SURVEY TO IDENTIFY IMPLICATIONS OF TRADE & TARIFFS ON EQUINE BUSINESS SECTOR
TRAIL TO ZERO – HORSEBACK RIDE TO BRING AWARENESS TO VETERAN SUICIDE
3RD QTR. 2019 WEBINAR-FEATURING THE AHC MARKETING ALLIANCE
HOUSE LAWMAKERS RE-INTRODUCE BI-PARTISAN PAST ACT, TELL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TO JOIN THE GROWING LIST OF CO-SPONSORS!
House Lawmakers Re-Introduce Bi-Partisan PAST Act, Tell Your Representative to Join the Growing List of Co-Sponsors!
To kick off 2019, Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Ted Yoho (R-FL), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Ron Estes (R-KS), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Chris Collins (R-NY) have led a bipartisan charge to re-introduce the “Sen. Joseph Tydings Memorial Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act” (H.R. 693). While the legislation includes provisions identical to last year’s bill, lawmakers have amended the title by honoring the late Sen. Joseph Tydings of Maryland. Sen. Tydings was a renowned horseman who served in one of the army’s horse platoons as an enlisted soldier and introduced the Horse Protection Act while serving in Congress during the 1970s.
The “Joseph Tydings Memorial PAST Act” will strengthen the Horse Protection Act and finally end the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses, Spotted Saddle Horses, and Racking Horses. New procedures in the House of Representatives which favor bringing widely-supported bills to the floor for a vote increase the chances for passage in the House this year. The American Horse Council, along with most major national horse show organizations and state and local organizations, supports the PAST Act. To copy, paste, and send a letter to your representative urging him or her to sign on as a co-sponsor, please click on the following link: https://app.muster.com/take-action/bcudTde2tH/. For more information related to H.R. 693 and how to move it forward, please contact AHC’s Bryan Brendle at 202-296-4031.
CONGRESS CLARIFIES THAT HORSES ARE NOT “PETS,” ADVANCES LANDMARK LIVESTOCK HEALTH MEASURES
Congress Clarifies That Horses are Not “Pets,” Advances Landmark Livestock Health Measures
As the countdown to close the 115th Congress heads to the final stretch, on Wednesday, December 12, Congress passed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (H.R. 2), sending the legislation to the president, who is expected to sign the bill into law this week. Horse industry highlights include a revised statutory definition that excludes equines from a blanket definition of “pets” and funding for key livestock and international market development programs through Fiscal Year (FY) 2023. In the wake of extensive horse industry outreach, lawmakers struck language in the senate version that defined horses as “pets” within the context of a “Pet and Women Safety” (PAWS) measure. Industry requested that lawmakers delete “horses” from the proposed statutory definition of “pets,” but retain “horses” as a stand-alone category. In response to industry messages communicated to congressional leaders during the past six months, the final conference report states that the bill “clarifies the definition of pet to include certain companion animals, while also providing protections for other animals such as horses, service animals, and emotional support animals.” The revised definition helps preserve the long-standing classification of horses as “livestock,” while allowing equines to fall within the scope of property damage subject to compensation within the parameters of the PAWS Act.
A preliminary review of the legislation shows that lawmakers are moving in the right direction with respect to funding important animal health programs. Unlike earlier versions of the bill, the legislation mandates rather than authorizes minimum appropriations totaling $150 million to fund the National Animal Vaccine Bank (NAVVCB), the National Animal Disaster Preparedness and Response Program (NADPRP) and National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN), among other programs, for FY 2019 to 2023. Of the $150 million of mandated funding, the bill stipulates that Congress will appropriate $112 million “to be allocated among the NAHLN, the NADPRP and the NAVVCB.” With respect to the NAHLN, a major priority for the horse industry, the legislation further authorizes up to $30 million per year over the five-year span of the farm bill, matching industry’s authorization request. Additionally, the legislation provides “$255 million in annual mandatory funding” for Foreign Market Development, the Market Access Program, and other programs that support the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). To view a copy of the conference report to H.R. 2, please click here: https://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20181210/CRPT-115hrpt1072.pdf. For more information related to legislative activity, please contact AHC’s Bryan Brendle at 202-296-4031.
