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Traceability and Transporting Alberta Horses

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   November 20, 2013 09:27

Livestock Traceability – Protecting an Industry

Livestock traceability is the process of tracking individual or groups of livestock and poultry throughout their lifetime. Tracking this information is important when responding to emergencies such as disease outbreaks, floods or fires because traceability systems help determine where livestock are, where they have been and what other livestock they have could have potentially come into contact with.

Movement recording is essential to an effective traceability system. With accurate movement records, industry and government are able to identify and contain disease-exposed animals more quickly, which reduces the risk of the disease spreading to other animals.

Complying with regulations for moving livestock is part of responsible animal management that helps protect the health of your animals as well as those of other Alberta and Canadian producers. Traceability in Alberta is authorized under Alberta’s Animal Health Act. Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) works with industry and all levels of government to advance traceability in Alberta and Canada.

Transportation Regulations

In Alberta, horses must be transported in accordance with Alberta’s Livestock Identification and Commerce Act (LICA). Under LICA, the term “horses” is used to include members of the Equidae family such as horses, donkeys and their crosses. Depending on the purpose of the transportation, horses may require an Alberta Livestock Manifest, Livestock Permit or Special Permit. Alberta’s delegated authority, Livestock Identification Services Ltd. (LIS), is responsible for all transportation documentation under LICA.

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development’s approved Premises Identification Numbers (PID)are to be recorded on Alberta Livestock Manifests, Livestock Permits and Special Permits to assist with trace backs in a disease outbreak. On Alberta Livestock Manifests, livestock owners/dealers are to record the PID Number of where the livestock are being transported from and the receiver is to record the PID Number of the end destination.
 

Livestock Traceability – Protecting an Industry

Livestock traceability is the process of tracking individual or groups of livestock and poultry throughout their lifetime. Tracking this information is important when responding to emergencies such as disease outbreaks, floods or fires because traceability systems help determine where livestock are, where they have been and what other livestock they have could have potentially come into contact with.

Movement recording is essential to an effective traceability system. With accurate movement records, industry and government are able to identify and contain disease-exposed animals more quickly, which reduces the risk of the disease spreading to other animals.

Complying with regulations for moving livestock is part of responsible animal management that helps protect the health of your animals as well as those of other Alberta and Canadian producers. Traceability in Alberta is authorized under Alberta’s Animal Health Act. Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) works with industry and all levels of government to advance traceability in Alberta and Canada.

Transportation Regulations

In Alberta, horses must be transported in accordance with Alberta’s Livestock Identification and Commerce Act (LICA). Under LICA, the term “horses” is used to include members of the Equidae family such as horses, donkeys and their crosses. Depending on the purpose of the transportation, horses may require an Alberta Livestock Manifest, Livestock Permit or Special Permit. Alberta’s delegated authority, Livestock Identification Services Ltd. (LIS), is responsible for all transportation documentation under LICA.

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development’s approved Premises Identification Numbers (PID)are to be recorded on Alberta Livestock Manifests, Livestock Permits and Special Permits to assist with trace backs in a disease outbreak. On Alberta Livestock Manifests, livestock owners/dealers are to record the PID Number of where the livestock are being transported from and the receiver is to record the PID Number of the end destination.
A copy of each Alberta Livestock Manifest must be kept by the owner, the transporter and the person receiving the horses for 10 years from the date the manifest is completed.

Alberta Livestock Manifest books are supplied by LIS and are available throughout the province from LIS Field Offices, livestock (auction) markets and ARD Field Offices.

Livestock Traceability – Protecting an Industry

Livestock traceability is the process of tracking individual or groups of livestock and poultry throughout their lifetime. Tracking this information is important when responding to emergencies such as disease outbreaks, floods or fires because traceability systems help determine where livestock are, where they have been and what other livestock they have could have potentially come into contact with.

Movement recording is essential to an effective traceability system. With accurate movement records, industry and government are able to identify and contain disease-exposed animals more quickly, which reduces the risk of the disease spreading to other animals.

Complying with regulations for moving livestock is part of responsible animal management that helps protect the health of your animals as well as those of other Alberta and Canadian producers. Traceability in Alberta is authorized under Alberta’s Animal Health Act. Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) works with industry and all levels of government to advance traceability in Alberta and Canada.

Transportation Regulations

In Alberta, horses must be transported in accordance with Alberta’s Livestock Identification and Commerce Act (LICA). Under LICA, the term “horses” is used to include members of the Equidae family such as horses, donkeys and their crosses. Depending on the purpose of the transportation, horses may require an Alberta Livestock Manifest, Livestock Permit or Special Permit. Alberta’s delegated authority, Livestock Identification Services Ltd. (LIS), is responsible for all transportation documentation under LICA.

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development’s approved Premises Identification Numbers (PID)are to be recorded on Alberta Livestock Manifests, Livestock Permits and Special Permits to assist with trace backs in a disease outbreak. On Alberta Livestock Manifests, livestock owners/dealers are to record the PID Number of where the livestock are being transported from and the receiver is to record the PID Number of the end destination.

Alberta Livestock Manifests

Alberta Livestock Manifests are used to document the movement of horses. An Alberta Livestock Manifest is required to transport or drive horses within Alberta if the horses are being transported to an inspection site or are being transported for sale or slaughter.

