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I’m personally asking…

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

It’s been a week of soaring highs, and crushing lows.

Last Thursday, we secured a huge legislative win for wild horses in the House of Representatives with the passing of a wild horse protection amendment requiring the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to implement humane and safe fertility control vaccine, PZP.

At the very same time, our hearts were breaking as we received daily updates from our field representative at a BLM roundup in the Swasey Herd Management Area (HMA) in Utah. He had the awful responsibility of observing and documenting the traumatic helicopter stampede, capture and removal of more than 600 of Utah’s federally-protected wild horses. There were many injuries, and two deaths.

I can honestly say that the abuses our observer witnessed at Swasey were some of the worst we’ve seen since AWHC began documenting roundups 10 years ago. And it’s far from over – more roundups are imminent in both Nevada and at Utah’s famed Sulphur HMA.

That’s why we’re working harder than ever: Deploying representatives to the field to observe and document the BLM’s abuses, harnessing the momentum around our legislative victory by taking that fight to the Senate, and continuing to demonstrate the success of our groundbreaking approach to birth control. There’s a lot at stake, that’s why I’m personally asking if you are in a position to give $15, $25 or $50 today. We’ll immediately put your donation to work to fuel these critical programs.

From July 15-July 24, BLM-hired helicopter contractors, Sampson Livestock, stampeded and captured approximately 603 Swasey wild horses, with the ultimate goal of reducing the 800-horse population to just 60 horses.

What we’ve witnessed in Utah is truly shocking:

  • A 5-year old mare crashing into a pen panel, breaking her neck and being dragged off in chains.
  • Terrified new foals being run-down by helicopters, falling behind and then being roped and dragged in.
  • Multiple stressed horses, exhausted from the exertion of a miles long helicopter stampede, one even collapsing before she could reach the trap.
  • Just-captured horses crashing into the panels of a dangerously small trap pen.

The BLM continued its daily assaults on the Swasey horses despite sweltering desert temperatures that exceeded 95 degrees — violating their own animal welfare guidelines — on more than one occasion.

Our wild horses need us now more than ever. Can you help?

Warning: Some of the below imagery and narrative is extremely upsetting. For a full report including video footage of the BLM’s reign of terror click here.

I know some of this email is difficult and upsetting to read. It was difficult to write. But it’s worse to imagine a future where the BLM is allowed to forge ahead with its deadly, costly, unscientific approach to the management of wild horses on our public lands. The next roundups in Nevada and Utah are just around the corner and it’s critical that we forge full steam ahead with our work on Capitol Hill to reign in the BLM’s inhumane roundups. Our work continues, with your help, and we could not be more grateful.

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Tell House Lawmakers to Pass Recreation Package!

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

“Great American Outdoors Act” Gallops Toward the Finish Line!

As public lands begin to re-open, Congress has an opportunity to pass important trails legislation that will get Americans outside while promoting the health of recreational riders.  Thanks in large part to continued advocacy from the horse industry, the Senate voted June 17 to pass the “Great American Outdoors (GAO) Act of 2020” by a vote of 73 to 25.  Now that the Senate has passed this important lands’ bill, the House must take the next step and send it to the White House to be signed into law.

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We want to respect your time and personal bandwidth before covering recent developments

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

We want to be very cognizant of the reality facing our country. For many, this is an incredibly stressful time, financially and emotionally, as well as very painful, difficult, and upsetting.

We also know that many of you are using your platforms, resources, and time to address injustices and support your communities in a time of need.

All of us at AWHC continue to be inspired and amazed that, despite these hardships, so many of you continue to stay involved, stay engaged, and support not only us but America’s wild horses and burros. This is so important because the Bureau of Land Management continues its assault on these iconic animals and is even stepping it up during this crisis, when the public’s attention is directed elsewhere.

That’s evident in the BLM’s newly unveiled roundup schedule for the Summer/Fall, which we discuss below. But for this newsletter, we don’t want to share only the bad news. There’s some uplifting news as well, and we’ve included a few photos and videos that might brighten your day.


BREAKING: Bureau of Land Management Outlines Largest Removal Of Wild Horses In a Decade


Last month, the Bureau of Land Management submitted a report to Congress that outlines a plan to conduct mass roundups over the next 18-20 years and slash wild horse and burro populations on public lands by 70%.

The agency is planning to launch Phase 1 of its assault next month, with the roundup and removal of 5,000 federally-protected wild horses and burros from BLM lands between July 1 and September 30.

This means that, for Fiscal Year 2020 (Oct. 1, 2019 – September 30, 2020), over 12,000 innocent wild horses and burros will lose their freedom. To put this in perspective, that’s the largest number in the last decade.

If the BLM has its way, that is only the beginning. In its new report, the BLM is proposing to use helicopters to capture and remove 18,000-20,000 wild horses and burros from public lands EACH YEAR for the foreseeable future.

The roundups that will begin next month will have an added component of brutality. Using helicopters to drive wild horses and burros for miles in punishing summer temperatures often results in fatalities. Summer roundups are particularly tough on the tiny foals that are on the range this time of year.

These vulnerable babies have been literally run to death in past roundups, collapsing and dying as their mothers look on helplessly. The BLM lists the cause of death as “capture myopathy,” defined as “muscle damage that results from extreme exertion, struggle or stress.”

According to the BLM’s new roundup schedule, Nevada and Utah will be the epicenter of the summer roundups, the largest of which include:

  • Shawave Mountains Herd Management Area, Nevada: 1,600 wild horses and 200 wild burros targeted for removal.
  • Diamond Complex, Nevada: 1,200 wild horses to be removed.
  • Sulphur Herd Management Area, Utah: 600 wild horses to be rounded up

AWHC will be onsite to document these roundups and we’re prepared to fight back if the BLM attempts to use the coronavirus pandemic to restrict public access. (Social distancing is not a problem out on the range.)


UPDATE: Wild Horse Champions in Congress Stand Up To The U.S. Forest Service 


During April and May, AWHC and our partners at the Animal Welfare Institute sounded the alarm about the lack of critical safeguards and transparency associated with the U.S. Forest Service’s selling of wild horses from the Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory in California. (The horses were captured last fall in a helicopter roundup.)

The Forest Service has been selling these federally-protected wild horses for as little as $1 a piece, without meaningful limits on the number of horses a buyer can purchase at one time, and no adequate vetting procedures to ensure that buyers have the resources and facilities necessary to safely care for horses.

