March 26, 2013 16:23
Secretly Taped, Horse Hauler Admits to Using Invalid Health Documents—PETA Files Complaints With State Agencies
Morton, Texas — A PETA undercover investigator has documented evidence of serious violations involving apparent fraudulent veterinary health forms in the transport of horses across state lines from Iowa into Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. Twice last year, the PETA investigator rode along with a "kill buyer"—someone who purchases horses and transports them to slaughterhouses or feedlots—as he moved horses he had purchased in Iowa through Missouri and Kansas to feedlots and transfer points in Oklahoma and Texas. The kill buyer was caught on tape admitting that the veterinary forms he carried "certifying" that the horses in his trailer were free of deadly equine infectious anemia (EIA)—a potentially fatal viral disease with no known cure or preventive vaccine—were actually those of other horses, not those of the horses on board his truck, and that his veterinarian had taught him how to falsify the EIA forms.
Although the Texas Animal Health Commission and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry had been made aware that the kill buyer, by his own admission, was bringing horses into the states without valid EIA paperwork—unloading potentially infected horses onto crowded feedlots, risking the health of hundreds of other horses throughout each state—officials have taken no action. PETA is now calling on officials to investigate this failure to act and has posted action alerts on its popular website urging its supporters to do the same.
"Agency inaction means that potentially infected horses traveling from Iowa to Texas may have spread this deadly disease from the Oklahoma and Texas feedlots to the entire states," says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. "While agencies look the other way, kill buyers like this one are still transporting horses today."
Broadcast-quality video footage and PETA's complaints are available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.
March 22, 2013 13:57
On March 6, 2012, Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) introduced the Equine Tax Parity Act (H.R. 998), which would make horses eligible for capital gains treatment after 12 months, rather than 24, similar to other business assets.
Under the current federal tax code, gains from sales by individuals of property used in a trade or business, including horses, qualify for long-term capital gains and are subject to the maximum capital gains tax rate of 15% for taxpayers earning less than $450,000 or 20% for those earning more. Since the individual tax rate can go as high as 39.6%, the lower rate is a real advantage.
“Horses held for breeding, racing, showing or draft purposes qualify for the capital gains rates only if they are held for 24 months. All other business assets (except cattle) qualify if held for 12 months,” Said AHC president Jay Hickey. “We believe this is unfair to the horse industry and there is no reason why we should not be treated the same as all other businesses.”
The Equine Tax Parity Act would end this discriminatory treatment of horses under the tax code and allow horse owners to enjoy the reduced rate upon sale after holding a horse for 12 months. For most owners and breeders shortening the capital gains holding period to 12 should be a benefit. Reducing the holding period by half would give many horse owners and breeders more flexibility to sell and market their horses. It would mean that every sale of a horse which is held for at least 12 months will qualify as a capital gain or loss unless that horse is held primarily for sale.
“We appreciate Congressman Barr introducing this legislation and highlighting this unfair tax treatment of horses, we will work with the Congressman to get it passed,” said Hickey.
Link to article on AHC website
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March 22, 2013 13:54
R.J. Layher has recently joined the American Horse Council as the Director of Health and Regulatory Affairs. His responsibilities will include equine health issues, welfare issues, and state, federal and international requirements regarding the movement of horses. He will be the principal AHC contact to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“It’s great to be part of an organization that understands the importance horses play in our country. I look forward to advocating on behalf of the horse industry to preserve this robust and dynamic facet of the agricultural economy that it is today,” Layher said.
Mr. Layher grew up on a family farm in Southeast Michigan and graduated from Hillsdale College in 2010 with a degree in Political Economy. Before coming to Washington, he managed a Michigan State House campaign and spent time in Oklahoma, Kansas, Minnesota and the Dakotas where he worked for a custom harvester. Most recently, he was a Legislative Assistant for retired Congressman Timothy V. Johnson of Illinois.
“We are pleased to have R.J. join the AHC staff,” said AHC President, Jay Hickey. “He brings political experience and enthusiasm to this important position.”
Link to article on AHC website
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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. 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.
