Southern States Equine Feed Recall

Cargill has initiated a  voluntary recall of select Southern States® feed due to aflatoxin levels that exceed FDA’s standards. The affected products, which were manufactured in North Carolina and sold throughout the eastern United States, were removed from retail shelves throughout February, March, and April 2019. Aflatoxin is a byproduct of a mold, and exposed horses are at risk of several health hazards and even death. Aflatoxicosis affects the liver and horses suffering from aflatoxicosis show signs of cough, depression, fever, tremor, ataxia and lack of appetite.

The recall effects “Southern States Triple 10 (CN)”, 50 lb. feed bags with Lot Code “N9043” and Product Code”554270”. The feed was made in February and has a 60 day shelf life. The affected products were recalled from retail outlets and distributors, but consumers who have any of the affected product in their possession should return it to their local dealer or retailer for a replacement or full refund. For more information, call 800-822-1012 (Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time).

https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/cargill-conducts-voluntary-recall-select-southern-statesr-feed-due-highexcessiveor-elevated

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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.

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American Horse Council Launches Newly Designed Website

Washington DC, August 28, 2018– The American Horse Council is proud to launch our newly redesigned website, www.horsecouncil.org starting Monday, August 27, 2018. We have redesigned it with horse enthusiasts in mind, streamlining menus, simplifying navigation, building a responsive layout for all platforms and providing more resources and information on our services and products.   In addition, the new site reflects who we are and boasts a clean, fresh look with some dynamic photos expressing the beauty and passion of all segments of the equine industry.

We encourage everyone to visit and explore the site, discovering the full spectrum of resources available including legislative and regulatory issues, health and welfare, and a number of industry initiatives underway.  We feature white papers, guides, templates and webinar content to help you make informed decisions on issues affecting the industry.

Visitors can visit, browse, and read excerpts from member focused content – with the option to easily join and gain access to exclusive news and updates. Members, if you have trouble logging in, you can easily reset your password online or feel free to reach out to us for help. To stay connected on social media, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

We’re really proud of the new website and feel it will create the experience you’re looking for when you visit.  A few pages are still in progress, but visit the site frequently as more content about our activities will become available.

If you have any questions or feedback you would like to share with our team, please do so by filling out the form on our Contact us page.

We look forward to staying connected.

 

About the American Horse Council
As the national association representing all segments of the horse industry in Washington, D.C., the American Horse Council works daily to represent equine interests and opportunities. Organized in 1969, the AHC promotes and protects the industry by communicating with Congress, federal agencies, the media and the industry on behalf of all horse related interests each and every day.

 

The AHC is member supported by individuals and organizations representing virtually every facet of the horse world from owners, breeders, veterinarians, farriers, breed registries and horsemen’s associations to horse shows, race tracks, rodeos, commercial suppliers and state horse councils.

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House Appropriators Score Win for Horse Industry, Advance H-2B Visa Cap Relief!

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July 26, 2018

House Appropriators Score Win for Horse Industry, Advance H-2B Visa Cap Relief!

On July 25, the House Appropriations Committee convened a mark-up for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  By voice vote, the committee approved an amendment that exempts returning workers from the 66,000 statutory cap imposed on the H-2B guest worker visa program, providing much needed H-2B visa cap relief advocated by the horse industry and its allies.  The amendment, offered by Congressional Horse Caucus Members Rep. Andy Harris, MD (R-MD) and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), among others, applies to workers who have received guest worker visas during the previous two years.  Additionally, the provision also establishes a visa allocation system that disburses work permits on a quarterly basis.  Lawmakers believe that the quarterly system will create more flexibility for employers whose labor demands do not align with the semi-annual allocation system, whereby DHS awards permits on April 1 and October 1.  The horse industry and its allies in the H-2B Coalition fight for a variety of flexibility measures, including a straight-forward increase in the visa cap, or generous exemptions from the statutory cap, such as those for returning workers.