A copy of each Alberta Livestock Manifest must be kept by the owner, the transporter and the person receiving the horses for 10 years from the date the manifest is completed.

Alberta Livestock Manifest books are supplied by LIS and are available throughout the province from LIS Field Offices, livestock (auction) markets and ARD Field Offices.

Livestock Permits

Livestock Permits are issued by LIS Livestock Inspectors. All horses transported or driven from an inspection site (other than a feedlot or an uninspected country sale) to a destination in Alberta, or from an originating point in Alberta to a destination outside Alberta, must be accompanied by a Livestock Permit unless:

    the horses are being transported under a Special Permit (see next section for details) and are not being transported to an inspection site, or for sale or slaughter;
    the horses are accompanied by an Alberta Livestock Manifest and are being transported to an approved inspection site in Saskatchewan or British Columbia where they will be inspected upon arrival; or
    the requirement for a Livestock Permit has been waived by LIS in accordance with an exemption allowed under LICA. To learn about the exceptions under LICA, refer to the legislation at www.qp.alberta.ca.
Livestock Permits authorize a single movement of livestock from the location where the animal was inspected to the destination described on the Livestock Permit. A Livestock Permit expires seven days after the date it was issued or when the horses are delivered to their destination, whichever is earlier.

A copy of each Livestock Permit must be kept by the owner, transporter, the person receiving the horses and LIS for 10 years from the date the Livestock Permit is issued.


Special Permits

Special Permits are issued by LIS Livestock Inspectors and include the following:

    Annual Rodeo and Exhibition Permits
    Annual Horse Permits
    Lifetime Horse Permits

The Annual Rodeo and Exhibition Permits and the Annual Horse Permits are used to transport horses outside Alberta more than once in a calendar year. These permits expire on December 31 of the year in which they are issued.

A Lifetime Horse Permit allows an owner to transport a horse outside Alberta multiple times during its lifetime. Lifetime Horse Permits expire when there is a change of horse ownership or when the horse dies.

Special Permits cannot be used to transport horses to an inspection site, or for sale or slaughter.


Transporting Out-of-province Horses in Alberta

The Alberta Livestock Manifest and Livestock Permit requirements of LICA do not apply to persons who transport horses into or through Alberta from an originating point outside Alberta so long as:

    the originating jurisdiction requires the horses to be accompanied with documentation to be transported out of that jurisdiction; and
    the horses are accompanied with that documentation.

The exemption that allows horses to move into or through Alberta on out-of-province documentation expires when the horses stop in Alberta for a purpose other than rest or when they are required to be inspected in Alberta.

If out-of-province horses stop in Alberta for a purpose other than rest, the location where the horses stop should be considered the originating point when completing an Alberta Livestock Manifest or requesting a Livestock Permit.

http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex14633

The Problem with Unwanted Horses

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   September 13, 2013 13:23

By Mitzy Tait-Zeller and Bonnie Newton


The purpose of this article is to create meaningful dialogue and put forward workable solutions to the overpopulation, not to continue to put a band aid on the symptoms of unwanted horses.

Ask any horse owner how they feel about the issue of unwanted excess horses and you are sure to elicit a heated discussion swaying either pro or anti slaughter. It is the most controversial subject amongst horse owners and one that many avoid getting caught up in.


Horses are being neglected, abandoned, and thrown away at an alarming rate. The rescues are overflowing and calls go in to the S.P.C.A.’s far too often. A general lack of responsibility from horse owners overbreeding, contributes to the problem. According to the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition just over 82,000 horses went to slaughter in 2012, of which 67%, more than 54,500 were imported from the United States.


Since the United States successfully closed their horse slaughter plants in 2007 a multitude of articles were written on horse slaughter statistics prior to and up to that point. Almost every organization involved in closing the doors to slaughter felt that horse owners and breeders would do the right thing and monitor their own breeding programs to reduce the sheer number of horses that became unwanted. In short, no one was prepared to put forth regulations to control the number of horses bred in any given year or within the associations that breed them. They were afraid of upsetting horse owners. Clearly, five years later, the problem is not resolving itself.


Not much has changed in the horse industry in the United States since the last slaughter plant closed in 2007. The excess unwanted horses have been exported to Canada and Mexico in alarming numbers. Now, the organizations that are pro-slaughter want to reopen the slaughter plants in the United States with the USDA’s approval for funding and reissuing of permits. Why? Quite frankly, it’s a lucrative business. The pro-slaughter organizations want to cash in on the excess unwanted horses for the ridiculous prices they are selling for, as well as the fact that no one will ever hold them accountable for wrong-doing because officials and lawmakers are all lining their pockets with blood money. It is easy money for those without a conscience.


A few articles I read dated back to 2008 – 09 actually touched on the issue of unwanted horses at the root of the problem which is overbreeding of equines that are undesirable or untrained. Quite simply, the market is flooded. Breeders need to stop breeding entirely for a few years. Overbreeding has led to monetary and emotional devaluing of the equine species.


