Prevent All Soring Tactics Act

Introduction

On March 30, 2017, Representatives Ted Yoho (R-FL) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) re- introduced the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2015 (HR 1847) (PAST act) in the House of Representatives.   The bill is intended to strengthen the Horse Protection Act (HPA) and prevent the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses, Racking Horses, and Spotted Saddle Horses.  The bill is identical to the bill introduced last Congress and is supported by the American Horse Council and most national horse show organizations.

Click here for more information about this legislation

The Horse Protection Amendments Act

Introduction

Representative Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) has reintroduced the Horse Protection Amendments Act (H.R. 1338). This is the exact same bill DesJarlais introduced last year to amend the Horse Protection Act (HPA).   The bill would create a single Horse Industry Organization (HIO) that would be responsible for enforcement of the HPA. This bill is opposed by the AHC.

Click here for more information about this legislation

Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act

The Safeguard American Food Exports Act (H.R. 113) was re-introduced on January 10, 2017 by Representatives Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). The bill is identical to legislation introduced last Congress and similar to other earlier bills that would in effect prohibit the slaughter of horses in the U.S. and the export of horses for slaughter.

This bill cites health concerns as the primary rationale to prohibit the sale or export of horses or horsemeat for human consumption, because they are frequently treated with drugs that pose a serious threat to human health if eaten.  The bill would make it illegal under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to knowingly sell or transport horses or parts of horses in interstate or foreign commerce for purposes of human consumption.

The bill was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Committee on Agriculture.

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015

Introduction

Congress has passed a tax extender bill called the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 that includes several provisions important to the horse industry and supported by the American Horse Council. 

At the end of 2014, a number of favorable tax provisions for horse owners, breeders and businesses expired.  In all, over sixty tax provisions expired; some applied to all businesses, including the horse industry, and one was specifically applicable to owners of race horses.  All of the provisions extended are retroactive for all of 2015.

Status

This bill has been signed into law.

Click here for more information on this bill..

National Equine Health Plan Published

The American Horse Council (AHC), in conjunction with the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and state animal health officials, is pleased to announce that the National Equine Health Plan (NEHP) is now available at equinediseasecc.org/national-equine-health-plan.

The goals of the NEHP are to protect the health and welfare of the U.S. equine population, facilitate the continued interstate and international movement of horses and their products, ensure the availability of regulatory services, and protect the economic continuity of business in the equine industry.

The NEHP also functions as a roadmap for coordinating horse owners and industry organizations with veterinarians and state and federal animal health officials to prevent, recognize, control and respond to diseases and environmental disasters. The plan facilitates horse industry preparedness, effective rapid communication, and owner education, which make up the foundation for preventing diseases and disease spread. Links to information and resources are included in the NEHP document, including a list of “Roles and Responsibilities” for all stakeholders in the industry.

The NEHP provides immediate access to resources and communications needed to optimize disease mitigation and prevention. It serves as a guide for regulations and responses needed to mitigate and prevent infectious diseases. The AHC and the AAEP encourage sharing this document as it will help educate horse owners about how veterinarians and state and federal officials work together to decrease the risk of disease spread.

NAHMS Equine Health Study Update

Introduction

The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) announced the launch of an equestrian health study called “Equine 2015” that began in May.  This is NAHMS third national study of the U.S. equine health issues; the previous studies were conducted in 1998 and 2005.

Equine 2015 is designed to provide participants, the horse industry, and animal-health officials with information on the nation’s equine population that will serve as a basis for education, service, and research related to equine health and management. The study will also provide the horse industry with new and valuable information regarding trends in the industry for 1998, 2005, and 2015.

AHC Position

The American Horse Council supported the initiating of the study and encouraged anyone contacted by NAHMS to participate.

Click here for more information

USDA Five Year Equine Health Business Plan

Introduction

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has developed and published its five year Equine Health Business Plan.  The Plan outlines the steps that USDA will undertake to partner with the states, tribes, the horse industry and others to safeguard the health of U.S. horses and the equine industry over the next five years.

AHC Position

The AHC supports USDA’s efforts in creating the Five Year Equine Health Business Plan that will result in a system that fits the needs and requirements of a growing industry.

Click here for more information

AHC Changes Position on Federal EIA Rule Proposal

Introduction

In January, 2012, the AHC advised the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA} that it opposed the USDA’s proposing a new federal EIA rule. At the time, the AHC did not consider a change was needed because a very small percentage of horses tested positive for EIA and the disease appeared under control.  The AHC felt that the USDA funds, resources and staff time spent on drafting and proposing such a rule could be better spent on other more pressing equine issues.

AHC Position

The AHC no longer opposes the publication of a federal rule on EIA so that comments can be provided by interested parties.

Click here for more information

Clarification of Withholding Requirement on Racing

On December 29, 2016 the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published a proposed rule regarding withholding requirements on pari-mutuel winnings. The proposed rule would make changes to withholding requirements that are more accurate and reflect the current state of wagering in the horse racing industry.

To view the proposed rule, please click here.

H-2B Program and Wage Rule

Introduction

On April 29, 2015, the Department Homeland Security (DHS) and Department Labor (DOL) issued a final interim H-2B temporary guest worker program rule and a final wage rule. This final interim H-2B rule is almost identical to a 2012 H-2B program rule that has been blocked by a federal court since its release and was opposed by the American Horse Council and other industries that rely on the H-2B program.  Both rules are effective immediately. 

The H-2B program is used by members of the horse industry, principally horse trainers and owners who cannot find American workers to fill semi-skilled jobs at racetracks, horse shows, fairs and in similar non-agricultural activities.

AHC Position

The AHC is opposed to the final interim rule and the final wage rule.

Click here for more information

X