Equine Welfare News

  • AHC Submits Comments on Proposed Horse Protection Act Regulations

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    The following is an update from the American Horse Council in Washington.

    AHCThe American Horse Council (AHC) has submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) regarding proposed changes to the regulations governing enforcement of the Horse Protection Act (HPA). The AHC supports taking action to strengthen HPA regulations, but in its comments requested USDA make several important improvements to proposed rule.

    The HPA was enacted in 1970 to prohibit the showing, exhibiting, transporting or sale at auction of a horse that has been sored.   Soring is an abusive practice used by some horse trainers in the Tennessee Walking Horse, Spotted Saddle Horse, and Racking Horse industry. It usually involves the use of action devices, chemicals, stacks or other practices to cause pain in a horse’s forelegs and produce an accentuated show gait for competition.  Despite the existence of a federal ban on soring for over forty years, this cruel practice continues in some segments of the walking horse industry. Soring is not a problem in other segments of the horse industry.

    The USDA proposed rule would make several major changes to current HPA regulations with the goal of ending soring, including a new licensing program for HPA inspectors and a ban on action devices, pads, weighted shoes and foreign substances at walking horse shows, exhibitions, sales, and auctions.

    In its comments the AHC expressed its opposition to soring and its belief that action is needed to stop the soring of “big lick” Tennessee Walking Horses, Racking Horses and Spotted Saddle Horses.  However, the AHC also voiced concerns that certain provisions of the proposed rule are too broadly written, not sufficiently defined, and could cause confusion for the horse show industry. 

    The AHC’s comments strongly urge USDA to explicitly limit all new provisions to Tennessee Walking Horses, Racking Horses, and Spotted Saddle Horses, mirroring the widely supported   Prevent All Soring Tactics Act or PAST Act.  The AHC believes making this change will address most concerns the horse industry has with the proposed rule and will still achieve the goal of ending soring.

    Additionally, the AHC supported USDA’s decision to eliminate the current Designated Qualified Person (DQP) program and remove Horse Industry Organizations (HIOs) from having a role in enforcement of the HPA.  The AHC believes the new Horse Protection Inspector (HPI) program proposed in the rule will be able to more effectively enforce the HPA.

    The AHC  also asked USDA to take into consideration the costs the proposed rule could impose on smaller “flat shod” walking horse shows that make a good faith effort to comply with the HPA, and make accommodations for such shows.  The AHC proposed several changes to the rule that it believes would help control costs for these types of walking horse shows.

    The AHC is unequivocal that many of the proposed changes to the HPA regulations are needed, but that it is equally important that any new regulations be narrowly focused on the problem of soring and do not  inadvertently impact or unnecessarily burden other segments of the horse show industry that have no history of soring horses.  This position is supported by over 180 Members of Congress who, led by Congressmen Ted Yoho (R-FL) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR), have signed a letter to USDA that supports the proposed rule, but also calls on USDA to explicitly limit all new provisions to Tennessee Walking Horses, Racking Horses, and Spotted Saddle Horses. This letter can be viewed here.

    The AHC hopes USDA will included these needed changes in any final rule that is enacted.

    The AHC’s full comments can be viewed here

    Click Here To View Article on AHC

  • Update on ISPMB from Chilly Pepper-Miracle Mustang Rescue

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    The following is an update and support request from Chilly Pepper-Miracle Mustang Rescue.

    Last week Matt and I went to ISPMB and brought home a 3 year old and 2 yearlings. The situation is pretty complicated at this point and Karen is trying to adopt out approximately 100 horses.

    Four State Vets went out and one horse was scheduled to be euthanized, and approximately 30 need to be sorted for special care.. The count was 810 horses on site, and as of now the Sheriff’s office and Counties are feeding the horses. The horses have been gaining weight steadily with all the good food.

    Karen is providing a detailed plan to care for, feed and provide necessary care for the horses. Per the Court order she has until the 21st of October to provide her plan and until I believe the 11th of November to follow through. IF the county does not accept her plan, the horses could be seized and if not adopted out by December 1st they would go to “auction”, and we all know what that means. Karen feels confident that she will retain her horses but does want to make sure she downsizes.

    At this time there are many horses available for adoption. Matt and I were asked to return next week to pick up more horses to be adopted out. We are working with Karen to get some good homes for some of these beautiful horses.

    It is definitely not an inexpensive endeavor, but circumstances dictate helping to move as many horses as we possibly can before the bad weather hits.

