September 1, 2010 – At the moment, the news is rife with stories about the level of equine neglect in the United States, with many of the articles blaming the “unintended consequences” of closing the US horse slaughter plants and calling for them to be reopened. But in reality, we are coming up on a once in a lifetime opportunity to get rid of this abominable practice once and for all. To understand this apparent paradox, one needs to get past unsubstantiated myths to the real forces at play in the market.
First, one needs to understand that it is completely impossible to blame the current glut of excess horses on the closing of the slaughter plants because the closings simply sent the horses over the Mexican and Canadian borders for slaughter. In 2006, the year before the closings, 142,740 American horses were slaughtered, and that number only dropped by 14% the year the plants were closed. By 2008, slaughter was back to the second highest level in almost ten years.
Next, it is necessary to understand what really causes neglect, and that is unemployment. After years of studying the relationship between neglect rates and slaughter volumes, I had concluded that there was no relationship whatever. Then I looked at the rates of neglect in Illinois in comparison with unemployment in the state. The correlation was striking.
September 1, 2010 – TALLAHASSEE — Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson today announced the arrest of an Indian River County woman who allegedly tried to conceal from authorities her two horses that were infected with Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA).
Arrested by Bronson’s Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement (OALE) was Regina Chesser, 56, of Fellsmere. She was charged with failure to report a dangerous transmissible disease, which is a second-degree felony.
Authorities allege that Chesser brought her horse “Dolly” to a Vero Beach veterinary clinic to be tested for EIA. When the test results were positive for EIA, authorities with the department’s Division of Animal Industry attempted to contact Chesser only to find that she had given the alias Cheryl Hearndon with a false address and phone number to the clinic and used a an email address registered to a friend. The false information was given because Chesser believed “Dolly” was infected with the EIA virus.
The case was turned over to Bronson’s Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement to initiate a criminal investigation of the matter. After an extensive search, Chesser’s true identity and location were discovered. Authorities then learned that there were two horses on Chesser’s property and subsequent testing showed that both of the horses were carriers of EIA.
Washington, DC (September 1, 2010) – While the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) welcomes the recent news that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has asked the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council (NAS/NRC) to review its National Wild Horse and Burro Program starting January 1, 2011, we are deeply disappointed with the agency’s blatant disregard for calls to halt wild horse roundups pending completion of the review. AWI first recommended this outside review along with a moratorium on roundups over a year ago given the widespread problems being reported in the BLM’s management of wild horses.
“While we are grateful that the BLM has finally realized the urgent need for advice from scientific experts, we continue to be disappointed at their stubborn refusal to halt the massive wild horse roundups they are conducting at an alarming rate,” said Chris Heyde, deputy director of government and legal affairs for AWI.
In testimony to the House and Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittees, AWI laid out its reasoning and criteria for an independent study by the NAS, a moratorium on all non-emergency roundups, and the critical importance of maintaining language preventing the BLM from killing tens of thousands of healthy wild horses. In July, similar concerns were raised with the BLM in a bipartisan letter from House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall (D-WV), National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee Chairman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and 52 of their colleagues.
1 September 2010 – The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) has announced detection times for Methylprednisolone Acetate, a frontline treatment for lameness in the equine athlete. The findings from recently completed studies on the use of intra-articular Methylprednisolone Acetate show the detection times as 28 days for the 200mg dose and 14 days for the 100mg dose.
The FEI recognises that any strategy to reduce the level of doping and medication offences must contain an element of guidance and education. With this in mind there has been an increased effort to provide detection times for substances that are in common usage. The detection time is the time taken for an active substance administered to a horse by a specified route and dosage to fall below a level at which the FEI would declare a sample positive.
It is important to note that detection times may vary depending on dose and number of injection sites used. Please note that a detection time is not the same as a withdrawal time. The withdrawal time must be decided by the treating veterinarian and is likely to be based on the detection time plus an appropriate safety margin to allow for individual variation.
The full list of FEI detection times can be found here.
Traverse City, MI – August 31, 2010 – Horse Sports by the Bay is pleased to announce that Hampton Green Farm, known nation-wide for their dedication to dressage and to the development of the PRE Horse for Dressage in America, will be hosting a Dressage 4 Kids Fundraiser and exhibitor party during the Great American Insurance Group/Region 2 Dressage Championships on Saturday, September 11. The Regional Championships are being held from September 9 – 12 at Flintfields Horse Park in Traverse City, MI, which is home to the prestigious Horse Shows by the Bay Equestrian Festival.
The fundraiser features a silent auction which will include riding helmets donated from English Riding Supply and other retail pieces donated by Sporthorse Saddlery and Equine Source among others. Funds collected from the auction and from ticket sales to the exhibitor party will go directly back to Dressage 4 Kids’ extensive education campaign. Donations are still being taken for the Auction; please email here for more information.
31 August 2010 – Paul Tapner (AUS) and William Fox-Pitt (GBR) are the riders with most to gain from a big result at this weekend’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR, September 2-5). It is the fourth leg of the 2010 HSBC FEI Classics, which carries a prize-pot of US$333,000 to be shared by the five most successful riders across five CCI4* events.
The current standings leader, Andreas Dibowski (GER), who has a healthy 7-point lead over this year’s Badminton and Lexington winners, is an absentee from Burghley, and Tapner and Fox-Pitt are poised to pounce.
Tapner, who looks set to make his debut on the Australian squad at the forthcoming Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, has two horses with useful CCI4* form: Kilfinnie, 15th last year, and Stormhill Michael, 10th at Badminton.
Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler’s disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.
Wow! What amazing supporters we have! On August 1st, we gave you a goal of 20,000 letters to take with us for our Pony Express Mustang Delivery to Washington. Our deadline was set for September 1st.
We just wanted to let you know that we have completely blown our goal out of the water with the overwhelming response from so many wild horse supporters! Just over this past weekend, we received 7,234 letters from so many of you, which brings our current count to 26, 995!
*Keep the letters coming and each of you can stand as a voice for each individual mustang that has been rounded up by the Bureau of Land Management and the ones left on the range. We are their voices, their spokespeople.
With dozens of equine performers, nationally known singers, an orchestra, choir, dancers, local and international celebrities and dignitaries, and a traditional “Olympic-style” parade of athletes from more than 58 participating countries, the Opening Ceremonies for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games promises to entertain and delight spectators.
The World Equestrian Games are being staged outside of Europe for the first time! The Opening Ceremonies will celebrate the equine culture and heritage of both the United States and Kentucky.
Musical talent on stage will include native Kentuckians, folk-singers, opera stars, and world-renowned jazz musicians.
CULPEPER, VA (August 30, 2010) — It was the same old story for Second Hand News and Jessica Van Brocklin as they secured the top prize for the consecutive second week in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Derby at the Constitution Classic at HITS Commonwealth Park, in Culpeper, Virginia.
Van Brocklin shows in the Amateur-Owner Hunters under the tutelage of trainer Pam Baker and got the best of the 17 horse-and-rider combinations in Saturday’s feature class for hunter riders. “It was a difficult course. It allowed for inside turns that were doable and was also wide enough with plenty of options,” said Van Brocklin.
“It was very nice course, and I really love the log fences that they include in these types of events,” she continued.
Van Brocklin (Alexandria, Virginia) had the top score of 87 in the first round on a course set by Rian Beals. In the handy round, the duo scored an 82.5 (169.5) to propel them to the blue ribbon. “The handy round was great! That’s really our specialty,” said Van Brocklin.