Due to the fact that horse slaughter is still taking place in Canada and Mexico, rescues and well-meaning, truly caring horse lovers are saving horses that are extreme hard luck cases (resulting from abuse or neglect) and only suitable for companion animals. This creates a more heart wrenching scenario because then perfectly healthy riding horses that are calm, quiet and used to human companionship have nowhere to go. Everyone is at their maximum capacity and stretched to their financial limits caring for the horses they already have. Few, if any equestrians looking for their next competition or project horse will go looking in a sale barn. So these horses are being sold to the kill buyers for a few dollars and inevitably end up being slaughtered. How sad is that?


The controversy between anti and pro slaughter does not honor the horse. Civilization was built on the bones of the horse and humanity owes the horse respect. Did you know that “Building Canada’s transcontinental railway took more than 12,000 workers, 5,000 horses and 300 dogsled teams”? Page 22, Fall ’13, What’s Cooking Kraft magazine. This is just one small example of what horses have done and contribute to our world. Not to mention the millions of horses that have walked with humanity and gone to war with man over the centuries.


In the most recent issue of Horse-Canada there was a box article bringing attention to the new Canada’s Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Equines. The document was well thought out and written to address proper handling of horses. But … it’s only great, if EVERY horse owner in the country “reads it” and “follows the guidelines” to the best of their ability. So, what good does it do? Who is going to step up and make people accountable for their actions?  I’ve heard repeatedly that you can’t fix stupid. But I wonder if horse owners and breeders are just in a complete state of denial, are they misinformed, or suffer from a lack of education?


I have always been of the old adage that ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’. If that is the case then why are organizations spending so much time, money and effort trying to fix the symptoms (rescues and horse slaughter), instead of addressing the cause, overbreeding? What happens to the excess 28,000+ horses, just in Canada in any given year?  What about the US horses? Is there a way to control the problem of overbreeding and discarded horses?


Scrolling through hundreds of ‘horse for sale’ ads I am astounded at the utter lack of care that goes into these ads. If the seller truly cares about their horse and where it ends up, shouldn’t they at least make a concentrated effort to show the horse they are offering for sale in the best possible way? There are countless websites, articles and books that give pointers on how to sell your horse. When their horses don’t sell, where do the sellers take them? To the auction barn where kill buyers snap them up for peanuts because experienced equestrians don’t buy horses at auction sales. If this is how you sell your horse, you are not a horse lover nor do you care about whether your horse goes to slaughter.


I came across ads where breeders listed their horses as “can be registered”. As a small time breeder of a rare breed horse this small ad statement upset me. I breed one or two registered foals each year and register them before they are sold. In order to prevent non-registration of eligible foals, my breed association now sends out the registration forms with the dam and sire name and information present on the papers that you provided on your stallion report. What a great idea, kudos to my breed association! I feel that if the horse is born from registered stock and “can be registered”, that it should be mandatory for the breeder to register their stock before it’s sold. Isn’t that why you breed registered horses in the first place? Keep in mind that just because an animal is registered does not mean it is suitable breeding stock. I think this is a common misconception and raises other issues.


People who own a mare(s) typically do not view themselves as a breeder. These backyard breeders often breed that mare(s) thinking they will have a cute fuzzy foal to admire or they want their child to “grow up with a foal”.  Unfortunately reality strikes when the foal is now 500 pounds, eating more than Ma and requires some handling skills! 


Anyone that puts their child on a horse that isn’t at least double digits in age, “a been there done that” horse really doesn’t love their child!  This is a perfect place to rehome rescue horses because the horse doesn’t even need to be 100% sound, but 150% safe!


Another common scenario, the neighbor lets their stallion cover their mare for a few bales of hay or other trade item.

 
Backyard breeders often have no investment and no long term plan. Take a peek at any popular social media site, you will see multiple examples of the backyard breeder, and the dumping of these unwanted horses into an already overloaded system.


While studying other breed registries I noted that a small portion of them have inspections of young stock and a grading system in place. This insures that the breed standard is being met. Each horse is given a grade and the owner is made aware of their horse’s strengths and weaknesses for breeding compatibility of their mares. I was unable to determine from the information that I read whether or not stud colts were either accepted as breeding stallions within the registry or were only allowed to be registered as geldings.  The idea of inspections and grading within breed registries appeals to me, especially in a place where there are tens of thousands of horses to choose from. Why not breed only the best to the best? As a conscientious horse breeder I would be willing to endorse such a grading and classification program to improve the breed standard of my chosen breed.


I’m not saying that there aren’t thousands of excellent working horses out there that are unregistered or grade horses, I am simply addressing the issue of excess unwanted horses, many of them purebred and registered horses that go to slaughter each year. Why not prevent breeding of sub-standard horses within the breed registries? Perhaps this solution alone could prevent as many as 5,000 or more mares from being bred each year.


In a conversation with Bunnie Harasym from Paradise Stable which is a privately owned equine rescue, she felt that reasonably priced gelding clinics that were well attended might help somewhat with the random breeding problem. One small slice can make the difference between a substandard stallion and a good gelding. She felt that Humane Societies needed to take severe cases more seriously. More prosecutions would result in cautious behaviour by horse owners to prevent being taken to court over horse neglect issues. Bunnie says that “Laws need to be rewritten and accountability needs to come into play.” As for re-homing and adopting out horses from rescues, (not just Paradise Stables) Bunnie had this to say. “No one wants to pay an adoption fee. It’s like trying to re-home a kitten, but more like a grenade, a 1200 lbs grenade that can become volatile if not handled with experience and care.”


