Kentucky Legislators Ask USDA for Assistance With Horse Industry 'Disaster'

Kentucky's entire delegation of U.S. Senators and Congressmen has written a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Ann M. Veneman alerting her of the foal/fetal loss syndrome in Kentucky and asking for assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The letter was sent on Thursday, May 10. It reads:

Dear Secretary Veneman:

Kentucky's horse breeders and Thoroughbred owners have recently been struck by a disaster. Hundreds of mares are giving birth to stillborn foals or experiencing spontaneous abortions. The deaths are being attributed to a fungus that began growing on the grass during a recent spell of warm, dry weather which was quickly followed by a heavy frost.

As you know, Kentucky's horse industry is not only world famous, but contributes thousands of jobs and millions of dollars to our state's economy. A significant loss of foals could be disastrous to this industry not only this year, but well into the future.

We are extremely concerned and are therefore asking that the U.S. Department of Agriculture take immediate steps to look into the situation and offer any assistance to our world famous horse industry that is possible at this time.

Thank you very much for your consideration of our request.


Sen. Mitch McConnell
Sen. Jim Bunning
Rep. Ed Whitfield
Rep. Ernie Fletcher
Rep. Anne Northup
Rep. Hal Rogers
Rep. Ron Lewis
Rep. Ken Lucas