equidae (asses, mules and zebras) will not require an import permit, but will require additional declarations on the health papers certifying that they have not been on a premises where Taylorella equigenitalis has been isolated during the 60 days immediately preceding exportation to Canada or a premises currently under quarantine or investigation for CEM; and that any female(s) in the shipment have not been bred naturally to, or inseminated with, semen from a stallion positive for CEM, or a stallion resident upon a positive premises or under quarantine or investigation for CEM. Additionally, the animals must not show any signs of CEM on the day of inspection.

Semen has different restrictions based upon the date of collection. Semen collected prior to December 15th 2008 does not require an import permit, but will require a U.S. Health Certificate that declares the date of collection, the identity of the donor stallion and the identity of the collection premises. Semen collected after December 15th 2008 will require an import permit (obtained from CFIA), and a U.S. Health Certificate with the declaration that the donor stallion(s) have not been on a premises where Taylorella equigenitalis has been isolated during the 60 days immediately preceding collection of the semen for export to Canada or a premises currently under quarantine or investigation for CEM; and that the semen was processed using an extender that contains antibiotics effective against /Taylorella equigenitalis/ . Semen presented for importation into Canada must be in individual receptacles or straws, each marked with the collection date, identity of the donor and the semen collection premises.

Embryos will require an import permit (obtained from CFIA), and a U.S. Health Certificate with the declaration that the donor mare(s) have not been on a premises where Taylorella equigenitalis has been isolated during the 60 days immediately preceding the collection of the embryo(s) for export to Canada or a premises currently under quarantine or investigation for CEM and have not been bred naturally or inseminated with semen from a stallion positive for CEM, or a stallion resident upon a positive premises or under quarantine or investigation for CEM; and that the flushing medium that was used to collect the embryo(s) contains antibiotics effective against Taylorella equigenitalis. Embryos presented for importation into Canada must be in sterile straws or pipettes, each marked with the collection date, identity of the donor and the embryo collection premises.

Import Permit applications can be obtained from the CFIA web site at
http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/anima/ heasan/import/ permit_covere.shtml

A single import permit costs Cdn$35, multiple use Cdn$60. Border inspection for semen will cost Cdn$35; horses (single) Cdn$25. Inland inspection of semen will cost Cdn$32 for 1-49 units, Cdn$51 for 50-499 units, incrementally increasing for more units. Canadian horses that enter the US and will be returning will now be given an extra page by the endorsing CFIA Vet. to go with the Canadian Export Health certificate, that must be presented to an accredited vet in the USA for completion, and must be be endorsed by a USDA vet before returning to Canada. Canada Border Services Agency will be looking for this document before allowing re-entry.

Additionally, semen and embryos will be subject to inspection upon importation, and consequently there will be restrictions in some cases as to point of entry to Canada. The
restrictions placed on entry of horses is implemented immediately, while the restrictions on semen and embryos will be implemented approximately January 26th 2009.

As it is not unlikely that there will be some initial confusion with these new requirements, we recommend that Canadian importers and/or US exporters in the near future contact CFIA and/or USDA-Aphis for confirmation of requirements prior to attempting border crossing.

NCSL Supports The Horse Industry

The National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL), a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation’s 50 states, its commonwealths and territories, recently adopted a Horse Industry policy resolution co-sponsored by Rep. Sue Wallis (R-WY), and Rep. Dave Sigdestad (D-SD).

At its annual Fall Forum in Atlanta, GA, Dec. 11-13, 2008, NCSL adopted a policy urging Congress to:
• oppose legislation that would restrict the market, transport, processing or export of horses,
• recognize the need for humane horse processing facilities in the U.S.,
• and not interfere with state efforts to establish facilities in the U.S.

The passage of the policy provides the authority for NCSL staff in Washington D.C. to lobby on Capitol Hill as it effectively establishes the position of the States, the Associated Press reports.
Lean Trimmings newsletter

Hot Topics

I had the opportunity to hear some good discussions at the Idaho Horse Council convention and membership meeting earlier this month in Pocatello. The panel members in the photo handled the topic of “Unintended Consequences – How the Horse Slaughter Ban and Economics Effect Humane Treatment of Unwanted Equines.” As in most other parts of the country, the perspective depends on personal experience, business interests and which part of the sequence a person is most directly involved with.