    Below are pictures of the horses we brought home. They also need hoof care badly.

    Donate T0 The Chilly Pepper

  • Silent Auction to Benefit the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign

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    The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign’s Wild Night Gala is getting underway with their Silent Auction. 

    AWHP-LogoVisit the Online Auction Page to find your treasure and submit your bid. 

    Even if you can’t make it Wednesday, you can still join in the fun! We’ve created the opportunity for everyone to take part in our Silent Auction. Get a jumpstart on bidding on some fabulous items — including art by leading wild horse painters and photographers! 

    Bidding is super easy and can be done anywhere via text from your smartphone. You’ll even know via text if you’ve been outbid, so you can be sure to “win” whatever treasures you have your eyes on. We’ll be happy to ship your items to you for just the charge of shipping. 

    Every item purchased helps us continue the fight to ensure that our national treasures – wild horses and burros — remain free and secure on our public lands.

  • AWHP Update: Feds Broke Law In Wild Horse Roundup

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    LATE BREAKING UPDATE:

    This is an update from the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign.

    We have been fighting for five long years to stop the BLM’s wipeout of Wyoming’s wild horses. Today, for the second time this week, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has handed wild horses a major legal victory! The court ruled that the BLM broke two federal laws when it rounded up 1,262 wild horses from the Wyoming Checkerboard in 2014.

    unnamedThis is huge! It means that the BLM’s proposed 2016 Checkerboard roundup is also illegal! The BLM just notified the court that it was pulling the plug on this latest roundup of 500 wild horses, which was scheduled to start on October 18Not only that, the decision permanently prevents BLM from treating the public lands as private and allowing ranchers to dictate whether or not wild horses will be allowed to live on our public lands. 

    This is our third major victory for wild horses in just over a month! On Monday, the Tenth Circuit ruled that BLM is not required to remove horses from public lands just because the population exceeds arbitrarily-established population limits. And on September 9, the BLM dropped plans to conduct dangerous surgical sterilization experiments on wild horses in Oregon, citing the lawsuit filed by AWHPC and The Cloud Foundation as the reason for its decision.

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  • The Great African Donkey Rush

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    This is excerpted from an article by Simon Allison for The Daily Maverick.

    donkey-cartForget gold, diamonds or rhino horn. The hottest commodity in Africa right now – the most prized ass-et, if you will – is the humble donkey, thanks to a critical donkey shortage in China. But even this hardy beast of burden is struggling to carry the weight of an insatiable demand.

    Humanity owes a lot to the donkey. Domesticated for over five millennia, donkeys have been used for farming, transport, food and warfare. Hardy, reliable and uncomplaining, they are the ultimate beast of burden, not to mention the preferred ride of a certain Jesus Christ.

    But as the world has industrialised, so donkeys are losing their place in it. Machines farm better, cars are faster, and donkey meat is an acquired taste. Only the very poorest communities still rear and rely on donkeys for their day-to-day needs.

    Nowhere is this more apparent than in China. After two decades of high economic growth, the country’s donkey population has nearly halved: from 11-million in the late 1990s to just six million today.

    The precipitous decline in donkey numbers has had an unintended consequence for a lucrative local industry: Chinese traditional medicine. When boiled, donkey skin produces a rubbery, gelatine-like substance, known as ejiao, which is believed to cure coughs, relieve insomnia and revitalise blood. It is a key ingredient in many popular Chinese tonics and medicines.

    But these days, there simply aren’t enough Chinese donkeys to make enough ejiao, so manufacturers are looking further afield. Specifically, there are looking to Africa, where donkey populations remain in rude health.

    Click Here To read The Full Article

  • Emergency Situation for Donkeys After Industrialization in Brazil

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    This is an excerpt from an article at plus55.com.

    plus55The story of the Brazilian Northeastern region is intricately linked to the donkey. For centuries, the resilient animal assisted people in their struggle for survival in the poorest and most arid parts of the country. In recent years, though, the situation has changed and the animal appears more as a nuisance than a cultural symbol.

    Estimates suggest that over the last decade, thousands of animals have been abandoned, often substituted for mechanic labor including tractors, for farming, or motorcycles for transport. The latter saw an expansion from 1.2 million to 6.9 million vehicles between 2003 and 2016 (an increase of 600 percent). Left to themselves, the donkeys have multiplied and are now causing trouble in many states.