Nikki Banks moved here to Canada with her family two and a half years ago from the United Kingdom. Nikki is an experienced equestrian and has decades of experience with horses. During a recent conversation with her she informed me that things were much different in the U.K. than it is here in Canada. The British Horse Society together with the Agriculture Farmers Union put in place a mandatory passport for all equines in the U.K. as of 2009. The passport forms are obtained through either a breed association or the British Horse Society and is filled out and verified by a licensed veterinarian when a foal is born. Each foal born must be inspected by a veterinarian and parentage verified, photos, and all identifying markings are noted as well as first injections. All horses are either micro-chipped or freeze branded. This passport records all medications which must also be administered and verified by a veterinarian and any change of ownership is recorded in the horse’s passport. This passport must accompany the horse any time it is transferred anywhere, show’s etc. The owner must accompany the horse during transportation or the hauler must be registered through their vehicle insurance which is expensive, in order to transport livestock without the owner present. This decreases horse theft. The horse owners were responsible for the cost of the passports and all veterinary verifications on the passports on each of their horses. With this added expense for each horse, it reduced the number of horses owned by individuals, making the horse more valuable and therefore better cared for in the end. Non-compliance with the mandatory Equine Passport program results in monetary fines and is punishable by law. Horses without passports cannot be sold legally.


Livestock auctions in the U.K. are attended by a RSPCA representative and most often a veterinarian. All horses and other livestock are checked over by the RSPCA and or veterinarian. If the animals are unhealthy or unfit for transport or sale, they are not accepted and turned away. If there are any major health or neglect issues they are dealt with immediately. Passports must also match the animal being brought in for sale. The percentage of horses being purchased by kill buyers in the U.K. is far less than in North America.


I felt that just these few changes could make a huge impact on the horse industry in North America. Just implementing the mandatory equine passports in Canada would reduce the number of horses bred due to the cost per horse for the passport registration and additional veterinarian costs associated. It would also increase the purchase price of a horse because breeders would pass the cost of the passport on to buyers.


Equine passports would enable a viable and accountable biosecurity environment for Canadian horses. A serious equine epidemic in Canada would be difficult to trace, assuming that owners are cooperative! A definitive, traceability program in place would resolve that issue.


Another article on the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition website addressed the European Commission requirements for equine traceability by July 2013. From the article which was quite lengthy and involved Equine Canada, the International Equine Business Association, Horse Welfare Canada and several other organizations, it didn’t seem like they were able to make any headway and put something in place similar to the United Equine Lifetime Number and passports that are mandatory in the U.K. and other European Unions. According to the article, the government didn’t want to invest money into the identification program outlined by Equine Canada because they were on the fence as to whether horses should be classified as livestock. The European Commission’s July 2013 deadline has come and gone. The Canadian government has no equine traceability passport in place at this time.   Now what happens with the horsemeat being exported to the European Union? There is no possible way to trace the drugs being administered to any of the horses being slaughtered and guarantee that the meat is safe for human consumption. This also raises the questions about US horse slaughter plants re-opening. Wouldn’t the USDA also be bound by the same European Commission as Canada in regards to the traceability program?


It appears that the situation just keeps getting uglier and uglier all the time. Many of the comments on the article that I refer to from the CHDC, were from horse owners that didn’t want to be told what to do and felt that they were actually supporting the slaughter industry if they were to comply with the traceability program. I think they are straddling the fence, they say they don’t support the slaughter industry but they want to keep breeding substandard horses and overbreeding at a ridiculous rate because they think they are making a dollar.


Breeders don’t profit by breeding specifically for the meat market, at .30 per pound or $300 for an average horse, basic math says that it doesn’t even pay for one year’s worth of feed, at Western Canadian prices.  They do not invest in training their horses and are breeding large numbers of them rather than breeding for quality.
HWAC (Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada) which is a known pro-slaughter advocate is trying to cash in on the Equine Identification Program by working together with animal tech companies on a microchip program, prior to that they worked on an iris (eye) scan id program….hmm a few dollars to be made in that partnership! I can understand anti-slaughter supporters would not want to waste their money on implementing this program.


My breed association bylaws require me to microchip all of the horses that I register. I realize how costly this means of identification is, not to mention how utterly useless it would be would my horses become lost or stolen. Why reinvent the wheel? Hot branding and freeze branding have been in use for decades and are a permanent and highly visible means of identification. The cost of branding is low in comparison to injecting a microchip. Brands are easily identifiable and simple to read, as opposed to having an expensive reader that has to be within a few inches of the chip in order to read it.


