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Unwanted Horse Coalition presents at Horse World Expo

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   January 23, 2012 16:33

WASHINGTON, DC – January 23, 2012 - The Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC) was invited to participate in the University Seminars, courtesy of University of Maryland, at the Horse World Expo on January 20th in Timonium, Maryland. Ericka Caslin, UHC Director, gave an informative presentation about the UHC and unwanted horses to a group of Expo attendees.

 

The presentation, titled Unwanted Horses: The Issues and the Solutions, focused on responsible ownership and the options horse owners have when faced with the difficult decision of finding their horse a new home. Caslin said, “Many horse owners are not informed about the help that is available to them. The UHC helps owners understand their options, from donation to therapeutic riding programs, to horse owner assistance and grant programs.” Caslin gave the attendees information about the UHC’s Operation Gelding Program, as well as other similar programs offered by organizations throughout the industry. Caslin also reported the findings of the UHC’s 2009 Unwanted Horses Survey, which details the scope of the problem, the causes, and possible solutions.

 

Each attendee was given a copy of UHC’s brochure, The Problem of the Unwanted Horse: Own Responsibly and information about how to find additional materials on the UHC website, free of charge.

 

“It is extremely important to make sure that each horse owner has the knowledge of responsible horse ownership. In order to help our nation’s unwanted horses, we need to make sure we provide the tools and information to horse owners about their options,” said Caslin.

 

For information about the UHC or to request a speaker for your event, please contact Ericka Caslin at ecaslin@horsecouncil.org or 202-2964031. For information about horse owner assistance programs and facilities that accept horses, please visit www.unwantedhorsecoalition.org

 

The Unwanted Horse Coalition

The mission of the Unwanted Horse Coalition is to reduce the number of unwanted horses and improve their welfare through education and the efforts of organizations committed to the health, safety and responsible care and disposition of these horses. The UHC grew out of the Unwanted Horse Summit, which was organized by the American Association of Equine Practitioners and held in conjunction with the American Horse Council’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., in April 2005. The summit was held to bring key stakeholders together to start a dialogue on the unwanted horse in America. Its purpose was to develop consensus on the most effective way to work together to address the issue. In June 2006, the UHC was folded into the AHC and now operates under its auspices.

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Biosecurity Update: New EHV-1 case in Canada

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   January 23, 2012 14:18

   Veterinary Update

Animal Health and Welfare Branch/Office of the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


 

                                                    January 19, 2012

Confirmed Case of Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy in Southern Ontario

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has been notified of a confirmed case of Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHM), caused by equine herpes virus 1 (EHV-1),  in Southern Ontario.  A blood sample from a horse with severe neurological signs tested positive for EHV-1 in early January. The horse was euthanized after its condition deteriorated.  On a second farm in the same area, another horse with similar signs was euthanized in late December.  No samples were collected from that horse.

 

In 2011, there was one laboratory-confirmed case and one suspect case of EHM in Ontario.

 

EHV-1 infection in horses can cause respiratory disease, abortion, neonatal foal death, and/or neurological disease.  EHV-1 is not a federally Reportable Disease.  

 

Because infected horses may show no clinical signs, but still shed the virus, the temperature of suspect animals should be monitored twice daily for 14 -21 days and any abnormalities discussed with a veterinarian. Neurological signs include loss of muscle coordination, lethargy, inability to urinate, reduced tail tone and/or head tilt.  It is important that a veterinarian assess suspect cases of EHM, since it can be difficult to distinguish between this and other serious diseases, such as rabies, that can affect the nervous system in horses.

 

EHV-1 is easily spread by sharing contaminated equipment, contact with an animal carrying the virus, or by the clothing, hands or equipment of visitors to farms who recently had contact with an infected horse. 

 

All horse owners should be reminded to practice vaccination and appropriate biosecurity protocols and procedures (see links below) for horses and equipment coming on and off the farm, particularly if traveling to shows or events. 

 

Current EHV vaccines may reduce viral shedding but are not protective against the neurological form of the disease. Implementing routine biosecurity practices is the best way to minimize the spread of this disease.

 

Increased vigilance is needed in the equine industry at this time.  In cases of neurological disease, a veterinarian’s first obligation is to rule out rabies if the animal dies or is euthanized, by submitting a brain sample to CFIA. Appropriate personal protection, such as gloves and a face shield, should be used when collecting samples.

The resources listed below contain excellent information on basic biosecurity practices and infection control.

 

Equine Herpes Virus is an opportunity to remind your clients that the best method of disease control is disease prevention.




 

 

RESOURCES

 

UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN

 

http://blogs.usask.ca/EHRF/EHV%20fact%20sheet-1.MAR.20.pdf

 

 

OMAFRA

 

http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/horses/facts/prev-disease-spread.htm

 

http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/horses/health.html

 

 

EQUINE GUELPH

 

http://www.equineguelph.ca/education/equiplanner_guidelines_strangles.php

 

http://www.equineguelph.ca/pdf/facts/vacc_guidelines_print_FINAL.pdf

 

 

AMERICAN PLANT AND HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE

 

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/nahss/equine/ehv/equine_herpesvirus_brochure_2009.pdf

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American Horse Council's 2012 Immigration Reform Outlook

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   January 21, 2012 19:58

 

Despite substantial efforts to recruit and train U.S. workers, horse farms, ranches, horse shows, trainers and others must rely on foreign workers and use both the H-2B and H-2A temporary foreign worker programs to meet their labor needs.  For this reason immigration polices have a profound impact on the horse industry.

 

In 2011 numerous bills were introduced in the 112th Congress concerning immigration, most enforcement oriented.  Most notably, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Lamar Smith (R-TX) introduced the Legal Workforce Act (H.R.2885), which would require all employers to use the federal E-verify system to make sure their workers are authorized to work.   The House Judiciary Committee held hearings on this bill and reported it out of committee on September 21.

 

“In the Summer and Fall we saw a lot of action in Congress on immigration.  Committees in both the House and Senate held numerous hearings and the House Judiciary Committee approved a mandatory E-verify bill. Since then however, there has been little movement on the issue because even Members of Congress who are in favor of beefing up enforcement and passing mandatory E-verify can’t agree on the best way to proceed,” said AHC Legislative Director Ben Pendergrass.

 

In response to concerns that mandatory E-verify would cripple the U.S. agricultural industry several bills, like the American Specialty Agriculture Act (H.R.2847) and the Legal Agricultural Workforce Act (H.R.2895), were introduced.  These bills would create new, less burdensome temporary foreign agricultural worker programs to replace the current H-2A program. However, no consensus emerged on which of the many proposals on the table would  best accommodate the needs of agriculture.

 

 “It is absolutely vital for the horse industry to have access to functioning, efficient, and cost effective foreign temporary worker programs to meet its labor needs and the horse industry can not support any bill unless it provides for those needs,” said AHC President Jay Hickey. “We would like Congress to reform our system in a comprehensive way.  However, as we enter another election year it is unlikely Congress will have much of a desire to deal with a hot-button issue like immigration.”

 

“It is likely more immigration bills will be introduced in 2012 and there maybe action taken on specific issues like the H-2B wage rule, but right now it doesn’t look like Congress will take action on major legislation like mandatory E-verify,” said Pendergrass.    

 

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.

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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