    One of the few statistics on the subject hints at the size of the problem. Between 2010 and 2013 in just the western part of Rio Grande do Norte state, donkeys caused at least 100 road accidents — and 60 percent were lethal. The Federal Road Police states that the majority of the over 8,000 road accidents involving animals in the northeast over the last four years are related to donkeys.

    Many towns are trying to come up with a solution to the overpopulation of donkeys. In July, the state of Bahia approved a bill to regulate the killing of the donkeys; their meat is now sent to feed zoos, and the skin sold to international markets including China. The first 300 animals – the majority of which are captured on state roads – have been sacrificed.

    In 2014, state representatives of Rio Grande do Norte contemplated the use of donkey meat to feed inmates and students of the public school system, although the idea was rejected. Other mayors from the Northeast area supported human consumption of the meat, but major obstacles remain with the cultural barrier. People simply don’t want to eat it.

    Click Here To read The Full Article

  • ISPBM Horses and Burros

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    A heartbreaking series of photos were posted of the starving horses at the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros property. These horses and burros need your help in ways more than sending money. Contact the Dewey County Sheriff’s department for ways you can help.

    This is a repost of an article by Ashley Parker at ratemyhorsepro.com

    Claims of more than 30 wild horses dying horrific starvation deaths fall upon a South Dakota charity tasked with preservation.

    “It’s heartbreaking and devastating. There aren’t words when you’re here,” says Colleen Burns, the former senior project manager for the International Society for the Protection of Mustang and Burros (ISPMB).

    Burns was fired Thursday after going public regarding the horses’ plight in Lantry. The 501(c)3 organization is home to approximately 650 horses.

    Video shows horses suffering from what Burns says are various forms of neglect including untrimmed hooves so bad they can barely walk. The horses are not supplied with the necessary farrier care. Others are unable to rise due to their weakened state from a lack of nutrition as the land is barren. Their bones protrude from their slight bodies. A stallion’s penis is unable to retract after injury and is left without care along with a mare’s visibly broken ankle.

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  • Action Alert: Starving Horses In South Dakota!

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    This post is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang Rescue

    Horses dying of starvation, in pain and in critical condition. I spoke with the Sheriff this morning and he said the horses will be seized from ISPMB and a walk through made by the vet, and the horses that need to be humanely euthanized to end their suffering will be taken care of. As we can provide CRITICAL CARE, he said we need to be there on Thursday.

    We have no idea who we will be bringing home, but we desperately need funds to accomplish this rescue. If no one can provide the critical care, the horses will have to be euthanized. So right now we are getting ready for the long drive out there.

    Please help us give them a chance. They deserve so much more than they have been given.

    The Sheriff agreed that the solution is to find safe loving homes for these horses. But for the ones who need critical care, we have to be thereThursday.

    It feels like such a lost cause, because there are so many, but God is telling me to help the ones we can. BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP to HELP THEM!  Please share this far and wide and donate if you can. We were hoping for a breather, but cannot in good conscience not try to step up and help.

    Take Action

     

  • AHC Statement on Proposed Horse Protection Act Regulations

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    This is an AHC Washington Update courtesy of the American Horse Council.

    AHCMany individuals in the horse industry are aware that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has published proposed changes to the regulations governing enforcement of the Horse Protection Act (HPA). The proposed rule would make several major changes to current HPA regulations with the goal of ending soring, including a new licensing program for HPA inspectors and a ban on action devices, pads, weighted shoes and foreign substances at walking horse shows, exhibitions, sales, and auctions.

    The American Horse Council (AHC) strongly opposes soring and believes action must be taken to stop the soring of “big lick” Tennessee Walking Horses, Racking Horses and Spotted Saddle Horses.  However, the AHC is concerned that certain provisions of the proposed rule are too broadly written, not sufficiently defined, and could cause confusion for the horse show industry.  Like all industries, the horse show industry requires clarity in any regulatory regime that impacts its operation.  Soring is a problem that is well defined and limited to a very specific segment of the walking horse industry and any new regulations should reflect this fact.

    The AHC’s formal comments to USDA will strongly urge USDA to explicitly limit all new provisions to Tennessee Walking Horses, Racking Horses, and Spotted Saddle Horses, mirroring the PAST Act.  Making this change will address most concerns the horse industry has with the proposed rule and will fulfill the purpose and intent of the HPA.

    The AHC wants to be clear, many of the proposed changes to the HPA regulations are needed, such as replacing the ineffective Designated Qualified Person (DQP) program with a new independent inspection program. Additionally, because of a long history of utilizing action devices, stacks, weighted shoes, and foreign substances to sore horses, a ban of these items on Tennessee Walking Horses, Racking Horses, and Spotted Saddle Horses is justified and needed.