This lack of safeguards places the horses at higher risk of abuse or slaughter.

We brought our concerns to Congress and we’re pleased to announce that a bipartisan group of wild horse champions has taken action for the Devil’s Garden horses.

Representatives Ted Lieu, Brian Fitzpatrick, Steve Cohen, Joe Neguse, Jan Schakowsky, and Dina Titus sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the Forest Service, requesting that it adopt policies for its sales and adoption program to ensure oversight, transparency and protection, including measures to prevent federally-protected wild horses from ending up in the hands of kill buyers or others who might abuse and neglect them.

Additionally, these Congressmembers have called on the Forest Service to cease sales until these reforms are in place and pandemic restrictions are fully lifted.

We will continue to build on this important action to hold the Forest Service accountable for the welfare of the wild horses it is mandated under federal law to protect.


A Great Way To Stay Up To Date With Our Team In Nevada On The Virginia Range


AWHC is incredibly proud of the dedication and hard work of our staff and volunteers on the Virginia Range in Nevada.

We also know that many of you have reached out, asking if there is a better way to stay up to date with our team there: And there is!

Our team operates the Facebook group “Stay Wild! AWHC Nevada” where we post and share photos, videos, and updates on a near-daily basis to provide supporters with the opportunity to see and hear what they see in the field each and every day.

Check them out and join the group today!

A perfect example? One of our volunteers, from a safe distance, captured an incredible moment on video: The first steps of a wild foal with her mother.

Especially in these uncertain and difficult times, little videos like these can help lift our spirits and improve our mood. And they serve as a powerful reminder about why we do the work that we do.

If you would like to learn more about our program on the Virginia Range (the largest in the world!) you can read more here.

We are all in this together — thank you for being part of our herd!

American Wild Horse Campaign

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AHC Latest News- May 22, 2020

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

May 22, 2020
Special COVID-19 Issue

Copyright © 2020 American Horse Council

The AHC News is provided to you as a benefit of your AHC membership, and we hope you find the articles informative and useful. While the AHC does grant permission for newsletter articles to be passed on, we hope you will encourage those you are sharing the articles and information with to join the AHC so they can stay informed and up-to-date!

Permission to pass on the AHC News articles to your members, readers, or others is granted on the condition that it is forwarded in its original form or directly linked with the AHC logo and a link to the AHC website.

Don’t forget to read all the way to the bottom of the newsletter as there’s some great stuff down there.

Survey COVID-19 Economic Impact on Equine Industry
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The American Horse Council is conducting a brief survey (14 questions which take less than 10 minutes) to determine the economic impacts of COVID-19 on the equine industry. We would very much appreciate your assistance with collecting this information. The only thing you need to have handy is your total horse related income and expenses for March 2019 and March 2020 so we have some comparison.

It’s important to note that for statistical reasons we are sending this survey to a predetermined 1,000 people. Please do NOT forward this or share this survey with others as statisticians will be scaling the responses and we must preserve the sample size .This survey will close May 30, 2020, and depending on the pandemic’s length we will reissue to get up to date numbers and data.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AHCCOVID19Impact
Thank you. Be well and Be Safe. #HorseStrong

Resources for Horse Owners
https://unitedhorsecoalition.org/covid-19-resources/#horse-owners

Horse Industry, Outdoor Groups Endorse “Great American Outdoors Act of 2020”

On May 6, 2020, the American Horse Council, American Sportfishing Association, American Trails and more than 25 other members of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) sent a letter to Congress urging lawmakers to pass the “Great American Outdoors Act” (S. 3422). The bill would not only promote outdoor activities as states begin to ease social distancing requirements, but it would also achieve key horse industry objectives such as fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).  S. 3422 will fully fund LWCF by investing $900 million per year for public lands, parks and trails. Serving as a “recreational package” discussed by Senate staff with members of the horse industry earlier this year, the bill would also address the nation’s public lands maintenance backlog.  Reducing the backlog in trails maintenance projects is a goal industry has fought for within the context of the “Restore Our Parks Act” (ROPA), among other vehicles.  During the past year, members of the horse industry have submitted more than 200 letters to lawmakers urging passage of individual trails bills.  The bill will also help to bolster recreation-focused business, including riding barns, as Americans seek to spend time outdoors during the months ahead.

S. 3422 is timely and will help expedite a transition to more flexible social distancing practices, including the re-opening of access to the nation’s trails. The National Park Service (NPS) is adopting a phased approach to open trails in the nation’s 62 national parks, consistent with the “Opening Up America Again Guidelines” released by the Administration on April 16.  In a statement from the Department of Interior (DOI), Secretary Bernhardt affirmed the agency’s plan to work with governors and assess the circumstances of each state, thereby initiating a “park by park” approach to reopening access.  During the week of May 9, for example, DOI announced the reopening of 16 national parks, including the Blue Ridge Parkway of North Carolina, the Grand Canyon, and the Curecanti National Recreation Area of Colorado, to name a few.  To view a list of parks included in the recent, large-scale opening, please see the following link:  https://www.doi.gov/pressreleases/case-you-missed-it-interior-continues-safely-restore-access-public-lands .  For an “A to Z” list of national parks that have re-opened, or are in the process of easing restrictions to access, please visit the following web site:  https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/2020/05/reopening-national-park-system-whats-open.

Submitted by:  Bryan Brendle, Director of Policy & Legislative Affairs

Resources for Small Businesses
https://unitedhorsecoalition.org/covid-19-resources/#equine-businesses

SBA, Congress Roll Out Paycheck Protection Tools, Proposed Changes

While Congress debates next steps related to stimulus bills, the Administration continues to release guidance and other tools to clarify the Paycheck Protection Program’s (PPP) implementation, especially its signature “loan forgiveness” provision.  On May 15, SBA released the PPP Loan Forgiveness Application, including instructions for its completion, a “Schedule A” and related worksheet.

According to SBA, the 11-page form includes “several measures to reduce compliance burdens and simplify the process for borrowers.”  These include options for businesses “to calculate payroll costs using an alternative payroll covered period that aligns with borrowers’ regular payroll cycles” and “flexibility to include eligible payroll and non-payroll expenses paid or incurred during the eight-week period,” among other measures.  Importantly, the new form addresses some of the feedback from members of the horse industry, including “step-by-step instructions on how to perform the calculations required by the CARES Act to confirm eligibility for loan forgiveness.”