Then there is the ultimate question as to how horses should be classified? Are they livestock, or pets and companion animals? I think that horses should be in a classification unto their own, simply “Equines”. Livestock to me denotes domestic animals that are used solely for the purpose of producing goods for man. Domestic fowl are raised solely for egg and meat production, hogs also solely for the purpose of meat production, cattle for milk and meat production and horses … not so. Pets or companion animals, cats, dogs, rabbits, gerbils, mice, and almost any other small animal that man has thought to befriend and call their pet are solely to provide companionship to man, horses … not so. Horses and other equines have been used for transportation, farm work, entertainment (racing and other events), provided protection and companionship. Horses have carried man into battle over the centuries, carried provisions and provided food when nothing else was available. Horses have been revered and honored worldwide for their heroic efforts for man and in fact many books have been written about the subject. There is no other species of animal on the planet that equals the “Equine” in his heart and versatility, so how can we then classify him as livestock or just a pet?


It is my opinion that the pro-slaughter advocates are ruthless people and organizations that hide behind the guise of “humane slaughter” and disposal of unwanted horses, all for the almighty dollar.


The backyard breeders, horse hoarders and irresponsible horse owners are the individuals that hide behind the guise of being “horse lovers, against slaughter” when in fact they are the integral part of the problem contributing to unwanted horses that end up in the slaughter pipeline.


Then there are the breeders of the three major breed contributors of registered horses that end up at slaughter who don’t really care about where the horses go and feel that slaughter is a necessary evil (the ones that look the other way and pretend it’s not happening).


However there are true, caring and conscientious horse people out there. The ones that care for their horses their whole life, they put great thought into breeding a mare to a certain stallion, they care what their foal will become, keeping accurate health records on each of their horses and they follow through to invest in training. The caring and conscientious horse owner sells their horses privately, they plan for retirement and end of life options with dignity for the horses that they have committed themselves to.


In conclusion I think that anti-slaughter advocates need to rethink their agenda, repurpose their energy to end slaughter. Instead they need to go back to the root of the problem, find ways to regulate the number of horses bred each year and training more horses with a purpose. This will inevitably result in less horses going to the slaughter pipeline. Advocate for the Lifetime Equine Number and mandatory passports for horses, making it mandatory for only licensed veterinarians to administer and verify injections for horses. Have all horses hot or freeze branded for highly visible identification to prevent theft and enable biosecurity traceability. Advocate to the breed associations to pass a breed inspection and grading system bylaw into their breed standards.


There should be enhanced inspections and prosecution for violations of Canada’s Code of Practice for care and handling of equines at all auction barns and slaughter facilities.

 
Rescues also need to consider the quality of life of the animals they rescue, using humane euthanasia as an option. 


If true horsemen and women everywhere were to make an effort to help make the changes necessary to reduce the number of unwanted horses, the slaughter industry would be in decline. Laws need to be upheld and the people guilty of the offences need to be held accountable by following through on prosecution. Prosecution equals a deterrent.


If you are straddling the fence about this issue or possible solutions, I recommend that you get off the fence to either stand in the blood of the 80,000 plus horses slaughtered this year with your handful of cash, or jump over the fence and make a difference for the horses in the following year. Anyone who straddles the fence will undoubtedly get a sore crotch. 


We are not personally funded in whole or part by any special interest group, nor is Mitzy’ s Mane & Tails, Horse Owner Today or any subsidiary businesses’ funded in whole or part by any special interest group.  Neither are we or our business’s pro or anti slaughter, pro or anti rescue, we are simply pro horse and pro healthy horse industry.


Bonnie is a lifelong horseperson who doesn’t get to ride nearly enough!   Founder and CEO of horseownertoday.com, today’s horse owner magazine, she has a serious concern over the state of the horse industry today, specifically unwanted horses and their adverse impact on the industry.


Mitzy is an experienced equine enthusiast, small scale Canadian horse breeder, Zelta’s Canadians and author of “Hoof Prints On My Heart” and “Rim-Fyre and the Stones of Time”. The 2013 Equine Welfare Communications Award recipient continues her work communicating horse welfare issues.



Notice to the Industry - Equine Herpes at Sports Creek

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   January 15, 2013 10:13

Report of case of Equine Herpes at Sports Creek in Michigan

The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) has been made aware of a case of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) in a horse that raced at Sports Creek Raceway on December 19th.

Due to the report of this confirmed case, ORC Veterinarian Supervisor Dr. Bruce Duncan advises that Ontario racetracks need to be cautious. “The racing industry is very mobile. While it is up to the discretion of the track, I strongly recommend that race secretaries not accept entries from horses that have raced at this track in the past 30 days.”

http://www.ontarioracingcommission.com/whatsnew.aspx?id=882&utm_source=Health_Flash_January_2013&utm_campaign=Health+Flash+Jan_13&utm_medium=email