    However, the AHC believes it is equally important that any new regulations be narrowly focused on the problem of soring and do not  inadvertently impact or unnecessarily burden other segments of the horse show industry that have no history of soring horses.

    The AHC will be submitting detailed written comments to USDA in the coming weeks.

    View The Article on AHC Website

  • Public Sentiment Triumphs for Wild Horse Again

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    This update is from the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign.

    Photo: Courtesy/Teeatta Lippert

    Photo: Courtesy/Teeatta Lippert

    A year ago, public outrage saved the Salt River wild horses from roundup and eradication from the Tonto National Forest near Phoenix, Arizona. Now, community action saved a band of beloved wild horses after they were captured and removed from their home range in Alton, New Mexico. The horses faced sale at a slaughter auction before the neighborhood mobilized to save the horses and the Wild Horse Observers Association filed a lawsuit. Now the New Mexico Department of Agriculture has officially returned the horses to their home and the residents of Alto are celebrating!

    Click Here To Learn More

  • House of Representatives Passes National Forest Service Trail Stewardship Act

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    This is an AHC Washington Update courtesy of the American Horse Council.

    AHCThe House of Representatives passed the National Forest Service Trail Stewardship Act of 2015 (H.R.845). The bill, introduced by Representatives Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Tim Walz (D-MN), would direct the Forest Service to take several actions to help address the current trail maintenance backlog that is adversely impacting all trail users on many national forests, including equestrians.  The American Horse Council, Backcountry Horsemen of America, and the Wilderness Society were significantly involved in the creation of this bill.

    The AHC strongly supports the National Forest Service Trail Stewardship Act of 2015 and is pleased the House has approved this important legislation.

    A June 2013, study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Forest Service has deferred trail maintenance needs that exceed half-billion dollars, and only one-quarter of the agency’s 158,000 miles of trails meets agency standards for maintenance. This maintenance backlog is causing access and safety issues for equestrians and all trail users on national forests.

    The National Forest Service Trail Stewardship Act would direct the Forest Service to develop a strategy to more effectively utilize volunteers and partners to assist in maintaining national forest trails.  It will also provide outfitters and guides the ability to perform trail maintenance activities in lieu of permit fees.   Additionally, the bill would address a liability issue that has discouraged some national forests from utilizing volunteers and partner organizations to help perform trail maintenance and would direct the Forest Service to identify and prioritize specific areas with the greatest need for trail maintenance in the national forest system.

    In the current fiscal environment it is unlikely Congress will appropriate additional funds to directly address the trail maintenance backlog. This bill will help improve trail maintenance without the need for additional funding.

    The bill must now be considered by the Senate.

    View The Article on AHC Website

  • Action Alert: Urge Common Sense Solution to BLM for Wild Horses

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    This Action Alert comes from The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign.

    COMMENTS DUE BY OCTOBER 6, 2016

    Photo by Jeanne Nations

    Photo by Jeanne Nations

    The BLM Northeastern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council (RAC) is meeting in Ely, Nevada on October 6 & 7, 2016. This citizen advisory board has within its jurisdiction several of Nevada’s wild horse Herd Management Areas. Recently, this RAC sent a letter to the BLM supporting the removal of 4,000 wild horses from public lands in eastern Nevada and promoting surgical sterilization of wild herds. We must urge the RAC to recommend humane, socially acceptable solutions for wild horse management in Nevada, instead of promoting controversial, divisive and cruel management techniques that are not supported by the American people.

    If you live in northeastern Nevada, please consider attending the meeting (see details below). For those who can’t attend, you can still make your voice heard by sending an email to the RAC to deliver a strong message that citizens across America want our wild horses protected on our public lands. Just personalize and send the letter at this link.

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  • HELP NEEDED – EMERGENCY CALL FOR NEAR STARVING STUD COLTS

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    This post is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang Rescue.

    starving-coltsSeveral days ago we received a request for an emergency pick up in Idaho. We were told there were 2 stud colts who were well on their way to starvation. Their feet were horrible, they were “wild” (although they are domestic horses) and would strike if you tried to do anything with them, and they needed help asap.

    Yesterday Matt drove about 12 hours and went and picked them up. They are in pretty horrific shape. Especially with the weather changing, we need to move quickly, (although we have to be extremely careful not to “overfeed” and make them sick). We have definitely seen and cared for worse cases, but under that hair they are very skinny and they have no muscle tone.