Because the “covered period” for Paycheck Protection loans begins on the date that the bank actually disburses a loan to the borrower, it’s important to track various expenses during the window outlined by the CARES Act.  To view a copy of the 11-page application and instructions, please click here: https://www.sba.gov/document/sba-form–paycheck-protection-program-loan-forgiveness-application .
Despite a congressional impasse over so-called Phase Four legislation to address the coronavirus, House and Senate lawmakers are rolling out their own bipartisan flexibility measures focusing on narrow fixes to the PPP. The House will vote next week on the “Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act” (H.R. 6886), introduced by Reps. Dean Phillips (D-MN) and Chip Roy (R-TX) on May 11.  Highlights include the following provisions, which in part reflect feedback from members of the horse industry who are navigating the program:

  • Eliminating a provision requiring 75 percent of proceeds to cover payroll expenses as a pre-condition for loan forgiveness;
  • Allowing employers to participate in payroll tax deferment and the PPP;
  • Extending re-hire deadlines beyond June 30;
  • And extending the “cover period” beyond the current eight-week timeframe, more accurately reflecting the time expected for consumer demand to gain traction and drive revenue.

To view a copy of a statement related to H.R. 6886, please see the following:
https://roy.house.gov/media/press-releases/reps-chip-roy-and-dean-phillips-release-paycheck-protection-flexibility-act .  On the other side of the Capitol, Senators Rubio (R-FL), Cardin (D-MD), Collins (R-ME) and Shaheen (D-NH) have offered the “Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act.”  This narrow bill would also provide flexibility, including extension of the loan application filing deadline from June 30, 2020 to December 31, 2020 and extension of the cover period from eight to 16 weeks of expenses.

Submitted by: Bryan Brendle, Director of Policy & Legislative Affairs

Resources for Non-Profits
https://unitedhorsecoalition.org/covid-19-resources/#equine-non-profits
Nonprofits in the Time of COVID-19

While every sector of our economy and our lives has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the nonprofit sector has taken an especially hard hit. This includes the horse industry. From breed and discipline associations to rescues and equine-assisted therapy centers, income is down, while expenses are not.

In many respects, our national breed and discipline organizations are part of the foundation of the horse world. At their core, they maintain the purity of our breeds and set the rules and standards for competition. While you might never own a purebred horse, remember that breed standards typically include conformation, helping ensure that there’s a genetic pool of strong, athletic animals for future generations. The rules they establish for competition gives everyone guidelines to follow, right down to the local level. Sure, you might not agree with everything they do, but these organizations lay the foundation upon which we all build.

What can organizations in this sector do? Ask people to renew their memberships, even if they don’t “need” it this year because they don’t plan to compete. Remind them to register their foals, and transfer registrations for horses they’ve bought or sold. Many organizations have magazines that typically rely on competitions to generate advertising. Ask your advertisers to place an ad just to highlight their horses, even if they don’t have show wins to brag about. Many times people just need to be asked or reminded – and don’t be afraid to tell them why you need their support right now.

Rescues are more obviously feeling the pinch. While money is always needed, think of other ways people can help. Depending on your state’s regulations you might not be able to have a lot of volunteers on the property, leaving you to do more of the manual labor and less time to spend in the office. Consider looking for volunteers that can help with other aspects of your operation that allow them to stay socially distanced. For example, you might find someone to help with your record-keeping or scheduling appointments. You could look for one or more people that can assist with your local promotion, from social media posts to writing and distributing press releases. Lots of people with lots of different skills are unemployed or under-employed right now and would welcome an opportunity to keep their skills sharp while helping you.

Equine-assisted therapy centers are also under the gun. Many of your riders need more hands-on assistance than can be given under social distancing rules, so your lesson volume is down yet you still have to maintain your horses. Similar to rescues, think outside the box for ways people can help, such as record-keeping and promotion. There are options for fundraising as well – for example, there’s a company that lets you design and sell t-shirts and similar apparel with no upfront inventory requirement, and they do the fulfillment as well. This helps raise funds and helps promote your program as more and more people are out and about displaying your organization’s name and artwork. For this group, staying in touch with your lesson clients is also important. Try to find the time – or a volunteer with time – to do photos or videos of your lesson horses and post them on social media or email them directly to your customers. While the smile on the child’s face won’t be quite as big as in person, they’ll still be thrilled to connect with their favorite horses. These ideas work well for regular lesson programs too!

While the world looks very different today than it did just a few months ago, we’re all learning to adjust, and eventually we’ll be much closer to the world we knew than the one we’re living in now. In the meantime, help if you can, and ask for help if you need it.

Submitted by: Molly O’Brien – Program Manager for Time to Ride

 Resources for Equine Associations

Virtual Solutions for Association Events During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The April 2020 meeting of the American Physical Society (APS) was scheduled to take place in Washington DC. But when the coronavirus pandemic made a physical gathering impossible, the organizers decided to hold the entire event online and made registration free and open to everyone. With around 1,700 people typically attending the meeting, 7,267 registered this time. Nearly every sector of the equine community host in-person, large scale meetings and expos like this, and are faced with cancellations and rescheduling. Virtual events may be the best choice for our industry during this tumultuous time.

Online meetings might lack many of the benefits of an in-person conference: conversations over dinner; face-to-face networking; fresh perspectives that can come from simply leaving one’s home ground. Regardless, as more meetings move online — a trend likely to continue even after the pandemic fades — organizations may need to accept the new virtual reality of group gatherings.  The most successful virtual conferences and meetings can seamlessly integrate speakers, technology, content, networking, and sponsors in a way that creates real impact for attendees. The interest in listening or engaging in multiple talks without leaving home has proven to be enticing to new participants, increasing engagement.

