HOW THE AHC SPENT THE SUMMER
It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over. In the DC area, some schools have even already started up, and traffic is getting back to its “normal” gridlock.
Both the Senate and the House have been in recess since the middle of July, and are slated to come back to work on September 5th and 6th, respectively. Since the American Horse Council (AHC) works with Congress on issues that impact our industry, what exactly do we do during the summer when Congress isn’t here?
In June we held our Annual Meeting and National Issues Forum, where members and leaders from every segment of the industry gathered to discuss issues of importance that are affecting the industry. The National Issues Forum, sponsored by Luitpold Animal Health contained presentations and discussions about the successful Time to Ride campaign and benefits of Microchipping with speakers from the United States Equestrian Federation, United States Hunter Jumper Association, and The Jockey Club. Senator Pat Robert (R-KS) also spoke on the importance of the industry and hearing from constituents about the issues they feel are important.
After the Annual Meeting, the AHC transitioned to new leadership with Julie Broadway assuming the role as President from Jay Hickey. Under her leadership, the AHC is working on a new and improved Annual Meeting, and increasing the visibility of the AHC not only within the industry itself, but in the public eye as well.
On the legislative side of things, both the Senate and the House both adjourned for recess on July 15th and 16th. Even though members of Congress are not physically here in Washington during their summer recess, the AHC is still working with staff of members of Congress on issues and regulations that could impact our equine industry.
During this recess time members of Congress are still working, but out of their offices in their home districts. In fact, a lot of members set aside specific time to meet with their constituents face to face while they are back in their district. This is a perfect opportunity to set up a meeting with them and discuss any issues of importance to you and the equine industry.
Additionally, staff members for the member of Congress are still back in the office here in Washington, DC during the recess, and meetings are still taking place. While Congress isn’t in session, no formal hearings or votes take place, but work is still being done on your behalf.
Last week, the USDA announced proposed changes in the Horse Protection Act (HPA) regulations, so the AHC has been actively working on reviewing these proposed changes, what they could mean for the industry, as well as preparing our comments for submission. As a result of these proposed changes being announced, there has been some confusion on the difference between the current HPA Regulations, the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, and the proposed HPA regulations. The AHC has put together some information in an easy to understand infographic, as well as more detailed information on each that you can view here.
Due to 2016 being an election year, Congress has been working on an abbreviated schedule so not much has been voted on or passed. As a result, we anticipate that 2017 will be quite busy, but rest assured that the AHC will be here actively working on behalf of you, your sport, and your equine.