Monthly Archive for: ‘January, 2018’

Partisan Gridlock Initiates Federal Government Shut-Down

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

January 20, 2018

Partisan Gridlock Initiates Federal Government Shut-Down

With Congress gridlocked on an agreement to adopt a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government into February, the following are some real world consequences that could impact AHC members.   In the unlikely event that the government faces an extended suspension of “non-critical” operations, AHC will inform you about other specific consequences arising from the funding impasse.

  • National Park Service  – With the temporary suspension of federal government operations, the Department of Interior may close the National Park Service (NPS).  During the last government shutdown in 2013, the NPS marked as closed, or gated, all roads accessing national parks.  The NPS also closed all visitor and information centers.  Similar measures during the current shutdown would hinder hikers and horseback riders from gaining access to nearly 60,000 miles of trails under NPS jurisdiction. AHC recommends that members research the status of specific parks prior to planning a visit.
  • National Forest Service, Possible Flexibility  – According to a 2017 “shut down” contingency plan from the Department of Agriculture (USDA), any activity already certified by a permit could move forward in the event of a shutdown, so long as NFS personnel aren’t necessary to guarantee the safety of the participants, per the terms of the permit. However, NFS has the discretion to apply these contingencies on a “case-by-case” basis.  AHC recommends that members research the status of specific NFS trail closures beforehand.
  • Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) – According to a USDA memorandum, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has identified at least some APHIS functions as exempt from a shutdown, based on their role in protecting public health.  This includes APHIS’ Safety and Security Unit (SSU), which oversees health, safety, and security issues for employees of the National Centers for Animal Health (NCAH).
  • Critical Services – As a general rule, federal employees involved in “critical services” will not be subject to a furlough.  This group includes air traffic controllers, military personnel, and hazardous waste handlers, among others.  Other exempted services include USDA’s inspection and quarantine of animals prior to import or export (see above).
  • U.S. Mail – Finally, U.S. postal workers are not exempt from a federal funding furlough and will continue to deliver the mail.

Federal officials don’t anticipate an extended shut down of government operations.  For details related to the budget impasse and its near-term consequences, please contact Bryan Brendle, Director of Legislative Affairs, at  bbrendle@horsecouncil.org.

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Another Zeroing Out? Just Say No… And Other News

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Take Action for Nevada’s Wild Horses

Please take action to oppose the BLM’s “zeroing-out” (eliminating) all wild horses from the Seaman and White River Herd Management Areas in Nevada. Over the past 46 years, the BLM has slowly but steadily eliminated approximately 25,000 square miles of wild horse and burro habitat… That’s more land than the entire states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New Jersey combined! By taking action today, you are telling our federal government that you oppose removing all wild horses from nearly 600 square miles of our public lands in Nevada. Take action and share with your friends and family to stand up against this assault on our wild horses.

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MULE CROSSING: Letter from “Jasper” the Mule

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By Meredith Hodges

Hi, Meredith!

My name is Jasper. I am a three-year-old, 15HH, bay Quarter Horse mule. I suppose, by people standards, I’m really nothing special, but I’m still me! I heard my owners talking about you the other day. They said that if anyone could help set me straight, it would be you. I didn’t know there was a problem! I always try to do what they want me to, but sometimes that can be hard to figure out! When I was just a foal, people used to come out to see me and my mother.

We were pastured on a couple of acres that surrounded an old shed where we used to get in out of the weather. My mother was content to graze and doze day after day – she wasn’t much on excitement. I used to love it when the people came and carried on about how cute I was. Then they would scratch and massage my fuzzy little body. They even got a little playful when I followed them around, romping, playing, and bumping them with my nose. “Oh, look how cute and friendly he is,” they’d say.

One day, when I was about six months old, the people came to play. I was feeling especially good that day and was glad to see some playmates coming to my pasture. Mom doesn’t really like to play much. I let them scratch and pet me for about 10 minutes, but then they started to leave! I didn’t want them to go, so I ran quickly behind one of the older men, nipped him on the butt playfully, and looped my forelegs over his shoulders. Wham! My whole head ached with the sting from that blow and I heard: “Get out of here, you brat!”  I didn’t understand. They’d always liked to play before. “I guess we’ll have to start halter breaking this mule and teach him some manners!”

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HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM CHILLY PEPPER & ALL THE CRITTERS!

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The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:

Happy New Year!

What we have all accomplished in 2017 is beyond amazing. Y’all have made it possible to save so many lives. Please remember, every single horse that was saved in South Dakota was partially due to the love and support you continue to show. Our rescue spent a great deal of money on that situation. Although it was only a drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds of thousands donated by the big organizations, for us the thousands plus that we spent was mind blowing. YOU DID THAT! You made it possible for Matt and I to do what we had to do. In turn, we made it possible for FOA to do what they did. Elaine Nash and Barbara Jo Rasmussen also are partially responsible for the hundreds that we saved this year. If they hadn’t stepped up and taken on the re-homing of the horses at ISPMB, we wouldn’t have been able to save all those orphans and all the families that you helped us save his year. So by working together, the affects reach further and further down the line without us even realizing it.

I wanted to share this. As one of our favorite “family members” so eloquently said,

“Hi Lauri! My name is Tina. I am the mother of the young girl you are referring to in your post above. I have to THANK YOU for bringing Frosty into my daughter’s life. Frosty lights up her world! Your rescue efforts trickle down to giving a young girl the ability to use her determination, compassion, and love to pour into this sweet and gentle boy! She absolutely loves him. Thank you!