Virtual conferences might lack the intimacy of a physical gathering, but it’s still possible for attendees to connect with each other. Virtual event platforms often have a chat function allowing for real-time feedback. Some students and younger professionals might even find digital communication with industry leaders to be less intimidating than a face-to-face encounter, in addition to being less time intensive. Additionally, with the rising costs of travel and a decreasing amount of travel funding had ended opportunities for  regular travel to far-off conferences. The COVID-19 pandemic may cause more conferences in the future to adopt a ‘hybrid’ approach, with both physical and virtual attendees.
Virtual meetings have some other advantages compared with a physical one. Live talks could be paused or rewound, a useful feature for those who missed details or wanted to spend more time pondering a crucial slide. Speakers can pre-record presentations in case of scheduling conflicts. Watching talks from home can ease a bit of the pressure of attending a large conference that would require dashing from one session to another across a vast convention halls. This allows for attendance to  a wider variety of sessions than normal, for both speakers and attendees, since switching between parallel sessions can be seamless.
The pandemic continues to present interesting challenges for the equine industry and as solutions to these challenges present themselves, the American Horse Council with share them. Please contact the AHC at info@horsecouncil.org with more questions or solutions you would like shared.

Submitted by: Cliff Williamson, Director of Health & Regulatory Affairs

Membership Spotlight

With the struggles of trying to find different ways to stay engaged and active during these uncertain time of COVID-19, one organization, the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) is keeping their youth active and engaged.  The AQHA, one of the oldest members of the American Horse Council (AHC), since 1970, has over 220,000+ members and over 18,000+ American Quarter Horse Youth Association (AQHYA) members.  The AQHYA promotes leadership, competition, and other non-horse related activities for the horse loving youth and is the largest youth equine association.
AQHA will keep the AQHYA members engaged  with the help of the AHC on Monday, June 8 and Tuesday, June 9, 2020 approximately 20 youth members will join the AHC for virtual Hill visits having meetings with Reps. Ted Yoho (R-FL) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) who championed the Preventing All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act.  AHC also reached out to Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) to participate but has not confirmed.  Another topic which may be discussed is federal funding for equine assisted therapy for veterans.
We look forward to helping the #MyWhyChallenge through Leadership Development for the Power of YOUth.  These YOUth members are our leaders of tomorrow who are willing to learn today setting the stage for a lifetime of success.

Submitted by: Lynda Majerowicz, Membership Specialist

AHC Latest News- May 1, 2020

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

May 1, 2020
Special COVID-19 Issue

Copyright © 2020 American Horse Council

The AHC News is provided to you as a benefit of your AHC membership, and we hope you find the articles informative and useful. While the AHC does grant permission for newsletter articles to be passed on, we hope you will encourage those you are sharing the articles and information with to join the AHC so they can stay informed and up-to-date!

Permission to pass on the AHC News articles to your members, readers, or others is granted on the condition that it is forwarded in its original form or directly linked with the AHC logo and a link to the AHC website.

Don’t forget to read all the way to the bottom of the newsletter as there’s some great stuff down there.

Resources for Horse Owners

https://unitedhorsecoalition.org/covid-19-resources/#horse-owners

How to reopen your barn following the COVID19 quarantine

The COVID-19 pandemic is responsible for a complete shift in the daily lifestyle of everyone in the United States, including our horses. Living under quarantine, curfews, and learning how to work from home has reiterated how important barn visits are to mental health. As states across the country relax stay-at-home requirements, we have some tips on how to keep your horses, horse people, and your barn as healthy as possible.

  • Limit gatherings to as few people as possible, and continue to maintain the recommended social distancing protocols that include six (6) feet of separation between individuals. Just because the quarantine is being lifted doesn’t mean the threat is over.  COVID-19 can be detected in the air for up to 3 hours after being transmitted. Some stables have created a schedule where clients can reserve time slots for their visits, reducing the amount of people in the barn by only allowing 3-4 people present at once. This may be the most appropriate step forward for those barns in states that were forced to close outright.
  • Encourage proper hand-washing and provide as many locations/opportunities for people to do so. Due to the structure of the virus, washing hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds is the most effective way to prevent contamination. Hand sanitizer must contain at least 60% alcohol to be effective.
  • Make a daily or hourly cleaning chart to prevent virus transmission. Disinfect common contact areas regularly and avoid sharing equipment and supplies between people, COVID-19 can live on copper for up to four hours, cardboard for 24 hours, and plastic and stainless steel for up to 3 days.
    • Non-porous materials (leather bridles/saddles/halters, nylon halters/lead ropes, gate latches, door handles, spray nozzle) harbor the virus longer than porous materials (cotton lead ropes, saddle pads)
    • Clean communal leather tack daily with tack cleaner. Knowing how to properly disinfect tack is useful for any equestrian, be it for strangles or COVID-19. Aerosol sprays such as Lysol tend to strip leather of oils, so if you use an aerosol spray to disinfect your tack, be sure to let it dry completely and then recondition the leather to protect it. Soap and water is another effective way to break down the lining of bacteria and viruses and is often safe for most tack. Diluted bleach disinfects well, but leather may dry out and crack from repeated treatments.
    • Disinfect gate latches, spray nozzles, cross tie snaps, pitchforks, wheelbarrows, and other frequently used items regularly or after contact with personnel
    • Stall door latches, hose ends, light switches, faucets and feed scoops should be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
  • There may be state requirements to wear gloves or face coverings to reduce the risk of spreading germs. Many businesses will be looking to taking the temperature of those present in and will not allow anybody to come if they register a temperature or feel sick and this may go a long way to helping clients feel comfortable.
  • Long story short, nobody spends 2 months on the couch unscathed, so take it easy getting back into training. Many riding stables are closed to tenants and all equine events have been canceled in an effort to reduce the virus’s spread. Due to these closures, many horses are not receiving regular workout schedules, or maybe no exercise at all. While daily lifestyles are difficult for all during this pandemic, adapting a horse’s schedule to a life after quarantine can be equally as challenging. Exercise related injuries would be a terrible way to end the quarantine.

Making boarders and clients safe and secure will be critical in getting the horse industry back on its feet, and each facility, whether private or public, should have written policies regarding COVID-19 and expect all clients and professionals to adhere to them. Keeping our horses healthy has always been a priority, but without their owners you can’t keep the lights on. All of these tips, and more, can be found on the AHC COVID-19 Resource Page, please visit it here as we continue to update it during this transition.