Pointing to another flexibility measure, Rep. Harris (R-MD) released a statement explaining the importance of a provision that allocates visas on a “proportional” rather than a “winner take all” basis.  Under this provision, DHS would award a portion of all timely, requested visas to all applicants, even in the event that “the higher limits authorized by [the] amendment are not enough to satisfy all the needs in a given year.”  To view a copy of Rep. Harris’s statement, please click here:  https://harris.house.gov/media/press-releases/house-appropriations-committee-approves-harris-language-repairing-h-2b-visa.

While the House spending bill advances the goal of effectively raising the H-2B visa cap, the Senate version of the bill doesn’t address the H-2B visa issue, setting up an item to be negotiated during a House and Senate conference.  Although lawmakers intend to finalize their spending measures before the current FY ends on September 30, this is a deadline that Congress rarely meets.   As in years past, Congress may pass a series of “continuing resolutions” to fund the federal government.  AHC will keep you posted on developments related to the H-2B measure as the FY2019 appropriations process moves forward.  To view a copy of the three-page amendment, please click here:  http://www.horsecouncil.org/wpcontent/uploads/2018/07/HARRMD_037_xml-offered-2-1.pdf.

If you’d like more information related to the guest worker issue, including ongoing grassroots outreach from the horse industry, please contact Bryan Brendle at bbrendle@horsecouncil.org or 202-296-4031.

View Article on AHC Website
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Farm Bill, Take 2! House Lawmakers Pass Ag Legislation, Boost Animal Health Programs

In the wake of a failed vote on the 2018 farm bill on May 18 – largely precipitated by controversy surrounding unrelated immigration policy issues – on June 21, House lawmakers revisited the legislation and finally passed the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2) by a vote of 213 to 211.  Since Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that he plans to pass companion legislation in the upper chamber before July 4, Congress appears to be poised to finalize a bill prior to expiration of Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs on September 30.  During meetings on Capitol Hill the week of June 11, multiple senate offices echoed a commitment to the deadline, reminding members of the horse industry that the chamber is prepared to work into the August recess to complete its legislative business prior to the mid-term elections in the fall.

Fortunately for the horse industry, the $868 billion, five-year package includes provisions addressing some of AHC’s top priorities:  authorization of a new National Animal Disaster Preparedness and Response (NADPR) program; additional support for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network; and creation of the National Animal Health Vaccine Bank that will prioritize risks posed by Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), among other threats.

A preliminary review of the bill shows that although lawmakers generally met industry’s full funding request – totaling $250 million for the priority issues outlined above – for FY2019 only, the bill reduces those funds during subsequent fiscal years.  For example, the horse industry and its partners requested $70 million each year to fund the NADPR, but received $30 million for 2020 and beyond.  Fortunately for the horse industry, the final bill authorizes $150 million for a “priority FMD vaccine bank,” opening the door for funding vaccines that will mitigate other diseases.

AHC will continue to advocate for industry priorities as the legislation moves forward.  To view a copy of the legislation, please click here: https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/hr2/BILLS-115hr2rh.pdf.

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Supreme Court Opens State Sports Betting Flood Gates, Sen. Hatch Offers Federal Framework

May 14, 2018

Today the Supreme Court released its opinion in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, rejecting the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), a federal statute which effectively banned sports gambling in most state jurisdictions.  In a six to three opinion, the high court reversed a 2016 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which upheld the federal law.  Importantly, the court affirmed Congress’s authority to regulate sports betting directly.  However, the court struck PASPA on the grounds that the statute infringed on a state’s ability to “authorize” gambling within its jurisdiction, thereby violating the constitutional principle of “dual sovereignty.”  The court states that in the event Congress doesn’t place direct regulations on gambling, then states are free to enact betting laws as they see fit.

While today’s decision gives the green light for individual states to move forward with sports gambling schemes, Congress was quick to offer a legislative fix to address the role of the federal government in sports gambling activity.  Not long after the release of the Supreme Court decision, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) announced that he plans to introduce legislation that he states will remedy a “patchwork” of state laws that won’t adequately protect the “integrity of sports.”  As an original sponsor of PASPA when it was enacted in 1992, Sen. Hatch states that his legislation will “protect consumers, safeguard against underage and problem gambling, and help states who choose not to permit sports betting within their borders.”