    Luckily they have a pretty long coat which has helped them survive. It has also helped disguise their true condition. They have both been sick, and they are quarantined where the cannot have any contact with the other horses here.

    They were both in a tiny pen in deep mud with absolutely no shelter or wind breaks. It has been pouring rain where they came from the last few days.

    These babies are going to need lots of TLC and groceries, as well as some extra hoof care. This was an unexpected trip, but they definitely would not have survived if left in those conditions. They will also need vet care (ie. gelding) as soon as they are healthy enough.

    SHADOW is doing awesome. She runs and plays in her tiny pen and we can’t wait to get her the space she needs. But I am so glad we chose life for her. She is a very happy little girl and absolutely gorgeous.

    Take Action

  • Action Alert: BLM Landscape Project Endangers Nevada’s Mustangs

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    This Action Alert is from the American Wild Horse Preservation Organization.

    awhp-nevadaThe Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Carson City District Office in Nevada is accepting public comments on a “Landscape Project” that will directly impact the management of wild horses living in the Clan Alpine Herd Management Area (HMA), which overlaps with three livestock grazing allotments. The BLM is proposing to increase livestock grazing on these allotments while keeping the decade-old “Appropriate” Management Level (AML) the same. Worse yet, the BLM is proposing to geld stallions and skew sex ratios which destroy natural wild horse behaviors and social social organization of the Clan Alpine herd. There is a better way…and we must demand that the BLM change course. 

    Take Action

  • USDA Extends Comment Period for Proposed Changes to HPA Regulations

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    The following is an AHC Washington Update.

    AHCThe U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced it is extending the public comment period on proposed changes to the Horse Protection Act (HPA) regulations for 30 days.

    On July 26, 2016, the USDA published proposed changes to the regulations governing enforcement of the HPA. The HPA was passed in 1970 to stop the cruel practice of “soring” horses that was occurring in some sectors of the Tennessee Walking Horse, Racking Horse and Spotted Saddle Horse industry. The proposed rule would make several major changes to current HPA regulations with the goal of ending soring. 

    This is a proposed rule only and USDA will now be accepting comments now until October 26, 2016.  USDA will then have to review all comments and release a final rule.  The proposed rule has been published in the Federal Register and can be viewed here: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/07/26/2016-17648/horse-protection-licensing-of-designated-qualified-persons-and-other-amendments

    The AHC opposes soring and will be submitting comments to USDA in the coming weeks. 

    View The Article on AHC Website

  • SAYLER Longears Need Homes

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    The folks over at Save Your Ass Long Ears Rescue have quite a few donkeys and mules up for adoption. Click here to get more information.  Adoption fees may vary, based on any individuals level of training, (ie under saddle, driving, etc). All animals will be up to date on rabies, tetanus, and have a current Coggins if applicable.

     

  • Hands-on help in bid to improve lives of Tanzania’s working equines

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    cahw-picha-tanzaniaMAWO, a non-profit organization, was founded by Johnson Lyimo in 2016, and its hands-on work with animals including rabies vaccination clinics, donkey vaccination and spay days and weekly dog dipping. But MAWO also contributes much of its time into educating the younger generations on animal welfare. We believe this is where the change will begin.

    Johnson Lyimo stands proud in his community as an animal rights ‘activist’ but holds respect among others for the way he shows it. Education is key.

    As of now MAWO is running hands-on animal welfare workshops in schools and communities; it is the tip of the iceberg but we are seeing a difference. We teach ‘stand proud and feel committed for your animals’. Take on responsibility.

    Beside that we spin weekly and monthly, veterinary clinics (It’s Africa Time Anything Can Happen) in varied locations throughout Tanzania, one place being Lorborsoit. This was where I saw distress in an animals’ eyes I had never seen before. Not on a large scale, some were looked after but there were a few that were forgotten.

    Read the Full Story Here

  • National Forest Trail Bill Approved by House Agriculture Committee

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    The following is a Washington Update form the American Horse Council.

    AHCOn September 14, the House Committee on Agriculture unanimously approved the National Forest Service Trail Stewardship Act of 2015 (H.R.845). The bill, introduced by Congresswomen Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Tim Walz (D-MN), would direct the Forest Service to take several actions to help address the current trail maintenance backlog that is adversely impacting all trail users on many national forests, including equestrians.  The American Horse Council, Backcountry Horsemen of America, and the Wilderness Society were significantly involved in the creation of this bill.      