You’ve probably read about the proposal by Madeleine Pickens, wife of T. Boone, the oil baron, to create a million-acre refuge for the wild horses already in captivity. Her plan came amid criticism of the BLM’s proposed plan to euthanize part of the collection to control numbers and costs. This points to future debates about the emotional and economic factors within the issue.

I think the panel participants are (left to right): Phillip Erickson, Animal Rescue; Mark Hyndman, investigator for the State Veterinarian’s Office; Dan McGregor, breeder and boarder; Max Palmer, shipper; and Terrell Hill, Idaho Brand Inspector.

Getting Involved in the 2008 Elections

Here are excerpts from the American Horse Council’s guide, which is available by request from AHC:

Why candidates care
Anyone running for federal office, whether they are running for re-election or as a new candidate, has an obvious interest in the concern of those who they will be asking to vote for them. Federal candidates want, and need, the support of their constituents and an election year is when they come to you asking for your vote and support. Without that, they cannot be elected. So 2008 is a real opportunity for the horse community to get involved and make itself, individually and collectively, important to candidates.

Why is the horse community important?
• 4.6 million Americans are involved in the horse industry;
• The constituency group is broad; there are horses in every state;
• 25% of horse owners have incomes over $100,000 annually;
• Riding, whether for showing or recreation, is a healthy activity and the industry can use national concerns about health and exercise to its advantage;
• The horse industry has an economic impact of $102 billion on the U.S. economy and supports 1.4 million full-time jobs;
• Horse owners pay $1.9 billion in taxes each year;
• The industry attracts investments of nearly $25 billion in capital equipment and structures and stimulates more than $4.1 billion in taxes and land purchases each year;
• Breeding, raising and training horses is an activity that promotes the use and preservation of public lands and parks. It is a green buffer to urban sprawl in many states. Green space is an issue in all parts of the country.

Be able to explain your issues
Specific issues that affect the horse industry are raised in each Congress as bills are introduced. But there are several areas of general concern that are of overriding importance to all segments of the horse community, which involves racing, showing and recreation and different breed and disciplines. These include:
Taxes
Welfare and Safety
Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Gaming Legislation
Access to Public Lands
Movement of Horses; Diseases

Know the candidates
Visit their websites; go to town hall meetings; consider endorsements by trusted officials, groups and organizations; watch the debates; read a wide array of news sources for a variety of viewpoints.

Start a relationship
Invite a candidate to your home, farm or business;
Invite a candidate to your organization’s meeting, show or event;
Include a candidate and their family on a trail ride;
Organize a “meet and greet” for candidates;
Take advantage of campaign events in your area to have a face-to-face conversation;
Write letters to let them know what issues are important to you.
Ask candidates to complete a questionnaire about issues important to the horse community;
Invite a candidate to write something for your organization’s newsletter or publication.

Fundraise
Volunteer
Register to Vote
Vote!
Follow-up after the election
Know the rules
While there are few restrictions on activities that individuals may engage in with respect to candidates running for federal office, there are limitations on what associations and corporations may do under the IRS Code and Federal Election Commission Act.

Congressional Cavalry Program

In an effort to better represent and serve the horse industry in Washington, DC, the American Horse Council and the Appaloosa Horse Club have organized a new grassroots effort entitled, “The Congressional Cavalry program.” ApHC members can participate and help to make a difference in federal legislation and regulations that affect the horse industry.

A new Congress will begin in January of 2009. If you care about the national issues that impact you and the horse community, now is the time to get involved.

All ApHC members, including owners, breeders, veterinarians, trainers, competitors, recreational riders, service providers, and others who wish to be involved in grassroots efforts in Washington are encouraged to join the Congressional Cavalry program. The purpose of the program is to enlist individuals from all segments of the horse industry and in every Congressional district who will agree to contact their Representative/Senator or federal official when asked.