Details: Contact Cliff Williamson at cwilliamson@horsecouncil.org

Resources for Small Businesses
https://unitedhorsecoalition.org/covid-19-resources/#equine-businesses

Congress, Administration Move Toward Next Steps for  “CARES Act 2.0” 

Since Congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act on April 24, also known as “CARES Act 1.5,” lawmakers and small business groups continue to identify ways to refine and expand the scope of the $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).  For example, the horse industry is working with the Farm Bureau and others to secure eligibility of 501(C)5 groups for Paycheck Protection.  For background purposes, the tax code classifies 501(C)5 organizations as agriculture groups and labor unions.  If these ag-focused trade associations don’t receive emergency funds, then many agriculture operations could lose an important “go–to” source for economic data, best practices, and policy information.  The horse industry is also lobbying to include 501(c)6 groups – which include a broad swath of trade and professional associations – within the loan program.  Extending eligbility to more 501(C) groups could prove to be an uphill battle.  For example, many Republicans might oppose inclusion of 501(C)5’s on the grounds that they oppose labor unions.  And on the 501(C)6 front, many Democrats could raise objections, on the grounds that most Chambers of Commerce, a key pillar of the business lobby, classify as 501(C)6.  At the end of the day, lawmakers might agree to include “all of the above,” sealing a deal that has something for everybody.

Congress, SBA Must Make Paycheck Protection More “Ag Friendly
While Congress discusses CARES Act 2.0, the horse industry and its allies are also advocating for ways to expedite delivery of funds into the hands of agricultural borrowers.  AHC, the National Cattlemen Beef Association and the Farm Bureau, among others, are requesting more resources for rural lenders to distribute Paycheck Protection loans.  Specifically, the coalition is requesting that Congress include Farm Credit System lenders within future “set asides” for community banks.  The coalition is also encouraging Congress to continue to pressure SBA to process applications as quickly as possible so that funds can be delivered to rural America without further delay.  With respect to covered expenses related to rent, the horse industry and its allies are also asking that Congress include the rental of business-related equipment as an eligible expense under Paycheck Protection.  Also, a staff member of the Senate Agriculture Committee has stated that committee leadership supports publication of SBA guidance tailor-made for agriculture.

Lawmakers, Administration, Compile Wish Lists for CARES Act 2.0
Congress could face a prolonged stand-off in negotiations.  Not only will Democrats and Republicans in Congress have their differences, but the Administration will also have input.  For example, the Trump Administration has proposed a major infrastructure piece within a future package.  Many GOP leaders criticize this idea, mainly because of the hefty price tag.  Because the next package will begin to move in the House, many of the Democrats’ priorities will be embedded in the original bill, putting Senate Republicans on defense.  A House Democratic source identifies a $500 billion boost for state and local governments, more money for mass transit, and eliminating the cap on the State and Local Tax deduction, commonly referred to as the SALT deduction, included in recent tax reform legislation, as priorities in the next relief package.  GOP members, however, will advocate for civil liability protections related to COVID-19 exposure, an issue that will be a point of contention with Democrats.  While a path forward remains uncertain for items not directly related to COVID-19, lawmakers could face political pressure to move more quickly on narrow packages that directly address emergency relief measures, including SBA’s loan programs.

SBA Announces Record Processing of Paycheck Protection Loans
On May 3, one week following release of the second batch of funds totaling $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, SBA announced that it made more 2.2 million loans.  This figure surpasses the 1.6 million loans distributed pursuant to “round one,” which began on April 3 and dried up on April 16.  During the first week, SBA had distributed $175 billion of loans, more than half the allotment authorized under the “Paycheck Protection and Health Care Enhancement Act,” also known as “CARES Act 1.5.”  According to SBA, the average size of the loans distributed totals $79,000, which is less than half the size of the loans disbursed during the first round.  To view a copy of the SBA statement related to loan statistics, please see the following link:  https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-newsroom/press-releases-media-advisories/joint-statement-administrator-jovita-carranza-and-secretary-steven-t-mnuchin-success-paycheck

Details:  Bryan Brendle at bbrendle@horsecouncil.org.

 

Resources for Non-Profits
https://unitedhorsecoalition.org/covid-19-resources/#equine-non-profits

 Resources for Equine Associations

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a very significant on equine associations, as it has with all aspects of our lives. For national, regional and state breed and discipline organizations, the impact is both financial and a public relations dilemma. How do you promote memberships when the impetus for joining is often competition-related, and competitions are delayed or cancelled? What do you say to trainers whose livelihoods depend on competing and buying and selling horses? How do you respond to instructors who need lesson riders, but have had to close their doors to the public due to state regulations?

Many organizations have taken steps to provide guidance for their members as states start to gradually reopen. For example, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has developed a COVID-19 Action Plan for Returning Safely to Competition. The Joint Leadership Council (JLC), which consists of leaders from the American Hackney Horse Society, American Morgan Horse Association, American Road Horse & Pony Association, American Saddlebred Horse Association, Arabian Horse Association, United Professional Horsemen’s Association and the United States Equestrian Federation, has created guidelines for reopening barns. The American Paint Horse Association passed an emergency stimulus bill that included extending an extra year of eligibility for Novice Youth and Novice Amateurs, Youth in their last year of Walk-Trot, Youth 13 & Under and Youth 18 & Under, and Green classes, and modifying the requirements for Regional Club eligibility, due to limitations they might encounter due to event restrictions in 2020 due to COVID-19.

These are simply a handful of the ways organizations are working to help their members adapt to our current “normal”. True to its nature, the horse industry is working together to help everyone weather this storm.

Details: Contact Molly O’Brien at TTR@horsecouncil.org

Membership Spotlight

On Monday, April 27, 2020 we all took a break from the COVID-19 talk and learned about “Drones in the Equine Industry” from Allison Fultz, AHC member and Transportation Attorney in private practice in Washington, DC.  Allison gave a great practical overview of the rules governing drone flights in the US with issues relevant to the equine industry.  Allison gave an excellent presentation, including PowerPoint slides, current examples of drone interference with horses, and fielded questions from our viewers.  You can view the presentation here https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/vsl1F-H-_H9JW6-UtR_UcPdxMd24eaa80HRIrqcPz0zWac5yNwycySS9dtZ-xGIy

If you would like a copy of the PowerPoint presentation please contact info@horsecouncil.org.  If you have a topic relevant to the horse industry and would like to present please contact us at info@horsecouncil.org.