HORSE INDUSTRY DIRECTORY PRESS RELEASE
In 2019 the American Horse Council (AHC) will be celebrating 50 years of service to the Equine Industry. As part of our celebration we plan to publish the most in-depth, robust Horse Industry Directory (HID) ever! The HID is the most inclusive directory of all facets of the equine industry – literally a “Who’s Who” featuring thousands of listings and resources including breed associations and discipline organizations, federal contacts, state horse councils, general state agricultural contacts, commercial vendors, service providers, as well as equine rescues, publications and veterinary schools. The service providers section alone is the “go to” guide for horse owners which includes attorneys, accountants, farriers, feed companies, shippers, trainers, farms and much more.
HID also includes handy facts and figures about the industry including breed registration numbers and trends, a guide to interstate health requirements, industry meetings and conference dates/locations and a synopsis of important legislative and regulatory happenings.
Provided to all AHC members at no charge and sold to over 500 industry participants, the HID is widely circulated and relied upon by the industry! If you want your organization, company or products to be seen by the equine industry – this is the place to be!
AHC members receive a free three inch by three inch listing. Equine welfare and rescues organizations receive a free one inch by three inch listing. Non-Members may purchase a three inch by three inch listing for $25 or receive a free one line listing (name, contact, address, and phone). The directory also contains premium advertising space, so contact Emily Brockway at the e-mail below to get a rate card and details about placements.
Our goal is to put every industry contact you need at your fingertips! If you would like to be included in our directory, please send your information to email@example.com with the subject “HID Info” by January 18, 2019.
Look for the 2019 Horse Industry Directory coming in March 2019!
TELL CONGRESS TO PASS POPULAR, BIPARTISAN TRAILS BILLS!
Tell Congress to Pass Popular, Bipartisan Trails Bills!
As Congress returns for a final, “lame duck” session following the November 6 election, lawmakers have an opportunity to pass widely-supported, bipartisan legislation that promotes access to public lands for equine enthusiasts. The horse industry seeks to push two major trails bills across the finish line:
Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act (H.R. 6510/S. 3172) – The House Natural Resources Committee voted unanimously to pass H.R. 6510, the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act, underscoring the bi-partisan support behind the bill. The House bill currently has 209 cosponsors. On the other side of the Capitol, Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Mark Warner (D-VA) have joined 33 senate colleagues to give momentum to the Restore Our Parks Act of 2018 (S. 3172). The Restore Our Parks Act (H.R. 6510/ S. 3172) will fund National Park Service trails maintenance projects by diverting energy development revenues to a new public lands restoration account.
Recreation Not Red Tape (RNR) Act – Since House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) introduced the RNR Act (H.R. 3400) in 2017, the chairman conducted a full committee hearing, resulting in passage of the legislation in April 2018. House leadership has the discretion to schedule a vote on H.R. 3400 before the end of the year. The legislation currently has 12 bipartisan co-sponsors. On the Senate side, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced a companion bill, S. 1633, which has won bipartisan co-sponsorships from Sens. Donnelly (D-IN), Ernst (R-IA), Tester (D-MT) and King (I-ME). Although leadership has referred the bill to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, no hearings have been scheduled.
While the Restore Our Parks legislation has quickly gained significant support from lawmakers, the RNR Act has not gained as much traction. To put more horsepower into the bill, urge your lawmakers to co-sponsor the RNR Act. Please contact your lawmakers today, and urge them to pass these important bills before the end of the year.
EQUINE WELFARE DATA COLLECTIVE OFFICIALS STARTS DATA COLLECTION
Equine Welfare Data Collective officials starts data collection
The Equine Welfare Data Collective (EWDC) is pleased to officially announce the start of data collection within the equine welfare industry.
The EWDC is collecting national data on equine welfare from transition centers, adoption centers, rescues, sanctuaries, shelters, and other organizations involved in equine welfare. We will measure progress and identify risks and opportunities within the industry, so organizations like yours can develop impactful and sustainable programs.
The success of the EWDC depends on a robust contribution of data from all organizations within the industry. The first round of data collection will focus on the population of intakes and outcomes within the United States. Online surveys will be distributed to EWDC affiliate organizations beginning immediately.
How does your organization become an affiliate? Affiliates must commit to responding to surveys on a quarterly basis. Participation in the EWDC is free, and all results will remain anonymous. Organizations that contribute data will be the first to receive the results and will be given an EWDC badge for their website to publicly demonstrate their commitment to our mission.
Granting organizations such as the Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC), The Right Horse Initiative (TRH), American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation (AAEPF), and American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) will be looking for your contribution to the EWDC as part of their funding considerations.
Your data contribution will provide more accurate study results to help you understand and communicate the scope of the issues you are tackling, better serve your community, and become a benchmark among industry leaders.