Cavalry members will be mobilized when there is a need for grassroots contacts, such as letters and phone calls. Members of the program will be put on an email or fax list so they can be contacted and activated quickly. The AHC will provide participants with whatever information is necessary. Participants will be free to do as much as they feel comfortable doing.

If you want to sign up or have any additional questions about the Congressional Cavalry program, please contact the American Horse Council at 2.2-296-4031 or ahc@horsecouncil.org.

AHC Publishes Horse Industry Guide to Getting Involved in the 2008 Elections

new-picture-3.jpgThe American Horse Council has released “Getting Involved in the 2008 Elections,” a federal election guide for the horse industry. The guide stemmed from the program at the AHC’s National Issues Forum in Washington explaining how the horse industry could take advantage of the 2008 federal elections to get more involved with their elected representatives.

The 2008 elections are a great opportunity for horse associations, businesses and individuals to step up and be heard by the candidates, incumbents and those running for the first time. Candidates for office want to hear from voters, they want your help and most of all they want your votes. 2008 is an opportunity to educate them about the issues important to the horse community and show them our votes are important. The AHC 2008 election guide explains how to do this.

The AHC encourages member organizations to distribute information for obtaining the guide to their state and local affiliates to help ensure the voice of the horse industry is heard this election.

The guide discusses why the horse industry should get involved in the upcoming elections and ways individuals and organizations can go about doing so. It includes sections on why candidates care about the horse community, being able to communicate issues of importance to the horse industry, getting to know the candidates, volunteering and fundraising, as well as knowing the laws governing political activities.

The AHC hopes this guide will be an important resource for all members of the horse community who wish to play a greater role in the democratic process.

Copies of “Getting Involved in the 2008 Elections” can be obtained by contacting the AHC at (202) 296-4031 or by email at ahc@horsecouncil.org.

Almost 40% Support Ban On Horse Racing

In the wake of Eight Belles’ euthanasia following injuries in the recent Kentucky Derby, a Gallup poll (www.gallup.com/poll/107293/PostDerby-Tragedy-38-Support-Banning-Animal-Racing.aspx) reveals that almost four in 10 Americans (38%) say they would favor banning sports that involve competition between animals.

Women were slightly more in favor of banning racing than men, and those 18 to 29 favored a ban slightly more than older age groups. There was little difference in these attitudes by church attendance or by political party. Results were based on telephone interviews, with 1,017 national adults 18 and up, conducted May 8-11.

In addition to the question about banning horse and dog racing, Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs survey updated a broader question about the treatment of animals, last asked in 2003. A quarter of Americans said animals deserve the same rights as humans, while almost all of the rest agreed animals should be given some protection from harm and exploitation.

Gallup reported that the aforementioned attitude toward the treatment of animals is virtually the same as it was five years ago.
— Bloodhorse.com

National Issues Fall Forum Tackles Major Industry Concerns

The American Horse Council’s (AHC) recent National Issues Fall Forum was a resounding success. Over 100 industry professionals and horse enthusiasts from every sector of the equine world gathered at Keeneland Racetrack on November 2nd for important updates on some of the horse world’s hottest topics and primary concerns. Complete details, including several presentation downloads, are now available on the AHC’s web site: www.horsecouncil.org

The fall forum topics covered included:
Preserving Our Land and Use–Conservation Easements, by attorney Margaret M. Graves, a board member of Bluegrass Conservancy, and attorney Shannon Bishop Arvin, of Stoll Keenon Ogden, PLLC. Attendees were given an overview of how land is protected, and the various prices, fees, taxes, and concerns that are involved. Various easement and conservation programs were highlighted, with special consideration given to programs initiated by the state of Kentucky. Graves stressed that most conservation programs are geared toward, “ … staying true to the heritage of growing in a compact, contiguous way.” Graves also stressed that the states and Federal government are beginning to notice the monetary impact of farm conservation, “Farmland contributes more to government coiffeurs,” she said.