Our next topic is “From the Front Gate to the Back Fence: How to be Your own CEO”  by Scott Knudsen on Monday May 18, 2020 at 1pm EDT.  To register send an email to info@horsecouncil.org

Details: Contact Lynda Majerowicz at lmajerowicz@horsecouncil.org

AHC Latest News- April 17,2020

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

April 17, 2020 – Special Issue

White House Releases Guidelines to Re-Open the U.S. Economy

On Thursday, April 16, the White House released “Guidelines for Opening Up America Again,” a 20-page document outlining a tiered and regionally-based roadmap to get back to business.   The guidelines are voluntary and authorize governors to implement either state-wide, or “county by county” timetables for easing restrictions on personal and commercial mobility.  Importantly, the guidelines establish so-called “gating criteria,” enumerating health-based benchmarks that serve as a prerequisite for different classes of business establishments to re-open.

Mass gatherings including racing events and horse shows would fall under “Phase 3,” which Administration officials are identifying as a state of relative control over risks associated with COVID-19 exposure.  Talks between various private sector stakeholder advisory committees are underway to discuss tactics to comply with the spirit of the guidelines while limiting potential tort liability arising from new risks.  These advisory committees include horse industry partners in the agriculture and sports communities.  AHC will share details related to next steps as they unfold.  To view a copy of the guidelines, go to the following link:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Guidelines-for-Opening-Up-America-Again.pdf.

Details: Bryan Brendle at bbrendle@horsecouncil.org.

 

We’re all doing a lot of video conferences so here’s a novel idea .

INVITE A HORSE TO YOUR NEXT CORPORATE MEETING OR VIDEO CALL
Need a fresh face to brighten up your video conference meetings? Want a fun experience for an online Happy Hour? Looking for a virtual tour? The Pennsylvania Equine Rescue & Retirement Foundation
Ambassadors Penn & Penny are here for you.
CALL TODAY!!    724-777-4747 or   EMAIL!!    info@perrf.org
We’ve got a number of great options.

Check out our COVID-19 Resources for
Horse Owners, Non-Profits, Equine Businesses, and Industry Employees – PLUS state specific resources
at

COVID-19 RESOURCES

A Screen Shot is shown below

 

Paycheck Protection Well Runs Dry, For Now

Since enactment of the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act on March 27, the Small Business Administration (SBA) on Thursday, April 16 depleted $350 billion of loan commitments under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), hitting the maximum amount authorized by the massive economic relief package.  Because Congress is officially out of session until Monday, May 4, lawmakers would have to pass legislation to authorize additional funds under rigid “pro forma” procedures prior to that date.  Last week, the Senate passed in pro forma session a narrow bill adding $250 billion to the PPP.  The House, however, rejected the proposal, and countered with a bill that would authorize $250 billion to fund municipal governments and hospital networks, in addition to Paycheck Protection aid.  The Senate subsequently rejected the House proposal, initiating behind-the-scenes talks to move past the stalemate.  With both chambers having reached an impasse on specific dollar amounts and the scope of additional economic aid, a near-term path forward remains uncertain.

Much of the confusion arising from Paycheck Protection stems from the two-tiered roll out for loan eligibility.  On April 3, the SBA began processing loans for small businesses and sole proprietors.  A week later, on April 10, the agency opened the program to independent contractors and the self-employed, thereby extending the program to large segments of the horse industry.  SBA had not previously operated large-scale loan programs for these two classes of borrowers, therefor creating an environment of uncertainty for borrowers and lenders.

Many members of the horse industry have reported long waiting times from their banks to learn details related to their applications.  To give perspective on the bottlenecks, the Administration reported earlier this week that it had processed approximately 1.4 million applications and disbursed slightly over $70 billion to banks. While policymakers intend the program to operate on a “first come, first served” basis, the depletion of funds should not necessarily dissuade potential borrowers from moving forward with an application.  Many banks, especially larger institutions including Wells Fargo, for example, have stated that they will continue to process Paycheck Protection loans, pending additional funds from Congress.   AHC will continue to keep members informed of guidance and developments related to small business loans and other economic relief measures.  For a detailed overview of Paycheck Protection, go to the following link:  https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP%20–%20Overview.pdf.

Details:  Bryan Brendle at bbrendle@horsecouncil.org.

 

Survey COVID-19 Economic Impact on Equine Industry
___________________________________________

The American Horse Council is conducting a brief survey (14 questions which take less than 10 minutes) to determine the economic impacts of COVID-19 on the equine industry. We would very much appreciate your assistance with collecting this information. The only thing you need to have handy is your total horse related income and expenses for March 2019 and March 2020 so we have some comparison.
It’s important to note that for statistical reasons we are sending this survey to a predetermined 1,000 people. Please do NOT forward this or share this survey with others as statisticians will be scaling the responses and we must preserve the sample size .This survey will close April 20, 2020, and depending on the pandemics length we will reissue each month to get up to date numbers and data.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AHCCOVID19Impact
Thank you. Be well and Be Safe. #HorseStrong
National resource database
available to help at-risk horses.

UHC has pushed up the release of its resource database questionnaire in the wake of COVID-19, in an effort to compile a listing of all known safety net programs available in the nation to help owners who are in need, as well as the rescues and sanctuaries that help them.  It is our hope, that by having one centrally located area to access these resources, we will help owners keep their horses from becoming at-risk during these trying times.

The brief questionnaire can be completed by going to our website here:  https://unitedhorsecoalition.org/resource-database/

The AHC News is provided to you as a benefit of your AHC membership, and we hope you find the articles informative and useful. While the AHC does grant permission for newsletter articles to be passed on, we hope you will encourage those you are sharing the articles and information with to join the AHC so they can stay informed and up-to-date!
Permission to pass on the AHC News articles to your members, readers, or others is granted on the condition that it is forwarded in its original form or directly linked with the AHC logo and a link to the AHC website.

Special News Release March 19, 2020

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

Special News Release  

AHC responds to pandemic by compiling resources to help equine industry

Human Health, Equine Health & Business Health

Click here for a link to our COVID-19 Resources

Federal Policymakers Outline Massive Stimulus Package to Assist Business, Individual Taxpayers

With the Senate having been recalled this week from a scheduled recess, lawmakers and Administration officials are discussing the outlines of an $850 billion stimulus package to address economic disruptions caused by COVID-19.   The package, which will need support from House Democrats, may include $50 billion in direct assistance to the airline industry, $500 billion in direct cash payments to individual taxpayers, and $250 billion in loans for small business.   Because a large percentage of equine businesses file tax returns as S-Corporations or “pass through” entities, the small business loans could be especially helpful for many members of the horse industry moving forward.  With respect to the half-trillion dollars in direct payments to individual taxpayers, the Administration states that it would seek to disburse the payments in two portions including a $250 billion installment that could be available as soon as early April.  Stay tuned for details related to stimulus, and possible benefits for large segments of the horse industry, as lawmakers turn their attention to legislation intended to blunt the impact of COVID-19.