“Until today, pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing has been the only legal form of sports wagering available throughout most of the United States at both physical locations and online. Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled PASPA unconstitutional, states are free to regulate sports betting as they see fit. Horse racing must rise to the challenges and seize the opportunities presented by this expansion of sports betting,” stated Alex Waldrop, Chairman of AHC’s Racing Committee and President of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

AHC will provide a more detailed analysis of the Supreme Court decision and legislative responses during the days ahead.  To view a copy of the Supreme Court decision, please click here:  https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/16-476_dbfi.pdf.  To view a copy of Sen. Hatch’s (R-UT) announcement for a federal framework for sports gambling, please click here: https://www.hatch.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/releases?ID=02C2FD7A-6D68-40B9-8002-BA458CF4DD4F

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AHC Announces Safe Sport Code of Practice

April 24, 2018

The American Horse Council (AHC) is pleased to announce the adoption of a Safe Sport Code of Practice.

“The reputation and integrity of equestrian sports and all equine related programs and activities is maintained when all person’s act, and are seen to act, in a way which is of the highest ethical standards,” said AHC President Julie Broadway. “The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have further brought to light the importance of maintaining a safe environment for all, and the equine industry is no exception to this.”

This Code of Practice, unanimously endorse by the AHC Board of Trustees reads:

To behave ethically necessitates an awareness of power differentials among all persons involved. This statement is intended to inform ethical judgments as persons consider asymmetric power relations among themselves and others they work with in professional roles. We recognize that this statement’s strength and requisite influence depend on its circulation, discussion, reflection, and use by the equine industry. It is the industry’s expectation that all equine organizations recognize “Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017” and US Center for Safe Sport, and adopt programs to support these initiatives.

The American Horse Council and its members are:

  • Committed to contributing to an environment, which makes participation a positive and rewarding experience.
  • Committed to creating and maintaining a community where all persons who participate in equine related programs and activities can work, learn and compete in an atmosphere free of all forms of emotional, physical and sexual harassment and misconduct.
  • Committed to protecting the rights, safety, dignity, and well-being of the persons involved in all aspects of our industry, thus condemning all forms of harassment regardless of whether it is based on age, ethnicity, race, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, religion or marital status.
  • Committed to providing just treatment in cases of disputes and that there are proper and accessible mechanisms that are available in a timely manner to resolve disputed issues through due process.

A PDF of the Code can also be found on the AHC’s website here: http://www.horsecouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Safe-Sport-Code-of-Practice.pdf

A tentative presentation by the U.S. Center for Safe Sport and a roundtable discussion will be held at the AHC’s National Issues Forum on Tuesday, June 12th in Washington, DC to identify best practices and tools to support this practice. Information about the National Issues Forum can be found on the AHC’s website here: http://www.horsecouncil.org/events/ahc-annual-meeting-national-issues-forum-2/.

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AHCF Economic Impact Study results to be announced at Reception with Congressional Horse Caucus

(Washington, DC)- The American Horse Council Foundation (AHCF) is pleased to announce that the results of its 2017 Economic Impact Study will be announced on February 28th at a reception with the Congressional Horse Caucus on Capitol Hill.

“We know that the industry has been eagerly awaiting the results of this study,” said AHC President Julie Broadway. “We are pleased to be able to hold this event with the Congressional Horse Caucus to continue to demonstrate to members of Congress how important our industry is to the United States economy.”

The reception will be held at Top of the Hill, One Constitution Avenue, NE, in Washington, DC, from 2:30 – 4:00 pm, and will feature two special guests: Congressional Horse Caucus Co-Chairs Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) and Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY). Members of the equine community are encouraged to attend the reception as well.

“I look forward to attending the announcement of the American Horse Council’s 2017 Economic Impact Study.  As the Representative of the Horse Capital of the World and as Co-Chairman of the Congressional Horse Caucus, I hope that this event will help demonstrate the economic benefits the equine industry has across our country,” said Congressman Andy Barr of Kentucky. 

Congressman Paul Tonko of New York, a state with a robust racing sector, commented, “This report reinforces what we have long known: America’s horseracing heritage is more than just a valuable source of our history and culture, it also thrives as a vibrant industry supporting good jobs and driving significant economic activity. I am pleased to celebrate the release of these economic findings from the American Horse Council Foundation, which show just how important it is that we fight to maintain and grow this sport for enthusiasts and employees across New York and beyond.”

