If the bill becomes law, it would effectively prohibit horse slaughter in the United States.
The relationship between the United States Department of Agriculture and the horse industry was a focal point of the recent American Horse Council convention in Washington, D.C.
Williamson's responsibilities will include equine health issues, welfare issues, and state, federal, and international requirements regarding the movement of horses.
The American Horse Council said the theme for this year's National Issues Forum, scheduled for June 16 in Washington, D.C., as part of its annual convention, is "Protecting and Promoting the Horse."
The United States Department of Agriculture National Animal Health Monitoring System will launch a new equine health study in May, the American Horse Council said April. 6.
The American Horse Council has opposed the easing of the current 60-day U.S. Department of Agriculture import requirement on horses from Saudi Arabia.
The number of farms, horses, and total value of sales for all United States-based equines significantly decreased from 2007 to 2012, according to a recent census conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture.
The American Horse Council is asking its member organizations, their members, and the entire horse community to help in the drafting of the 2015 National Animal Health Monitoring System Equine Study.
The shutdown of non-essential federal government operations as a result of the lack of agreement in Congress over a federal funding bill could impact certain aspects of the horse industry.
A federal judge in New Mexico Aug. 2 issued a restraining order that will keep two horse slaughterhouses from opening as planned the week of Aug. 4.
Kentucky horse breeding farms are now eligible to apply for federal relief from agriculture-related natural disasters.
The United States Department of Agriculture 2012 census will include horses, and the American Horse Council is urging horse farms to participate.
Maryland's 2010 Equine Census will be the second of its kind, the first having been conducted in 2002. The MHIB hopes to learn how the equine industry has changed.
Due to the ongoing investigation into equine piroplasmosis in Texas, Canada has restricted the importation of horses from that state.
Five months after horse industry officials lobbied for funds from the United States Department of Agriculture's Emergency Conservation Program to assist with property damage to dozens of Central Kentucky Thoroughbred farms due to a January ice storm, the USDA delivered some negative news.
- By Tom LaMarra
It tends to get lost in the shuffle because it's not as sexy as anabolic steroids, race-fixing, or catastrophic breakdowns from a media perspective. But talk to people who work in the horse industry every day, and they'll tell you the issue of unwanted horses is serious and so broad it impacts the entire United States, not just the horseracing industry.
The United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is considering a change to its regulations concerning the humane transport of horses being shipped to slaughter.
Horse farm owners are being asked to participate in the 2007 Census of Agriculture, which will help determine the size and economic impact of the horse industry in the United States.
A bill banning horse slaughter for human consumption was approved by the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee April 25, while the House on April 26 voted 277-137 to ban the government from selling wild horses and burros for slaughter.
A federal district court ordered March 28 a shut-down of a U.S. Department of Agriculture program that allowed the slaughter of American horses for human consumption to be paid for by the slaughter houses. The program was put into place shortly after Congress voted in 2005 to cut federal funding for inspections of horsemeat.
The American Horse Council submitted comments supporting the U.S. Department of Agriculture's proposed rules that would permit the establishment and operation of permanent, privately-owned quarantine facilities.
All the equines in New York were valued at $1.83 billion at the end of 2006, up 8% from 2000, according to the results of a recent survey.
Churchill Downs is putting the finishing touches on quarantine and isolation facilities that will house foreign participants set to compete in the 23rd Breeders' Cup World Championships at the historic track.
The Thoroughbred industry, owners and breeders can now report and look up microchip identification numbers through their Interactive Registration accounts, The Jockey Club announced March 3.
Putting microchips in racehorses for identification purposes will remain secondary to standard identification procedures such as tattooing and DNA testing, according to a panel of industry experts Tuesday afternoon at The Symposium on Racing and Gaming being held this week near Tucson, Ariz.
- By Tom LaMarra
An amendment that removes money for United States Department of Agriculture inspections of horse slaughterhouses and horsemeat is included in the 2006 agriculture appropriations bill that was signed into law by President Bush on Nov. 10.
- By Jack Shinar
Making its annual appearance in Silicon Valley on Thursday, the California Horse Racing Board directed its staff to take a major technological stride in the use of microchips for identification of race horses.
Chilean group I turf winner Mister Acpen returned to training at Santa Anita earlier this month after more than a year long odyssey stemming from his contraction of a rare disease that was discovered upon his return to the United States from Hong Kong, trainer Kristin Mulhall revealed.
The cement-floor holding rooms and massive freezers are nearly ready for the horses, two years after fire destroyed the only horse slaughtering plant in Illinois and one of only three in the nation to process the meat for human consumption.
- By Victor Ryan
A bill that would outlaw the slaughter of horses for human consumption was introduced Tuesday in the U.S. Senate by Sen. John Ensign of Nevada.
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.
Some recent stories have suggested that the Fort Dodge Animal Health West Nile Virus Vaccine approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture may cause pregnant mares to abort or give birth to deformed foals. Unfortunately, as a result, USDA is concerned that horse owners may not use an effective preventive measure against West Nile virus available to them, that of vaccinating their horses.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has adopted the final rules regulating the transport of horses to slaughter facilities. The new rules subject the commercial transportation of these horses to federal regulation for the first time.
American Horse Council president Jay Hickey and National Thoroughbred Racing Association deputy commissioner Greg Avioli are meeting in Washington, D.C., Tuesday afternoon with Caroly Cooksie, deputy administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture disaster relief loan programs. The meeting is a follow-up to talks held last week in Washington involving Hickey and NTRA commissioner Tim Smith and a number of federal legislators, including Rep. Larry Combest, an Amarillo, Texas, Republican who is chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.
The good news is that the federal government doesn't have to be in Kentucky or any other state because of the current spring syndromes taking place in the horse populations. They would be required to investigate if there was any indication that an infectious or contagious disease process was at work.
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