To become an affiliate or for more information, please contact Emily Stearns, EWDC program manager, at EWDC@HorseCouncil.Org.
AHC ANNOUNCES TOPIC FOR 4TH QUARTER WEBINAR!
AHC Announces Topic for 4th Quarter Webinar
Webinar to focus on State Equine Liability Law
The American Horse Council (AHC) will conduct its fourth quarter webinar for 2018 examining the legal landscape that characterizes diverse state equine liability laws. The hour-long session will feature two nationally recognized practitioners of equine law, Julie Fershtman, Esq. and Milton Toby, Esq. The webinar will take place on Wednesday, November 14, at 3:00 pm ET.
According to the 2017 economic impact study analyzing the horse industry, more than 30% of U.S. households include equine enthusiasts among their ranks. Nearly two-thirds of this group – or more than 17% of U.S. households – includes individuals who are active participants in equine activities making them subject to liability waivers. The waivers can take the form of written contracts and/or signage placed on an equine property and may limit the rights and responsibilities of riders and property owners engaged in equine activities. Because equine liability law is a state matter, the $122 billion U.S. horse industry is subject to a patchwork of disparate laws and regulations that vary across jurisdictions. Ms. Fershtman and Mr. Toby will help us navigate the legal maze, identifying common threads that cross state lines, and analyze nation-wide legal trends impacting the equine sector.
Julie Fersthman is a shareholder in the Michigan-based law firm of Foster Swift. Her law practice covers all equine breeds and disciplines and serves stables, industry professionals, associations, trainers, and show management. Highly experienced in handling a variety of disputes involving the equine sector, Ms. Fershtman has served as special out-of-state counsel on equine-related lawsuits in 18 jurisdictions across the country.
Milton Toby is an attorney and award-winning author based in central Kentucky. For the last decade, he has taught courses in equine commercial law, regulatory law, and federal income tax for the equine industry program in the University of Louisville’s College of Business. A noted thoroughbred racing historian, Mr. Toby has written about high profile racing disqualification controversies and horse theft.
The webinar is open to both AHC members and non-members—we encourage everyone to attend! The webinar lasts approximately one hour, and will allow for Q&A at the end of each speaker’s presentation. To register for the webinar, please contact Dennis Martinez at DMartinez@horsecouncil.org. We look forward to having you join us on November 14.
AHC RELEASES EQUINE MICROCHIP “LOOK-UP” WEBSITE!
AHC Releases Equine Microchip “Look-up” Website
Washington DC – The American Horse Council is excited to announce the release of their new equine microchip lookup tool at www.Horselookup.org. This tool will allow the general public; most importantly horse owners, law enforcement and animal health officials, to search for association affiliation for horses that have been microchipped and registered with a participating organization. The American Horse Council is continuing to solicit participation from every U.S. organization that houses microchip information in an effort to make this tool as thorough as possible.
Microchip lookup services have existed for several animal species for years. Unfortunately, those lookup tools have certain limitations that prevented the entirety of the horse industry from being represented. Horselookup.org addresses those issues while also providing a central informational source for the equine industry concerning microchipping, as well as the promotion of microchipping as a form of permanent identification.
Horselookup.org also promotes the industry’s various Safety Net Programs. Safety Net Programs offer individuals the opportunity to attach their name to a horse’s registration for the purposes of providing an option for that horse should it ever be in need of a home. Safety Net Programs vary by organization and are managed by those participating organizations. If a horse is enrolled in a Safety Net Program, a special logo will appear with that animal’s search results specifying which program and the contact information for that organization.
The creation of Horselookup.org was possible thanks to a generous grant from the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). “The creation of the Equine Microchip Look-up Tool is a vital step to reaching the ASPCA’s goal of ensuring all equines have good welfare,” said Dr. Emily Weiss, vice president of ASPCA Equine Welfare. “The tool will not only help reunite horses with their owners during natural disasters, but it will also help to facilitate the growth of safety net programs where individuals who have owned, cared for or admired a horse can sign up to help that horse should he ever become at risk.”
We are very grateful to the early adopters of this new AHC led industry initiative; The Jockey Club and their Thoroughbred Connect Program, US Equestrian (USEF), Datamars, Inc. and their PetLink.net registry, Microchip ID Systems, Inc. and their Equine Protection registry as well as their LifeTrac Safety Net Program. The complete list of supporting organizations can be found here.