NEWS RELEASE - RIMBEY AG-RIM PROJECT MOVES FORWARD

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   January 12, 2013 08:28

Rimbey (December 10,2012) – The Rimbey Agricultural Society heads into 2013 with plans for the group’s most ambitious project ever. At the annual general meeting December 6th, members heard an update on the Agrim Centre facility. The $3.4 million building will boast close to 60,000 square feet of space, including a riding arena and 900 seat grandstand, plus meeting space and a board room. It’s to be located inside the existing track and infield of the rodeo grounds.
“We’re excited to move forward with the Agrim,” said Rimbey Ag Society President Will Mackinaw. “It’s going to be a big year for our group, and we look forward to support from the community.”
“Our feasibility study showed the potential for a two million dollar annual boost to the town of Rimbey from the building,” added Agrim spokesman Tim Edge.
A 3D model of the planned ag recreation facility was shown at the group’s meeting. Features include an outside balcony, and use of new ‘green’ technology in construction, such as a solar wall, and the ability to collect rainwater for the building’s non-potable water needs.
The project has been in the works for about a year, but organizers say the need for such a facility has been evident for years.
“Our old building has been too small for any feasible equine or bovine events in central Alberta,” said Edge. “After seeing the success of the Ponoka Ag Events Centre, our Ag Society decided to follow suit, with the full support of Ponoka County.”
In fact, the County has already committed a million dollars over two years to the project.
While some might question whether the region could support two large new ag buildings, Edge is confident the demand is already there.
“We’ve already had calls from numerous rodeo and horse groups, as well as oil related companies looking for trade show space. We can pencil in a profit if it’s used even thirty weekends a year, and we think that’s an achievable goal.”
“The possibilities for its uses are limited only by imagination, because it’s designed to be so multi-functional.”
The first phase of the project, which included the feasibility study, is complete, and a down payment has been made. Phase two, with some initial construction, is slated to begin early in the new year, after blueprints are completed.
“We appreciate the County’s support,” Edge noted. “We’re still looking for individuals and corporate partners to help make the facility a reality.”
A website with the latest information on the Agrim building project has also been launched at www.agrim.ca.
For further information contact:
Tim Edge 403-354-6730

NEWS RELEASE - RIMBEY AG-RIM PROJECT MOVES FORWARD

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   January 12, 2013 08:23

Rimbey (December 10,2012) – The Rimbey Agricultural Society heads into 2013 with plans for the group’s most ambitious project ever. At the annual general meeting December 6th, members heard an update on the Agrim Centre facility. The $3.4 million building will boast close to 60,000 square feet of space, including a riding arena and 900 seat grandstand, plus meeting space and a board room. It’s to be located inside the existing track and infield of the rodeo grounds.
“We’re excited to move forward with the Agrim,” said Rimbey Ag Society President Will Mackinaw. “It’s going to be a big year for our group, and we look forward to support from the community.”
“Our feasibility study showed the potential for a two million dollar annual boost to the town of Rimbey from the building,” added Agrim spokesman Tim Edge.
A 3D model of the planned ag recreation facility was shown at the group’s meeting. Features include an outside balcony, and use of new ‘green’ technology in construction, such as a solar wall, and the ability to collect rainwater for the building’s non-potable water needs.
The project has been in the works for about a year, but organizers say the need for such a facility has been evident for years.
“Our old building has been too small for any feasible equine or bovine events in central Alberta,” said Edge. “After seeing the success of the Ponoka Ag Events Centre, our Ag Society decided to follow suit, with the full support of Ponoka County.”
In fact, the County has already committed a million dollars over two years to the project.
While some might question whether the region could support two large new ag buildings, Edge is confident the demand is already there.
“We’ve already had calls from numerous rodeo and horse groups, as well as oil related companies looking for trade show space. We can pencil in a profit if it’s used even thirty weekends a year, and we think that’s an achievable goal.”
“The possibilities for its uses are limited only by imagination, because it’s designed to be so multi-functional.”
The first phase of the project, which included the feasibility study, is complete, and a down payment has been made. Phase two, with some initial construction, is slated to begin early in the new year, after blueprints are completed.
“We appreciate the County’s support,” Edge noted. “We’re still looking for individuals and corporate partners to help make the facility a reality.”
A website with the latest information on the Agrim building project has also been launched at www.agrim.ca.
For further information contact:
Tim Edge 403-354-6730

Inland NW Horse Expo moves to Spring 2013

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   August 10, 2012 10:57


Why the move? We wanted the Inland NW Horse Expo to be a great value for everyone involved and we know that means offering the very best in vendors, clinicians, demonstrations and services, in premium facilities.  Moving the Expo dates will allow us to do just that on May 3rd, 4th and 5th  2013!
The location remains at the Grant County Fairgrounds, but will be in the Ardell Pavilion, a venue that offers more amenities…restrooms, food concession in the building, more power, and larger vendor accommodations.  Overall, we are excited about the move to the Ardell Pavlion.  
You will still see great clinicians this spring.  Richard Shrake the creator of Resistance free® Riding and Training methods, and Resistance Free® Certified Coach Program with have session on Dressage and Reining.  Raye Lochert teaches a more effective method of communication with the horse with his sessions on Horse Problem Solving.  Rick Brighton natural gaited horsemanship helps riders improve with session to Evaluating Gaited Horse, Horsemanship for Gait, Tack for Gaited Horses and more.  Joan Curtin focuses on the rider’s need to establish pace and balance with session on how Longeing at different levels. Chrissy Wayne who will talk about Judging.  Larry Dacy sessions on More than Shoes will provide his insights as a farrier and trainers.  David Bodin the Horse Trailer Guru will have session to make your horse trailer the best for you and your horse.  Lucia Clemetson will show expo attendees the information you need to prepare your horse for the show ring with HAPS sessions.  Mike Miller from Land O Lakes will talk Nutrition and Body Scoring.  Theses clinicians will be joined by BCHW, WSU Vet Med Equine Group and more to provide great session every hour of the expo. 
Because we will be moving dates to spring we will be able to increase the number of vendors.  Many potential vendors expressed regret that they were unable to participate this Fall.  With the new dates we can add to our current roster of great companies like Triple Crown, EquiPride & EquiLix, Hoof Grid, DMA Fencing/Bayco Finish Line, and Columbia River Tack.  We encourage everyone to support these companies now and at the Expo.
In today’s economy committing to sponsoring a new event is entrepreneurial and we look forward to these companies continued support.   Postponing the Expo until May allows us to pursue additional partnerships in our commitment to make the Inland NW Horse Expo a premier event.  The Expo would also like to express our appreciation for our great sponsors; Inland Cellular, AmeriStay, Remuda Ranch Paint Horses, Big R, Danny’s Tavern and www.HorseOwnerToday.com.
Mark your calendars for May 3rd, 4th and 5th, 2013 at the Ardell Pavilion on the Grant County Fairgrounds!  Follow our progress on our website www.inlandnwhorseexpo.com or our Facebook page as we continue to update and expand the Inland NW Horse Expo!

