Tag Archives: USDA

USEF Submits Comment on USDA’s Proposed Amendments to Horse Protection Regulations

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has submitted a comment in response to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposed amendments to the regulations that implement the Horse Protection Act. In its comment, the USEF seeks to partner with the USDA in the eradication of soring in equestrian sport. The USEF commends the USDA in its efforts to strengthen the regulations and further protect horses from the practice of soring. Dedicated to upholding horse welfare, this comment is a part of the USEF’s on-going efforts to modify and implement rules that eliminate cheating, doping, and abuse in the sport.

Under Congressional mandate, the USEF serves as the National Governing Body of equestrian sport in the United States and has developed a strong history of governance through its Licensed Officials, Equine Drugs and Medications program, and Hearing process. As both the USDA and the Humane Society of the United States have publically commended, the USEF leads the industry in the protection and enforcement of horse welfare. Because of this strength in governance, the USEF seeks to retain independence in its effective and successful regulatory oversight of its 29 recognized breeds and disciplines.

In drafting its comment, the USEF worked closely with its Recognized Affiliates and other equine organizations to ensure that the comment protects its membership from unnecessarily duplicative and in some cases, overly broad, regulation by the USDA and USEF at licensed and endorsed competitions. Together, the USEF and USDA can eradicate the horrendous practice of soring in all equestrian sport.

The submission period for public comment on the regulations is open until October 26, 2016. The USEF encourages its membership to submit comments in support of the continued delegation of horse welfare governance to the USEF at its licensed and endorsed competitions.

From the USEF Communications Department

USDA APHIS Horse Protection Program Listening Session at Kentucky Horse Park

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) Animal Care Program will hold listening sessions throughout the United States [including the Kentucky Horse Park] to obtain public feedback on the Horse Protection Program.  In particular, APHIS is interested in hearing feedback on the questions below:

•         Congress passed the Horse Protection Act in 1970 to eliminate the cruel and inhumane practice of soring horses. How close are we to achieving the goal?

•         Can the industry achieve a consensus on how to carry out a self-regulatory program to enforce the Horse Protection Act in a consistent way?

•         What responsibilities should USDA-certified Horse Industry Organizations (HIOs) have within the industry?

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USDA Releases Second EHV-1 Situation Report

From The American Horse Council

USDA has released the second national EHV-1 situation report.  A summary of the updated information is as follows:

•    A total of 75 confirmed EHV-1 or EHM cases have been reported in 9 states (AZ, CA, CO, ID, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA)
•    Of the 75 confirmed EHV/EHM cases, 58 cases are horses that were at the Ogden, Utah event.
•    There are 11 horses associated with this incident that are dead or have been euthanized.
•    There are 15 newly identified premises with suspect or confirmed cases identified this reporting period.

You may view the complete USDA EHV-1 Situation Report that provides detailed information on the number of exposed, positive, dead, and euthanized horses on a state by state level here.  The AHC anticipates USDA releasing another national situation report at the end of next week. Please see the below links for additional information on EHV-1 transmission risks and disease mitigation strategies.

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UPDATED: Information Regarding Equine Herpesvirus (EHV-1) and Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM)

As of 12:00 PM EST on May 20, cases of Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) have been confirmed in eight states and in Canada. Please use the state veterinarian in your state as a resource for information and guidance regarding this disease.

Please see the USDA situation report for updated information: http://image.exct.net/lib/feef1d757d6307/m/1/USDA+EHV-1+Situation+Report.pdf.

Affected States’ State Veterinarian Contact Information:

California: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/animal_health/equine_herpes_virus.html
Phone: (916) 654-1447

Colorado: http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/Agriculture-Main/CDAG/1167928197091
Phone: (303-239-4161

Idaho: http://www.agri.state.id.us/Categories/Animals/animalHealth/healthehv.php
Phone: (208) 332-8544

Oregon: http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/__news_449105797.shtml
Phone: (503) 986-4680

New Mexico: http://www.nmbvm.org/
Phone: (505) 841-6161

Texas: http://www.tahc.state.tx.us/

Utah: http://ag.utah.gov/news/EquineHerpesOutbreak.html
Phone: (801) 538-7162

Washington: http://agr.wa.gov/FoodAnimal/AnimalHealth/HotTopics.aspx
Phone: (360) 902-1881, (360) 902-1835

Continue reading UPDATED: Information Regarding Equine Herpesvirus (EHV-1) and Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM)

Urge President Obama to Say NO to GMO Alfalfa

Watch the video interview with Dr. Huber about the new pathogen that’s threatening our food!

