House Appropriations Committee Approves Agriculture Appropriations Bill
On July 19, 2012, the House Appropriations Committee approved its version of the FY 2013 Agriculture Appropriations bill. This bill provides funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the 2013 fiscal year (October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013) and contains several provisions of interest to the horse industry.
The AHC requested the committee increase funding for equine health programs to ensure the USDA is able to fill the currently vacant equine veterinarian position. This position is responsible for coordinating the USDA’s response to equine disease outbreaks. The AHC is pleased the committee agreed and provided an additional $1.2 million for Equine, Cervid, and Small Rumiant health. Total funding for Equine, Cervid, and Small Rumiant health would be set at $19.17 million. The committee specifically directed USDA to use these additional funds to “fill current vacancies related to equine veterinary medicine and related expenses.”
During mark-up, Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) offered an amendment to prohibit funding for USDA inspections at U.S. horse slaughter facilities. This amendment passed by a voice vote. Congressman Moran offered a similar amendment last year to the FY 2012 bill that was also adopted by the committee. However, the final FY 2012 USDA bill did not include a prohibition on funding.
The bill would also provide $500,000 for enforcement of the Horse Protection Act.
The bill must now be approved by the full House and then go to the Senate.
If you have any questions please contact the AHC.