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Equine Education

Jim Shoemake Elected AHC Chairman

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   July 11, 2012 13:38



Jim J. Shoemake, past President of the American Quarter Horse Association and senior partner in the St. Louis law firm of Guilfoil, Petzall & Shoemake, L.L.C., was elected chairman of the Board of Trustees of the American Horse Council (AHC) at the AHC’s annual meeting in Washington, DC on June 26.  The AHC represents the horse industry before Congress and the federal regulatory agencies in Washington. 

Shoemake and his wife Rita own a farm near Farmington, Missouri and have been involved in breeding and raising registered American Quarter Horses for many years.  He received his undergraduate degree from Washington University and is a graduate of St. Louis University School of Law.  Shoemake is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Lindenwood University, founded in 1827, and serves on the boards of a number of other charitable and not-for-profit entities, including the American Quarter Horse Association, the Urological Research Foundation, and the Missouri Quarter Horse Association.

Shoemake succeeds Russell Williams, Vice Chairman of the United States Trotting Association.  

“We are very fortunate to have Jim as the Chair of the AHC,” said AHC president Jay Hickey.  “His broad background in the horse industry, his legal skills, and his legislative experience when he worked in the U.S. Department of Justice will be great assets to the organization.”

“I appreciate the confidence the AHC has shown in me by electing me chair.  We have some difficult issues before Congress and several agencies, but we will continue to protect the horse industry,” said Shoemake.

Dr. Jerry Black, past President of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, was elected AHC vice chair.  Dr. Black received his undergraduate and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Colorado State University.  He is presently the Wagonhound Land and Livestock Chair and Director of Undergraduate Programs in Equine Sciences at Colorado State University.  Dr. Black recently completed two terms on the Executive Committee of the National Cutting Horse Association.  He also owns Valley Oak Ranch, a stallion station, with his wife Melinda.

“Both Jim and Jerry have been AHC Trustees for some time.  They know the issues the AHC must deal with and will step right into their new roles,” said Hickey.

For more information on the American Horse Council and its mission, please visit its website at www.horsecouncil.org.


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.

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general

Congress Acts to Protect Commercial Packers in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 23, 2012 12:53


Last week, Congress passed the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Backcountry Access Act, introduced by Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA). The bill directs the National Park Service (NPS) to issue permits to commercial horse and mule packers to operate in the wilderness areas of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Due to a lawsuit the NPS had not yet issued permits for the 2012 season.

“Commercial packers have been taking visitors into these parks for decades, allowing thousands of Americans to experience the backcountry of these parks,” said American Horse Council (AHC) Legislative Director Ben Pendergrass. “Without the leadership of Congressman Nunes who introduced and quickly passed this bill and the help of Senators Boxer and Feinstein Americans may have lost the opportunity to have this fantastic experience. This bill also saved the livelihoods of the commercial pack operators in the park and the jobs of their employees.”   

Congressional action was needed due to a lawsuit filed by the High Sierra Hikers Association against the NPS concerning its management of commercial packer access to the wilderness areas of the parks. In January, a federal judge ruled that the NPS had violated the Wilderness act because it had not adequately addressed commercial stock use in a 2007 park management plan. The NPS then decided not to issue any permits to commercial packers for the 2012 season until the court case was settled. 

The bill directs the Secretary of the Interior to continue to issue permits to commercial packers to operate in the parks and complete a new wilderness stewardship plan within 3 years.  The NPS will now have the time it needs to address the judge’s concerns in a new management plan without interrupting the operations of the commercial packers in the parks.

“Preserving commercial and private equestrian access to wilderness is important not just to horse owners, but for everyone who does not have the physical ability to hike in the backcountry and for the communities that rely on jobs created by tourists traveling to our national parks and forests to have these experiences,” said Pendergrass. “We are grateful to Congressman Nunes for taking action when this access was threatened.”   

Link to Full 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. 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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general

How Can Horse Farms Practice Biosecurity?