The full report of the National Economic Impact Study will be available for purchase on the AHC’s website starting on March 1st for $80 plus S/H. Additionally, a smaller booklet entitled “The Power of the Horse,” will also be available for purchase on the AHC site for $40 plus S/H. The AHC anticipates the 15 state breakouts to be available by the end of March.

If you have any questions, please contact the AHC.

 

View on AHC Website

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AHC’s 1st Quarter Webinar to Discuss ELD Mandate

(Washington, DC)– The American Horse Council (AHC) will host its 1st Quarter 2018 webinar on Monday, February 12th at 3:00 pm ET and will address the recent Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate that has caused much confusion and a lot of questions throughout the equine industry.

“We have been getting quite a few phone calls and emails with questions about the ELD Mandate and how it is going to not only affect the industry, but individuals as well,” said AHC President, Julie Broadway. “We hope that holding a webinar addressing the mandate would be a compliment to the brochures we have already put together on this issue.”

The webinar will address the details of what the ELD Mandate includes, and who is required to have an electronic logging device.  We will also discuss requirements for Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), as well as what the AHC is doing to mitigate the effects of the proposed changes on the equine industry.

Both AHC members and non-members are encouraged to attend the webinar. The webinar will also be recorded and posted on the AHC website for those that could not attend. Please register online here, and you will receive an email with login instructions two days before the webinar date.

 

View on AHC Website

 

 

About the American Horse Council

 

As the national association representing all segments of the horse industry in Washington, D.C., the American Horse Council works daily to represent equine interests and opportunities. Organized in 1969, the AHC promotes and protects the industry by communicating with Congress, federal agencies, the media and the industry on behalf of all horse related interests each and every day.

The AHC is member supported by individuals and organizations representing virtually every facet of the horse world from owners, breeders, veterinarians, farriers, breed registries and horsemen’s associations to horse shows, race tracks, rodeos, commercial suppliers and state horse councils.

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Equine organizations offer disaster relief funds to Help Those Affected by Hurricane Harvey

(Washington, DC)- In the wake of one of the worst tropical natural disasters to hit the United States, the residents and animals of Texas need your help. A record 49 inches of rain has fallen in the Houston area, and even more is expected. So what can you do?

There are several equine specific disaster relief funds that you can donate to that will support the efforts of emergency response groups and organizations that are helping horses impacted by the flooding.

  • United States Equestrian Federation Equine Disaster Relief Fund: Developed in 2005 during the aftermath of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund was formed to help ensure the safety and well-being of horses during trying times. Since its inception, over $370,000 has been donated to aid horses across all breeds in disaster-related situations. All money donated to the fund is strictly used to benefit horses and horse owners, and the USEF will be working with the Houston SPCA to help animals that have been displaced. To donate to the USEF Disaster Relief Fund:  https://www.usef.org/donate
  • American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation Equine Disaster Relief Fund: The AAEP Foundation will work with agencies and veterinary members in Texas, Louisiana and other affected states to identify the needs of the equine community. Supplies are not being accepted currently as the catastrophic storm is still occurring. Once the Foundation receives an assessment of need and distribution protocols from the agencies and veterinary members in the afflicted areas, the Foundation will work to support them with supply needs as well. To support the impending needs of these equine victims, please donate online at:  https://foundation.aaep.org/form/foundation-donation.  If you wish to offer assistance with supplies or other resources, please email Keith Kleine at kkleine@aaep.org and you will be contacted with further instructions.
  • Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International Disaster Relief Fund: The fund helps centers in need due to catastrophic disasters not normally covered by operating insurance. This includes flooding. The fund was started in 2005 to help centers with the damage inflicted by Hurricane Katrina. To donate, click here:  Donate to the PATH Intl. Disaster Relief Fund.  Additionally,  if your PATH Intl. Center needs disaster relief,  click here for information and to download the Disaster Relief Fund application.

Additionally, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund that will accept tax deductible flood relief donations and will be administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation.

Please share with your fellow members of the horse community, and with anyone wanting to help all those in need!

View on AHC Website

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