Own Responsibly–Spread the Word, Latest from the Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC) with Katy Carter of the UHC, Kristin Hix of The Jockey Club, and Sally Baker of the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Katy Carter stated that no one currently knows how many horses go unwanted each year in the United States. Carter indicated that the UHC’s primary goal is to educate owners to “own responsibly.” In order to “spread the word about unwanted horses” the UHC has created a number of new public education tools, pamphlets and materials. Everyone is encouraged to visit the UHC’s web site for details and downloads: www.unwantedhorsecoalition.org. New to the Web site is a listing of facilities that can take unwanted horses. The group has also created advertisements to promote responsible horse ownership. These publications can be used in reprint. The UHC presentation is available on the AHC’s web site: www.horsecouncil.org

Federal Legislation and Regulations Affecting the Industry by AHC President Jay Hickey. In his discussion of several changes to federal laws and regulations, Mr. Hickey focused on efforts that are currently being made to offer the Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits and Security Act of 2007, better known as AgJOBS, as an amendment to the Farm Bill or any other legislation to be considered by the Senate. AgJOBS (S.340) is a comprehensive solution to many of the horse industry’s immigration problems with respect to H-2A workers at horse breeding farms and ranches. Mr. Hickey also discussed the provisions in the Senate farm bill that would make horses eligible for federal emergency assistance; the “Preserving our Equine Heritage on Public Land Act,” legislation just introduced by Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) that would require federal land managers to consider the historic and traditional use of horses on public lands in any exclusionary effort; and the Equine Equity Act, which includes several favorable tax changes for horses.

Keeping the IRS at Bay–Federal Tax Laws for Horse Owners, by attorney Doug Romaine of Stoll Keenon Ogden, PLLC. Mr. Romaine focused on the differences between so-called “hobby” equine activities versus “business” activities in relation to the various ways in which the Internal Revenue Service distinguishes between the two. By focusing on a strong business model and, “carrying out your horse activities in a business-like manner” those involved in the horse industry can be better prepared should the IRS audit their activities. Among the best advice given, Mr. Romaine also suggested that horse owners and breeders keep separate books and ledgers for their horse business, perhaps even, “by horse” in order to distinguish profits (or losses) on a horse-by-horse basis.

The Ins and Outs of Movement–Import/Export Issues for Horse Owners, by Andrea Morgan, DVM, Associate Deputy Administrator for Regional Operations, USDA. Dr. Morgan’s entire presentation is available on the AHC’s web site (www.horsecouncil.org). Dr. Morgan explained the import-export laws for horses in and out of the United States. She further touched upon the recent discussions regarding public versus private quarantine facilities, a major issue that has surfaced in relation to the upcoming World Equestrian Games to be held in Kentucky in 2010. Dr. Morgan stressed that, as an industry, “ … we have the shared responsibility of getting horses in and out of this country in a dedicated and responsible way.”

The Sleeping Giant–Update on Equine Piroplasmosis (EP), by Kent Fowler, DVM, Chief Animal Health Branch, California Department of Food and Agriculture. Currently, EP is classified as a “foreign-animal disease.” Dr. Fowler’s presentation highlighted all the essential safeguards that the equine industry can take to make sure that EP remains foreign and isolated. Dr. Fowler explained how EP is transmitted by ticks and has been shown to have a twenty-percent fatality rate among equines. Fowler reviewed the various red-blood cell affecting symptoms associated with the disease, which he warned, “often go undiagnosed.” Fowler also remarked on the various measures the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and others are taking to make sure EP does not become endemic to the United States.

Do You Have A Match?–Immigration Issues Facing the Horse Industry, by attorney Charles R. Baesler Jr. of Stoll Keenon Ogden, PLLC. As a compliment to some of the broader immigration issues discussed earlier in the day by the AHC, Mr. Baesler went into a more in-depth analysis of H-2A and H-2B alien workers, as the current rules apply to the horse industry. Baesler noted that getting such workers admitted is quite often, “complicated and time-consuming.” He explained the so-called “no-match” letters in relation to the government’s pursuit of workers with questionable or falsified documentation. Baesler emphasized the importance of clarity and consistency when dealing with alien workers and federal agencies.