Economic Impact of COVID-19 on

Equine Industry to be collected

Dozens of equine events have been cancelled or postponed around the world amid an outbreak of a new type of coronavirus. The pathogen’s effect has been felt across a range of industries. To be proactive, we’d like to suggest that the equine industry begin to think about quantifying our losses. Just like the airline industry, the hospitality industry, and other sporting industries we need to gather data that will help us convey our message.The American Horse Council will be conducting a survey to obtain qualitative and quantitative data to help us paint this picture – in the meantime we ask that you start collecting and noting the impacts this pandemic is having on your equine business. And please feel free to reach out to us at 202-296-4031 or email info@horsecouncil.org
Be safe & Be well.

 

The AHC News is provided to you as a benefit of your AHC membership. We hope you find the articles informative and useful.

While the AHC does grant permission for newsletter articles to be passed on, we hope you will encourage those you are sharing the articles and information with to join the AHC so they can stay informed and up-to-date!

Permission to pass on the AHC News articles to your members, readers, or others is granted on the condition that it is forwarded in its original form or directly linked with the AHC logo and a link to the AHC website.

About the American Horse Council

As the national association representing all segments of the horse industry in Washington, D.C., the American Horse Council works daily to represent equine interests and opportunities. Organized in 1969, the AHC promotes and protects the industry by communicating with Congress, federal agencies, the media and the industry on behalf of all horse related interests each and every day. 

The AHC is member supported by individuals and organizations representing virtually every facet of the horse world from owners, breeders, veterinarians, farriers, breed registries and horsemen’s associations to horse shows, race tracks, rodeos, commercial suppliers and state horse councils.

COPYRIGHT AHC 2020

Our work to defend America’s wild horses and burros continues

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

We hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and well during this difficult time.

Like you, we are doing our best to stay up to date on the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and also wanted to take this opportunity to share with you a number of developments about our continued work during this time as we take necessary precautions in advocating for our nation’s wild horses and burros.


A Victory For The Salt River Wild Horses In Arizona


This past weekend, we reached out to you about the legislation introduced by AZ Rep. Kelly Townsend. HR 2858 threatened to block lifesaving humane management of the famed Salt River wild horses and was widely opposed not just in Arizona, but also by tens of thousands of Americans all across the country.

Due to concerns over COVID-19, the public was discouraged from attending committee hearings or providing public testimony on legislation. Townsend had publicly stated that her legislation was on hold, only to schedule the unpopular and controversial bill at the last minute for a Monday hearing when the public couldn’t attend.

More than 8,000 of you messaged Townsend and members of the committee to cancel this hearing in a tremendous, last-minute show of force in defense of the Salt River wild horses.

And … good news! The state legislature will only be addressing essential legislation before adjourning at the end of the week, meaning that this dangerous and controversial bill is effectively dead (but we will be carefully monitoring this until the session is officially over to be certain).

Our Work In Congress and On Capitol Hill Continues


As the country faces both a financial and public health crisis, imaginably, this past week was one of the most consequential in Washington, DC in many years.

Most federal agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, have moved all but the most essential personnel to telework and Congress is doing the same.

This doesn’t, however, put a stop to the legislative work happening in Congress nor will it delay consideration for millions of dollars in additional funding to ramp up the roundup, removal, and potential sterilization of tens of thousands of wild horses in the West.

In fact, Congress’ biggest legislative vehicles, the Fiscal Year 2021 appropriation bills which fund federal agencies and their programs, are currently being drafted with the goal of concluding in the next four to five weeks. We’ve previously highlighted the President’s FY 2021 budget, which asks Congress to throw even more money at the BLM’s broken and inhumane wild horse and burro program (you can read more about it below).

Our fear is that the current appropriations bills will become “must-pass” legislation tied to addressing COVID-19 and the financial crisis, meaning that language and funding that threatens wild horses may slip through as the public focuses on other issues.

That’s why our team was on Capitol Hill last week meeting with Congressional staff in order to have early and influential input on this process in defense of wild horses and burros. Now that Congressional staff, as well as many of our own staff, are working remotely, we’re utilizing every technology available to stay in contact throughout the appropriations process.


The AWHC Legal Team Takes New Steps To Defend Wild Horses In Court


Just as our work in Congress continues, so too, does our work throughout the court system.

Last week, the government filed a motion in our lawsuit against the BLM to stop its proposed ovariectomy via colpotomy experiments on wild mares. Oral arguments are set for March 20th in Portland, Oregon, which has declared a state of emergency.

As a result we will be attending the hearing and providing oral arguments via telephone. This suit is critically important — We partnered with The Cloud Foundation and The Animal Welfare Institute on this suit which is responsible for the BLM decision to abandon its plans to conduct cruel sterilization experiments.

Five days later, on March 25th, our legal team was expected to appear in San Francisco for oral arguments before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in our lawsuit challenging the BLM’s plan to castrate wild-free roaming stallions in Nevada’s Triple B Complex.

We recently got word that the Courts will be canceling oral arguments for that week meaning that we will either have our hearing rescheduled or the case will be decided on the written briefs submitted previously.

Late last week, AWHC Government Relations and Policy Counsel filed a lawsuit over the BLM’s failure to respond to multiple requests under the Freedom of Information Act, seeking information on various aspects of BLM wild horse and burro policy.

We are seeking records related to a number of secretive meetings between Interior secretaries and BLM officials with livestock special interest groups that may have influenced federal wild horse and burro policy. By failing to provide these records, the BLM and Interior Department have violated the law — So we’re taking action.

Hard At Work: Service Is Uninterrupted At The World’s Largest Wild Horse Fertility Control Program


The great outdoors is, fortunately, one of the safest places to be during this pandemic. That means that our team’s incredible work running the world’s largest wild horse fertility control program on the Virginia Range in Nevada continues on.

Last year, with far fewer resources and staff, our volunteer team of darters outperformed the BLM in providing the birth control vaccine PZP to wild mares — shattering expectations and proving the naysayers wrong.