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   April 10, 2012 14:00

 

 

 

Biosecurity in the horse industry can be a difficult concept to comprehend, and put into practice, especially when the average horse frequently travels off property or encounters horses that have been off the farm.  However, lack of infection control procedures can leave a barn vulnerable to all kinds of diseases.  Indeed it is an important topic to discuss with your veterinarian.  This can include subjects such as:  cleaning, disinfection, considerations to make when moving horses around and testing of horses when they become sick.  According to University of Guelph Researcher and author of the “Worms and Germs” blog, Dr. Scott Weese, “Having a basic infection control plan in place is probably the biggest thing someone can do to reduce the risk of disease.”  Weese goes on to stress,  “It does not matter what you do with your horse(s), or whether you have only one horse, or a herd of 100, as an owner you should have a general idea of the measures you are going to take in order to reduce the risk of infection.”  Weese has been working in the area of biosecurity and infection control for over 15 years trying to find better ways to prevent and treat infectious diseases with a strong emphasis on prevention including giving talks at Equine Guelph’s new biosecurity workshops and two week e-Session.

 

Weese studies a wide range of diseases, one of which includes current diseases where the virus may change, like the Equine Herpes virus.  He also mentions diseases that spring up out of nowhere, like West Nile virus, and cautions even though the disease may first appear on another continent we are always at risk for new and emerging diseases.

 

Weese and Dr. Maureen Anderson of the Ontario Veterinary College's Centre for Public Health and Zoonoseshave been tracking diseases and infections all over the world.  For the last three years they have been posting helpful information for horse and pet owners, first with “equIDblog” and now via the “Worms and Germs blog.”  Keeping tabs on emerging diseases in the area is valuable information when discussing the importance and timing of a vaccination program with your veterinarian.  This will help ensure the program is a good fit for the needs of your horse.  Weese cautions that vaccination should not be the only biosecurity practice horse owners engage in.

Any time a horse goes off the farm and encounters other horses it has a chance of contracting an infectious disease.  A few ways to lower those risks include:  avoiding nose to nose contact, not sharing water buckets and grooming equipment and avoid having people that are handling other horses handle your own horses. 

 

This brings us to the topic of what to do when returning from a trip off the farm.  Ideally a horse that leaves the farm and is exposed to other horses should come home to a quarantine protocol to reduce the chances of spreading infections to the entire herd.  Although this is not always possible, due consideration should be given to keeping the housing separate for horses that travel frequently especially if you also keep horses at greater risk of infection such as broodmares or foals.

 

Weese was the first speaker at the launch of Equine Guelph’s “Beat the Bugs” biosecurity workshops and says, “These workshops are great for getting people thinking in a broader context when it comes to infection control and putting into practice the easy day to day steps which can reduce outbreaks of disease.”

 

To view the Report on Research video on Biosecurity for Horse Owners go to: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9ACE18F9180735B1&feature=plcp


To learn more about protecting your horse from infectious disease- sign up for Equine Guelph’s upcoming  Biosecurity e-Session April 16 -19 at www.EquineGuelph.ca/biosecurity.php

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disease | general | workshop

American Horse Council Helps YOU to connect with Congress

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   January 21, 2012 07:45


Despite the low approval ratings for Congress, Americans are still interested in what Congress is doing.  Why?  Because what Congress does - or does not do - impacts the horse industry.  This is true regardless of your breed or discipline, whether you are an individual owner, run a track or show, own a horse business, work in the industry as a service provider or ride for recreation. 

 

It is important that we build relationships with our elected leaders in Washington and that they understand and appreciate the $102 billion horse industry’s contribution to the economic, sporting and recreational sectors of the U.S. and their states.  2012 is a terrific opportunity to do this because it is an election year and so many members of Congress and new candidates are running for federal office and they want to meet you.

 

One of the best ways to build a relationship is to simply invite a member of Congress to your farm or ranch or to an equestrian event back in the district or state.  Invite other horse people so there is a built-in crowd of voters.  A personal experience with the horse community makes an impression. 

 

All across the country there are farms and ranches getting ready for the breeding season, a great time to showcase the industry.  There are horse shows, large and small, races, rodeos, organized and disorganized trail rides, horse sales, etc. Each of these events is an opportunity to build a relationship with a member of Congress or a candidate and to help them understand the horse industry a little bit better.  Remember that going to a horse farm or event is a pleasant way to spend a few hours.  Having voters there makes it even more pleasant for those running for Congress.  

 

Building relationships with members of Congress is more important now than ever. There are many issues before Congress such as taxes, federal spending, immigration reform and racing legislation, trails legislation and disease programs that could all have profound implications for the horse industry. Only by having personal exchanges with their constituents, who are involved with the horse industry, will members of Congress fully appreciate how these issues impact the industry.    

 

If you would like to invite a member of Congress to your facility or your organization has an upcoming event you think would be appropriate for your Senator or Representative to attend, please contact the AHC.  The AHC will help you invite them and provide any guidance you might need.  You can call or email the AHC at (202) 296-4031 or AHC@horsecouncil.org  for help.  Ask for our brochure, Getting Involved in the 2012 Elections, which will give you some pointers. 

 

Please get involved.  You will be helping yourself and your industry.  And remember that while Congress’ approval rating as a whole is very low, polls still show that most people feel their Senator or Representative is doing a good job so you might even enjoy the visit.  They will.

 

Link to full 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. 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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entertainment | groom