This is only the second time the AHC has held a major National Issues Forum outside of Washington, DC. In summarizing the event, AHC President Jay Hickey said, “This event was a good review of some of the issues currently affecting the American horse industry. This fall forum is the perfect opportunity for the horse world to be well-prepared for the year ahead.” The AHC will hold its annual DC-based National Issues Forum in June of 2008. Details regarding this event will be available online in early January 2008.

The AHC’s National Issues Fall Forum was sponsored by event host Keeneland Association; The Kentucky Thoroughbred Association and Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders; Equestrian Services, LLC; Spring Mountain Vineyard’s “Chateau Chevalier” wine-label, and Blood-Horse Publications.

Preserving Our Equine Heritage on Public Lands Act Introduced in Senate

creekFrom the American Horse Council

WASHINGTON, DC November 7, 2007 –Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) introduced the Preserving our Equine Heritage on Public Lands Act (S. 2238) on November 1st. This bill is similar to the so-called “Right-to-Ride” bill that was introduced in the last Congress by Senator Crapo.

“Senator Crapo has been a champion of preserving riders’ access to public lands,” said American Horse Council (AHC) President Jay Hickey. “He has retooled the bill he introduced in the last Congress and we appreciate his steadfastness in introducing the legislation again. Equestrians are going to have to let Congress know that they are concerned about access to trails and public lands and that they support this bill if we hope to get it passed.”

The bill directs the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture to manage the federal lands under their jurisdiction “in a manner that preserves and facilitates the continued use and access of pack and saddle stock animals” on lands on which “there is a historical tradition” of use. The bill provides that such lands “shall remain open and accessible to the use of pack and saddle stock animals” where there is such a tradition. The bill applies to the management of the National Park System, BLM lands, National Wildlife Refuge System land, and National Forest System land.

The bill does not limit the federal agencies’ ultimate authority to restrict such use, provided the agencies perform the review required under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. The bill would also impose additional specific and designated procedures to be followed by agencies before any land closures. These procedures include advance notice of any proposed reduction in use to allow public comment, convening a public meeting near the area involved, and collaboration with various users during the process.

Those who enjoy riding on public lands have been concerned about the reduction of trails and public lands available to horses and pack stock. This bill recognizes the importance of saddle and pack stock in the settling, exploration and recreation of our country by ensuring that the horse’s historic and traditional use is recognized as our public lands are managed by the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Forest Service.

Hickey further stated, “The AHC thanks Senator Crapo for introducing this important bill. Horses are an immensely important part of American culture, history and heritage. This bill recognizes the strength of the horse industry and helps to preserve time-honored American traditions and values.”

For more information about the American Horse Council, please visit: www.horsecouncil.org or call 202-296-4031.

Categories: Legislation /Regulatory

Language in USDA Appropriations Bill

From: American Horse Council
Date: July 25, 2007
Timely Response is Needed

The House of Representative is scheduled to vote on the 2008 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration Appropriations bill (H.R. 3161), which would fund the U.S. Department of Agriculture for Fiscal Year 2008, early next week.

Section 738 of that bill would be devastating because it would cut-off funding for USDA activities important to the horse industry. It would eliminate funding necessary for USDA to operate quarantine facilities and to pay personnel to approve and facilitate the import and export of horses for exhibition, competition, sale or breeding. The bill would not only cut off direct funding to USDA, but also eliminate USDA’s authority to impose user fees, which support the operation of the three major USDA Animal Import Centers and the land border ports along the Canadian and Mexican borders.

We are asking AHC member organizations to contact Members of Congress from their state asking that this provision be removed.

NOTE: Although the language is an apparent attempt by proponents of legislation to end the slaughter of horses for human consumption by taking the USDA out of the process, as was done last year, the language in Section 738 would have a far broader impact and would affect the movement of all horses.

While an individual’s or organization’s position on limiting USDA’s authority to inspect horses for slaughter may be based on their position on the federal bill banning slaughter, the industry should be opposed to this overly-broad limit on USDA’s authority and economic ability to protect animal health through inspection, quarantine and oversight of the movement of all horses.

For more information, visit www.horsecouncil.org.

*According to tax status of ApHC, we are not in the business of lobbying, but individual members are free to express themselves and to communicate directly with their representatives.