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Senate Committee Approves USDA Appropriations Bill

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The following post is from the American Horse Council.

Yesterday,  the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its version of the FY 2017Agriculture Appropriations bill. T his bill provides funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the 2017 fiscal year (October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017).  The bill contains several provisions that impact the horse industry, including the so-called “horse slaughter defunding provision,” funding for  USDA equine health activities and enforcement of the Horse Protection Act.

FY 2016 House USDA Appropriations 

Horse Slaughter

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) offered an amendment to prohibit funding for USDA inspections at U.S. horse slaughter facilities that was  adopted by a voice vote. This prohibition will  prevent horse slaughter facilities from operating in the U.S. if this bill is signed into law.

Currently, No horse slaughter facilities are operating in the U.S and a prohibition  on funding for inspectors at such facilities from last year’s FY 2016 USDA bill is in effect until September 30, 2016 . If that prohibition expires, USDA will be required to provide inspectors and horse slaughter facilities if any were to  open.

A similar defunding  amendment was adopted by the House Appropriations Committee when it approved the House version of the USDA appropriations bill.

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Equine Health 

The bill would provide $939 million for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). APHIS is the USDA agency responsible for protecting and promoting U.S. agricultural health, including responding to contagious equine disease outbreaks.        Funding for Equine, Cervid, and Small Rumi ant health would be set at $19.7 million, this is a $200,000 increase over FY 2015.

Horse Protection Act

The bill provides $706,000  for enforcement of the Horse Protection Act a $9,000 increase over FY 2016 funding.

The bill must now be approved by the full Senate.

View this article on the AHC website

 

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