The American Horse Council has scheduled a National Issues Forum Nov. 2 at Keeneland in Lexington.
- By Tom LaMarra
The United States Departments of Homeland Security and Commerce in September will implement new immigration measures intended to improve border security, step up enforcement of immigration laws, streamline existing guest worker programs, and address the failures of the current immigration system, according to the American Horse Council.
The United States Senate postponed action June 28 on comprehensive immigration reform--perhaps until after the 2008 November election--when an effort to limit debate on the Senate floor failed to garner enough votes.
The Unwanted Horse Coalition, which started as the Unwanted Horse Summit during the American Horse Council convention in April 2005, is being folded into the American Horse Council. The possibility was discussed this April when the plan was presented to the AHC board of trustees.
Keeneland president Nick Nicholson and Russell Williams, vice president of Hanover Shoe Farms, are the new chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the American Horse Council. The AHC board of trustees met April 3 as part of the organization's issues forum in Washington, D.C.
Representatives of the horse industry are among those lobbying to protect their interests as the United States Congress considers sweeping immigration reform.
Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York said individuals may not realize the economic importance of the horse industry to Empire state, and that even she was "a little surprised" when she saw the results of the most recent American Horse Council national economic impact study.
The American Horse Council board of trustees is considering a proposal that would place under the organization's umbrella a coalition working on the issue of unwanted horses.
The American Horse Council 2006 National Issues Forum will feature an all-day meeting of the Equine Species Working Group as well as a discussion on equine genomics, funding for which could be included in the next farm bill authored by Congress.
The horse industry in the United States contributes $39 billion in direct economic impact and generates about $102 billion in total spending, according to a detailed economic impact study released June 28.
The release of what is being called the most comprehensive study ever done on the horse industry in the United States will be released June 28 in Washington, D.C.
Legislation designed to ease problems caused by a cap on H-2B visas is included in a sweeping appropriations bill President Bush signed May 11, the American Horse Council reported.
The American Horse Council has announced the speaker line-up for its National Issues Forum April 18-19, featuring seminars about planning equine events and issues involving unwanted horses.
The American Horse Council said about 160,000 postcard invitations have been distributed asking people to participate in the update of the national economic impact study of the horse industry.
The American Horse Council has been informed that effective Nov. 5, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will close the Atlanta Equine Complex, which has served as an export-import facility for horses.
All horses being exported from the United States to the European Union (EU) now require a negative (1:12) virus neutralization test for Vesicular Stomatitis (VS), a disease recently found to have infected horses in southwest Texas.
The importance of the horse industry in the United States was a focus of the American Horse Council National Issues Forum in April. Horse industry leaders got the chance to meet with Ann Veneman, secretary of the Department of Agriculture.
The American Horse Council has initiated efforts to update a 1996 study of the economic impact of the horse industry in the United States, which the organization says is critical to the industry's political efforts in Washington D.C.
Legislation recently introduced in both chambers of the U.S. Congress would accelerate the implementation of a proposed national livestock identification program that would include all farm-raised animals, including horses.
Uncertainty over travel and concerns with heightened security in the nation's capital since the outset of the military action against Iraq has prompted the American Horse Council to cancel its annual convention, scheduled April 5-8 in Washington, D.C.
The American Horse Council convention and Congressional conference for 2003 will focus on education and how it can lead to advocacy.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, in a statement released June 21, said the reworked "Combatting Illegal Gambling Reform and Modernization Act" is "fundamentally flawed and unfair," and it also said it plans to discuss the ramifications of a move by Citibank to ban use of credit cards for online wagering.
The U. S. House Judiciary Committee continued to discuss the "Combating Illegal Gambling Reform and Modernization Act" the week of June 10, but it should be status quo until June 20, when the measure is on the calendar again.
The "Combating Illegal Gambling Reform and Modernization Act" failed to come up for discussion by the House Judiciary Committee June 6 because the committee failed to meet. The measure, sponsored by Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, could be on the table for "mark up" again the week of June 10.
The world in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks will provide the backdrop for the American Horse Council convention April 6-9 in Washington, D.C. The official theme for the convention is "2002...A World Changed."
The new Racing and Breeding Caucus met Thursday afternoon in Washington, D.C., for what the horse industry hopes was the first of many meetings that will raise the awareness level of legislators. About 20 people were present at the one-hour meeting.
The Senate Commerce Committee has amended the Amateur Sports Integrity Act to include the Unlawful Internet Gambling Funding Bill. The American Horse Council reports it could adversely affect the pari-mutuel industry and its efforts to foster interactive wagering.
The United States hasn't issued a formal ban on the importation of horses from countries affected by foot-and-mouth disease, but the American Horse Council continues to monitor the situation in Europe and work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to issue new importation guidelines.
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