And then tell President Obama to say “no” to GMO Alfalfa and Sugar Beets

On January 17, 2011, Dr. Don Huber, an internationally-recognized plant pathologist and Professor Emeritus at Purdue University, sent a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack alerting him to a serious problem facing U.S. agriculture. This letter warned Secretary Vilsack of a previously unknown pathogen that “should be treated as an emergency.”

Dr. Huber’s letter discussed the new pathogen in dire terms, saying that a top team of scientists had discovered a link between the new pathogen, the steady rise of plant diseases in Roundup Ready corn and soybean crops, and the high rates of infertility and spontaneous abortions of animal livestock consuming feed that had been treated with the weed killer Roundup.

The letter urged Secretary Vilsack not to approve Roundup Ready alfalfa because of the high levels “of this new animal pathogen in Roundup Ready crops, and its association with plant and animal diseases that are reaching epidemic proportions,” and to conduct research on the relationship between Roundup Ready crops, glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup), and this new pathogen.

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Tell USDA to Say NO to Genetically Engineered Alfalfa!

January 16, 2011 – Although USDA has acknowledged that planting Monsanto’s genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa poses a significant risk that regular crops will be contaminated, the agency is still proposing to deregulate GE alfalfa and allow commercial plantings!

The agency’s analysis does NOT prove that GE alfalfa is safe for the environment or for animals, nor does it establish how farmers could adequately be protected from contamination and the resulting loss of markets. The agency’s proposal would leave farmers and the public paying the price while enriching Monsanto.

Urge President Obama and Secretary Vilsack to reject GE alfalfa!

TAKE ACTION

1)  President Barack Obama:
Phone: (202) 456-1111
Fax: (202) 456-2461
Online: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

2)  USDA/APHIS; Email: biotechquery@aphis.usda.gov; or call 1-301-851-2300 and record your comments.

MESSAGE: “I am ___________ from __________. I am calling to comment on USDA’s proposal to approve the commercial release of GE alfalfa and their failure to adequately address the public health, environmental, and economic consequences of that release. I strongly urge you to reject the planting of GE alfalfa.”

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House Committee on Transportation Unanimously Approves Horse Transportation Safety Act

House Bill to Ban Hauling Horses on Double Deck Trailers

(Washington, DC) – The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) applauds Chairman James Oberstar (D-MN), of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, for bringing the Horse Transportation Safety Act (H.R. 305) before his Committee and supporting its swift unanimous passage.

“We are especially grateful for the leadership and commitment of the bill’s sponsors Congressman Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN).  Both have been incredible champions for the welfare of America’s horses,” noted Christine Sequenzia, AWI federal policy advisor.

Several bipartisan cosponsors spoke in support of H.R. 305 during the hearing, including a poignant opening statement by Congressman Cohen.  H.R. 305 passed by a voice vote with no amendments and is now headed to the House floor.

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Contaminated Horse Meat a Health Risk, According to Study

April 2, 2010 – CHICAGO (EWA) – A peer reviewed scientific study tracing race horses sent to slaughter for human consumption has found that 100% of the horses in the study group had been administered phenylbutazone, a banned carcinogen that can also fatally damage the bone marrow of humans. The findings appear to validate the European Union’s recent tightening of traceability requirements on horse meat from third countries.

The paper, titled Association of phenylbutazone usage with horses bought for slaughter: A public health risk, appeared in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology and calls into question the reliability of the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) and CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) testing programs which have consistently failed to detect the substance.

The manuscript[1], which was authored by Drs. Nicholas Dodman[2], Nicolas Blondeau[3] and Ann M. Marini[4], followed eighteen Thoroughbred (TB) race horses that were identified by matching their registered name to their race track drug record over a five year period and were given phenylbutazone (PBZ, Bute) on race day and were subsequently sent to slaughter for human consumption.

Continue reading Contaminated Horse Meat a Health Risk, According to Study