    A June 2013, study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Forest Service has deferred trail maintenance needs that exceed half-billion dollars, and only one-quarter of the agency’s 158,000 miles of trails meets agency standards for maintenance. This maintenance backlog is causing access and safety issues for equestrians and all trail users on national forests.  

    The National Forest Service Trail Stewardship Act would direct the Forest Service to develop a strategy to more effectively utilize volunteers and partners to assist in maintaining national forest trails.  It will also provide outfitters and guides the ability to perform trail maintenance activities in lieu of permit fees.   Additionally, the bill would address a liability issue that has discouraged some national forests from utilizing volunteers and partner organizations to help perform trail maintenance and would direct the Forest Service to identify and prioritize specific areas with the greatest need for trail maintenance in the national forest system.

    In the current fiscal environment it is unlikely Congress will appropriate additional funds to directly address the trail maintenance backlog. This bill will help improve trail maintenance without the need for additional funding. 

    The AHC is pleased the House Committee on Agriculture has approved this important legislation.

    The bill must now be considered by the full House.    

    View The Article on AHC Website

  • Favorable Tax Depreciation Rules For Race Horse Owners Remain in Place for 2016

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    This post is courtesy of the September AHC Tax Bulletin.

    AHC-Tax-BulletinOn December 18, 2015, Congress enacted the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the “PATH Act”), which extended various expiring tax depreciation rules that are applicable to the horse racing industry.1 Importantly, the PATH Act extended two important depreciation provisions that allow taxpayers who place a race horses into service during 2016 to recover their costs for such race horses in a more expedient timeframe. First, the PATH Act maintained the rule allowing taxpayers to depreciate the costs of a racehorse over a three-year recovery period. Second, the PATH Act retroactively extended the 50% bonus depreciation available for taxpayers that place race horses into service through December 31, 2019.

    Read the bulletin here

     

  • BREAKING NEWS: BLM Announces Plans to Kill Thousands of Wild Horses

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    This is a cross post from the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign.

    At their meeting in Elko, Nevada Thursday and Friday, the Bureau of Land Management’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board discussed what to do with nearly 45,000 wild horses they consider unadoptable.

    The board’s recommendation: Euthanasia.

    The Elko Daily reported that the board recommended the Bureau of Land Management follow the stipulations of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act “by offering all suitable animals in long and short term holding deemed unadoptable for sale without limitation or humane euthanasia. Those animals deemed unsuitable for sale should then be destroyed in the most humane manner possible.”

    The only member voting “NO” on the Advisory Board was Ginger Kathrens of the Cloud Foundation.

    They also discussed putting more pressure on the government for additional funds to do more “gathers” in order to control the population.

    Ben Masters, 27, recommended an ultimate goal of using birth control methods to control the population.  According to the Elko Daily, “a representative of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign said the BLM is not using the contraceptive porcine zona pellucida in a way that is managing the population. Sterilization was also called invasive and barbaric and the board was asked to abandon it in favor of funding acceptable forms of contraception.”

    The advisory board also recommended a focus “on the prioritization of the sage grouse habitat when removing excess animals.”   Board member Ginger Kathrens abstained on that one.

    The Humane Society condemned the board’s recommendation to kill the 45,000 wild horses, saying they would not be in this position if they had been more responsible in using fertility control in the first place:

    “The decision of the BLM advisory board to recommend the destruction of the 45,000 wild horses currently in holding facilities is a complete abdication of responsibility for their care. The agency would not be in this situation but for their long-term mis-management. Alternatives to this proposal have been ignored for over 20 years. The HSUS stands ready to implement these alternatives at any time.”

    Over the past 20 years, the BLM has maintained round-up and removal as a primary management strategy for wild horse and burro populations on America’s western rangelands – an effort which has led to a financially unsustainable Wild Horse and Burro Program. By focusing massive efforts on removing horses and burros from the range, without treating those horses remaining on the range with any form of fertility control to limit population growth, holding facilities throughout the United States have become overburdened.

    In fiscal year 2015, BLM spent $49 million maintaining these horses in off-range facilities, which constituted 46 percent of the entire budget of the agency’s wild horse and burro program. Such a large expenditure has limited the agency’s ability to properly manage wild horses on the range. The HSUS has long recommended the humane and sustainable option of implementing fertility control programs throughout the West.

    Originally posted by Dennis Michael Lynch

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