March 22, 2013 13:45
A special presentation was held at the University of Guelph on March 9th, 2013, delivering current research and findings to help veterinarians battle a horse owners' worst nightmare - colic. Equine Guelph has declared 2013, "the Year of Colic Prevention." This seminar began by highlighting results from the colic industry survey by project manager, Diane Gibbard. This survey was completed by over 1,200 respondents across Canada. Ontario Veterinary College researcher, Dr. Belinda Black delivered a talk on the latest equipment and surgical techniques being used in the veterinary profession today. The informative morning came to a close with Dr. Steve Elliott, Global Product Director at Alltech, outlining emerging research using nutritional biotechnologies to improve gut health.
The Equine Guelph Colic Survey revealed that 85% of the respondents had personal experience with colic. The number one request from those polled was for more education on the signs and symptoms of colic. Findings indicate the majority of survey participants feed concentrates twice daily when more frequent smaller feedings could reduce colic risk. Those surveyed showed an awareness of making changes in feed slowly for concentrates but less awareness of the importance of making changes in forage over a recommended period of at least two weeks. Survey participants were knowledgeable on the protocols for removing hay and feed at the first signs of colic but there was a large split when it came to determining timing for veterinary involvement. The survey identified clear gaps in knowledge and priority areas in education and communications and Equine Guelph will be responding to this need in current and future programming.
Dr. Belinda Black quoted a statistic stating 42% of colic cases had an environmental change one week prior to the incident (Malamed et al 2012). Diagnostic techniques for measuring lactate in venous blood were discussed as well as the use of ultrasound to check for free fluid in typical trouble spots within the gut. Regarding prevention; the importance of regular dental exams was highlighted, in addition to new research identifying crib-biters and windsuckers at a higher risk for colic.
Finally, Dr. Steve Elliot, Global Product Director at Alltech, reported on technology of nutritional management to stabilize healthy gut functioning. Disruptions in gut function can be one of the major contributors to the incidence of colic therefore feeding management is a prime consideration to maintain healthy digestive function. Elliot explained that bacteria in the horses' hindgut don't adapt to feed changes rapidly. He further discussed the problems bacteria can cause if they bind to the gastro intestinal tract to reproduce.
Topics discussed by all three speakers included the importance of a good parasite prevention program, routine dental care and making changes to feed slowly to reduce the risk of colic.
Equine Guelph thanks Alltech for funding provided to offer this Colic Presentation to local veterinarians. Stay tuned for the launch of Equine Guelph's 'Colic Risk Rater' - a free online healthcare tool designed to help horse owners reduce their risk of colic.
Sign up for Equine Guelph's next Colic Prevention eWorkshop - April 15 -28
March 21, 2013 11:32
Equine Guelph is pleased to announce that Intercity Insurance has become an 'Education Patron' of Equine Guelph. Mike King of Intercity Insurance has been a loyal supporter of Equine Guelph and its educational programs for many years as an instructor and sponsor of the Hoofprints tribute program. Now King has made the commitment to support Equine Guelph's education program at the next level.
With a background of over 40 years' experience in the horse industry - riding, training, managing a barn, competing, teaching, judging and horse show organizing - Mike King is passionate about the equine industry and understands the importance of being a knowledgeable horse owner.
"Intercity Insurance is proud to be an Education Patron of Equine Guelph - an organization dedicated to the health and well-being of horses through educating the equine industry, which ultimately leads to saving horses lives," says King. "As part of our partnership, for every equine insurance policy sold, Intercity provides a contribution to Equine Guelph's education program."
Equine Guelph thanks Intercity for becoming an education patron and for their ongoing support of the Hoofprints tribute program which provides horse owners a valuable outlet to celebrate cherished memories. Intercity's contributions as an education patron will help provide important stimulus to continue to build and improve Equine Guelph education programs for the equine industry.
Equine Guelph is the horse owners' and care givers' Centre at the University of Guelph. It is a unique partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups. Equine Guelph is the epicentre for academia, industry and government - for the good of the equine industry as a whole. For further information, visit www.equineguelph.ca.
Mike King is the horse industry specialist at Capri Insurance and is responsible for the risk management and insurance programs which benefit various regional, provincial and national equine associations. http://www.horseownertoday.com/blog/ask-the-insurance-professional/