The focus of this year's American Horse Council National Issues Forum will be "A Healthy Horse, A Healthy Industry," officials recently announced.
The AHC annual meeting is scheduled for June 16-19 in Washington, D.C. The National Issues Forum will be held June 18.
The forum will address the progress of the National Equine Health Plan It will detail the issues surrounding the prevention and control of diseases, and the responsibilities and roles of federal and state authorities and the industry to keep horses healthy. The AHC said plans are in the works to create a network involving veterinarians and federal and state animal health officials to relay time-sensitive information through a central communication.
"Our horses need a viable, growing industry, supported by the public, to ensure they are enjoyed and can get the best care; and fundamental to our industry is a healthy horse that can be moved interstate and internationally for breeding, showing, racing, sale, and recreational riding," AHC president Jay Hickey said. "There are a number of continuing efforts to accomplish these goals that will be the focus of the National Issues Forum."
In addition, an update will be given on the AHC Marketing Consortium, formed last year to help promote the horse industry. The AHC said "substantial progress on messages, themes, target audiences, social media, and test-events has been made."
The Unwanted Horse Coalition again will hold a meeting in conjunction with the AHC convention. Attendees on June 19 will have a chance to meet with lawmakers and federal officials to discuss horse-related issues as part of the annual "Congressional Ride-In."
"The Ride-In puts a face on the $102 billion horse industry and the millions of Americans who are part of it," Hickey said. "Congress deals with various issues that impact the horse industry, including taxes, gaming, immigration, welfare, access to trails and public lands, diseases, and interstate and international movement of horses. This is an opportunity for the horse community to come to Washington in force and meet with their senators, representatives, and staffs."