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Nevada to Give Away Virginia Range Mustangs – Please Help!

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

If you contacted Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval to protect the Virginia Range wild horses – thank you.

You may have received an email response from the Governor’s office outlining “criteria” for the state’s ill-conceived plan to give away the 3,000 Virginia Range wild horses. Unfortunately, what the Governor failed to even mention is that by the state giving away the horses, the state and citizens would have NO power to stop the new owner from killing healthy horses. The state can have whatever “criteria” or “intent” it wants — but the final decisions about the horses’ fate would rest with the new OWNER. The horses would be deemed privately-owned and would be subject to all laws pertaining to domestic horses/livestock (e.g. branding laws, liability laws, etc.)

The Governor and his Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) know that transferring ownership of these horses to a private party is not viable especially from a liability perspective. Currently, under Nevada law, the state owns the horses and is exempt from any liability of damage or injury caused by the horses. This exemption from liability  would not pertain to any private owner of the horses. Thus, the transfer of the 3,000 horses to a private entity that has good intentions for the horses is not practical. AWHC strongly believes that no legitimate advocacy organization could take on this type of liability.

While what the Governor wrote sounds nice. However, the Governor and NDA are disingenuous when they asssert that this is in the interest of protecting and preserving the horses because their scheme cannot be implemented as advertised.

Lastly, we need to remind you that the only supporters of this giveaway plan is Protect the Harvest, the organization lobbying to legalize the killing of America’s wild horses and burros, and ranchers who have long pushed to kill wild horses.

Please let us know if you have questions. We stand ready, as we always have been, to resume the public/private partnership for all aspects of humane management of the Virginia Range horses. 

– The AWHC Team

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MULE CROSSING: Donkey Talk

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By Meredith Hodges

Donkeys are indigenous to desert areas that are often extremely hot or extremely cold. They are tough, surefooted due to the unique shape of their hooves, resistant to parasites, and disease and can withstand wide variations in climate. They require very little to survive and actually prefer the wide variety of brush and weeds that occur naturally in the desert with one of their favorite foods being dandelions.

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The ELD Mandate will Impact the Horse Industry

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The following is from Protect The Harvest:

Protect The Harvest

November 28, 2017

“NOT FOR HIRE” IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH – HOW THE ELD MANDATE WILL IMPACT THE HORSE INDUSTRY
As a breeder, owner, trainer or competitor in the horse industry, it is important to understand the implications of the ELD Mandate that will be hitting the transportation industry in December of 2017. The facts are that unless we all speak up you may be required to install an electronic logging device (ELD) in your truck.

There are some exemptions in place for farm or agricultural hauling where an ELD would not be required. However, many of the rigs used for hauling horses and the activities horse owners participate in, especially those that frequently travel to horse shows, fall outside the allowed exemptions.

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AHC Tax Bulletin-January 2018

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

AHC’s Tax Bulletin is Sponsored by

The American Horse Council keeps you up to date with important tax court cases and regulations with its bi-monthly Tax Bulletin. The Tax Bulletin is a member benefit, and thus is not intended for reproduction. For more information on federal legislation, equine health and regulatory issues, taxes, animal welfare, racing, recreation, and showing please visit our website at www.horsecouncil.org

Horse Industry Faces New Tax Landscape in 2018

Following President Trump’s signing of the new tax law on December 22, federal policy makers began immediately to discuss the likelihood of moving legislation in 2018 to address technical changes and clarifications to the 1100 page law.  While AHC takes a deeper dive into the tax law to address in more detail those provisions having a direct impact on the horse industry, please click to lin below to login and view the highlights that will impact your tax filing for Fiscal Year 2018.

Login to read the January Tax Bulletin

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Let’s Start the Year with New Beginnings – Adopt!

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The following is from All About Equine Animal Rescue:

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Happy New Year!!  

 2017 was a very special year, and we are glad we got to share it with you.

We hope you enjoyed the stories and thank you for your continuing support during

 the Deck the Stalls campaign.  Although we haven’t reached our goal, we are in a much better position to get ready for another year of horse rescue.
In 2017, AAE started the year with 35 horses in our care.  We took in 36 horses, and we adopted 33.  That’s an intake to adoption ratio of about 92 percent!!  Intakes were due to a variety of reasons including two orphan foals (Rascal and Cowboy), Blue – the mustang with the large mass on its leg, an abandoned horse with a rope around it’s neck, a neglected and emaciated horse, several senior horses in need, and many wild horses and burros in need.  Sadly but compassionately, we helped four of our horses cross the Rainbow Bridge due to severe colic and pain/quality of life issues.
 

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Saved the Best for Last

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The following is from All About Equine Animal Rescue:

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Let’s Deck the Stalls with Boughs of Plenty for 2018

1 Day Left, AAE Residents!

The heart of our volunteer activities begin with our residents.  it all begins with our minis, ponies, and our full-sized horses.  Our new volunteers learn about basic care and handling with our most reliable, trustworthy, and dependable horses.  They have their stories, too, but we don’t often talk about them because their story came and went.  Let’s revisit….

RUSTY
Rusty is our 31, soon to be 32-year old Arabian gelding that came to us in 2010 due to a financial distress and an impending deployment situation. Rusty was loved beyond words, but his mom knew she couldn’t give him what he needed, and she worried that when she was deployed, there wouldn’t be anyone experienced enough to provide the care he needed for as long as it might be.  So she made the difficult decision to find a safe home for him.

 

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