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On Friday, August 1, President Obama signed into law an American Horse Council (AHC) supported bill, the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, making it legal for veterinarians to provide the care necessary to horses away from their licensed place of practice and across state lines.

Previously, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) believed that veterinarians were in violation of the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) and prohibited them from transporting, administering or dispensing any controlled substances which are necessary for the veterinarian when attempting to care for the safety and well-being of the horse beyond their licensed locations.

The new language reads, “a registrant who is a veterinarian shall not be required to have a separate registration in order to transport and dispense controlled substances in the usual course of veterinary practice at a site other than the registrant’s registered principal place of business or professional practice, so long as the site of transporting and dispensing is located in a State where the veterinarian is licensed to practice veterinary medicine and is not a principal place of business or professional practice.”

The AHC is unaware of how the DEA will react to this or whether they will issue new guidance or change their registration process in any way to reflect this new provision.

The AHC would like to thank Congress and the President for this important legislation that allows veterinarians to continue caring for the well-being of horses without any fear of being in violation of the CSA.

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On December 18, 2015, an omnibus appropriations bill that will fund the government was passed by Congress and signed by the President.  This bill is a package of all 12 annual appropriations bills and will fund all government agencies and programs until the end of the fiscal year, September 30, 2016.

The omnibus bill contains several provisions that impact the horse industry, including reforms to the H-2B temporary guest worker program, the U.S. Department Agriculture (USDA) FY 2016 appropriations bill, defunding of horse slaughter, and reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

“Notably, the bill includes several beneficial provisions relating to the H-2B temporary, non-agricultural worker program and would roll back some of the most onerous provisions of a 2015 H-2B rule,” said AHC president Jay Hickey.   “The AHC has been working to ensure these provisions were included in the omnibus bill and on reforms to the program for years.    These provisions will make the H-2B program less burdensome for employers, including those in the horse industry.”

“The bill contains vital funding for the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS,) which is responsible for protecting and responding to contagious equine disease outbreaks.  The bill also includes funding for enforcement of the Horse Protection Act (HPA). Adequate funding for APHIS, equine health, and the HPA are important for the welfare of U.S. horses and the economic health of the horse industry,” said Hickey.

The bill includes language that prohibits USDA from using any funds to provide inspectors at meat processing facilities that slaughter horses, continuing a block that begin in 2005, except for a brief period in 2012 and 2013.

No horse slaughter facilities are operating in the U.S. and this bill would effectively prevent any such facility from opening before September 30, 2016.

The language was included in the omnibus bill because the Senate Appropriations Committee adopted an amendment that prohibited funding for inspectors at horse slaughter facilities when they debated and approved their version of the FY 2016 USDA appropriations bill.  The Senate amendment was offered in committee by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and passed by a voice vote.

The bill will also reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) for three years with funding of $450 million for the coming FY 2016, a nearly 50 percent increase over the previous level.  LWCF provides funds and matching grants to federal, state and local governments for the acquisition of land and water for recreation and the protection of natural resources. 

“The LWCF program had expired this year and there was some concern it might not get reauthorized in a timely fashion,” said AHC vice president of government affairs. “The program is responsible for adding millions of acres to the national parks system, national recreation areas, and state and local parks that include many trails for equestrians.”

More details about the bill can be found here:  https://www.horsecouncil.org/press-release/congress-approves-omnibus-bill-to-fund-government/

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The American Horse Council (AHC) is pleased to continue to recognize December 13th as National Day of the Horse.

In 2004, Congress designated December 13th as National Day of the Horse, and has been celebrated each year since. The day was established to encourage U.S. citizens to be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history, and character of the United States.

“Horses have been inextricably linked to U.S. history and culture since its beginnings,” said AHC President Julie Broadway.  “They have contributed greatly to the advancement of our society from tilling the fields to grow crops for early settlers, rounding up livestock on ranches, and contributing $9.2 billion to the U.S. economy.”

“The AHC hopes that people will continue to recognize not only the importance of National Day of the Horse, but also the critical role that the AHC plays on their behalf here in Washington, DC,” said American Horse Council, AHC’s Director of Communications. “As such, we have a released a short video detailing the work the AHC does daily on behalf of all equines and equine owners in the United States.”

The short informational video can be viewed here.

The AHC encourages everyone to post on social media using the hashtag #NationalDayoftheHorse to continue to tell their personal stories of their equines and the joy they bring to people’s lives daily.

https://youtu.be/jmsyJU7jYbk 

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On Friday, August 1, President Obama signed into law an American Horse Council (AHC) supported bill, the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, making it legal for veterinarians to provide the care necessary to horses away from their licensed place of practice and across state lines.

Previously, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) believed that veterinarians were in violation of the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) and prohibited them from transporting, administering or dispensing any controlled substances which are necessary for the veterinarian when attempting to care for the safety and well-being of the horse beyond their licensed locations.

The new language reads, “a registrant who is a veterinarian shall not be required to have a separate registration in order to transport and dispense controlled substances in the usual course of veterinary practice at a site other than the registrant’s registered principal place of business or professional practice, so long as the site of transporting and dispensing is located in a State where the veterinarian is licensed to practice veterinary medicine and is not a principal place of business or professional practice.”

The AHC is unaware of how the DEA will react to this or whether they will issue new guidance or change their registration process in any way to reflect this new provision.

The AHC would like to thank Congress and the President for this important legislation that allows veterinarians to continue caring for the well-being of horses without any fear of being in violation of the CSA.

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