Each day, we’re proving that there is a better, humane, and far more cost effective way to manage wild horse populations. And each vaccine costs just $30.

Our work continues and we’re so grateful to have your support along the way. Please stay healthy, stay strong, stay safe and stay tuned. We’re all in this together!

American Wild Horse Campaign

Donate

Tell Your Senators to Co-Sponsor the PAST Act!

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

American Horse Council Action Alert

Tell Your Senators to Push PAST Act Over the Finish Line!

Overwhelming passage of the PAST Act in the House of Representatives last year gives the bill unprecedented momentum for action in the Senate. Please help us gain a “super-majority” of cosponsors for the senate version of the PAST Act (S. 1007), championed by Sens. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Mark Warner (D-VA). Write to your senators today and urge them to join the growing list of bi-partisan cosponsors of this important legislation.

Take Action

 

We need your help to save the famed Salt River wild horses

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

If you thought the famed Salt River wild horses were protected, think again. In 2017, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation that protects the Salt River wild horses in their historic habitat in the Tonto National Forest near Phoenix.

But now this cherished herd is threatened by new plans that could result in severe habitat loss and removals of these horses from their home along the lower Salt River.

The Issue: The U.S. Forest Service is beginning construction of a metal fence along the last four miles of the Lower Salt River, including across the river itself. The fence would trap horses on either side, blocking access to the river – a critical source of hydration — and to grazing grounds on both sides of the river.

At the same time, the Arizona Department of Agriculture is considering several proposed long-term management plans for the horses. Depending on which plan is chosen, the horses could face large-scale removals and a severe reduction in their habitat.

The Stakes: Working together with our coalition partner the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group, we saved the Salt River wild horses from a mass roundup/eradication plan almost 5 years ago. Now the future of this iconic herd is again in jeopardy and their future is far from assured!

Five Things You Can Do Today:

The Salt River wild horses need your voice now! Click on the image for each step and you will be directed to a page that will guide you on how to help.

Thank you,

American Wild Horse Campaign

Donate

a couple of crucial developments in the fight to defend wild horses (please read)

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

Acting BLM Director William Perry Pendley’s recent declaration of wild horses as the top existential threat to public lands (even though wild horses aren’t on 88% of BLM land!) and his claim that it will cost $5 billion to “solve” the wild horse “problem” is the culmination of a years-long propaganda war against mustangs and burros.

The war is being waged by the commercial livestock industry, which seeks virtual eradication of these cherished animals in order to maximize taxpayer-subsidized grazing of privately-owned cattle and sheep on public lands.

This anti-mustang propaganda war was boosted recently with the capitulation of the Humane Society of the U.S., ASPCA and Return to Freedom to the cattlemen’s mass mustang roundup agenda.

With that in mind, your team at AWHC has been fighting back hard — from the battleground of Nevada to the seat of power in Washington DC — and we want to share some of our most recent work with you today.

Fighting Back at Ground Zero in the Wild Horse War: Nevada

On October 23, we organized a high-profile press conference with Nevada business leaders and a leading conservationist to counter the anti-wild horse messaging at a screening later that evening of the propaganda film “Horse Rich Dirt Poor.”

Well known real estate developer and Storey County Commissioner Lance Gilman and Erik Molvar, Executive Director of the Western Watersheds Campaign, struck back forcefully against the scapegoating of wild horses and in favor of protecting these iconic animals on public lands in the West. Read more about this highly successful event here.

Defending Wild Horses & Burros in Washington, DC

AWHC teamed up with our colleagues at Animal Wellness Action and The Cloud Foundation to hold a briefing on Capitol Hill for Congressional staff to discuss the mass roundup plan and its true cost to American taxpayers and the wild horses and burros we cherish. In one of the most successful Hill briefings ever, 35 staffers showed up to learn more about this issue that is obviously of concern to so many of their constituents. You can read more about this event here.

At the same time and a few miles away, the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board was meeting — with AWHC staff in attendance to ensure that your voices were represented and heard.

Throughout the meeting, BLM officials and most advisory board members expressed their utter disdain for public opinion, which they dismissed as being “emotional” and “uneducated.” It’s clear where the public stands on the mass roundup and surgical sterilization plan, as our most recent polling documents. At the meeting, we made sure that the voice of the people was not ignored.

Read more about the board meeting here.

Fighting to Keep Wild Horses Wild

While we’re battling on the national front, AWHC is investing significant resources to protect locally cherished herds and support humane management programs.

From the Virginia Range — where our darters have delivered more fertility control treatments to wild horses in six months than the entire BLM did last year — to the Onaqui Mountains in Utah, where we’re helping the BLM and the Wild Horses of America Foundation expand an existing fertility control program, to the Salt River in Arizona where we work closely with the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group, we’re working every day to keep wild horses wild and prove that humane management work.

You won’t want to miss our latest updates from the field here.

We Couldn’t Do This Work Without You!

Our mustangs and burros don’t have a voice — Which is why we’re using ours. If just 5% of you donate to this email, we could clear our monthly fundraising goal and show the BLM that the public proudly supports this important work to keep wild horses and burros wild and free!

From all of us here at AWHC — Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you for supporting our work.

American Wild Horse Campaign Team

Donate

 

Wild horses betrayed…but the fight goes on!

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

I have devastating news. The Humane Society of the United States, ASPCA, and Return to Freedom, who made promises to protect horses, just betrayed America’s mustangs and burros.

Today, at the behest of those organizations and the livestock industry lobbyists they allied with, the Senate Appropriations Committee funded a $35 million increase for the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program. The appropriation is part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Interior Department spending bill unveiled today.

The funds are targeted for implementation of the unprecedented mass roundup, removal, and radical population suppression plan that the groups, along with the cattlemen, support.

We’re ready to fight back.

There are no restrictions on how the BLM can spend the new money. With this nearly 50% increase in the program budget, it’s clear what the BLM will do. Thousands more wild horses will be rounded up with helicopters, ripping them from their families and homes on our public lands. Those who remain free will be subjected to brutal sterilization surgeries that will destroy their wild behaviors and threaten their very lives. The future of America’s wild free-roaming herds will be in jeopardy when populations are reduced to genetically non-viable levels.

Don’t be fooled by the deceptive promotion of the plan as “non-lethal.” The bill language prohibits slaughter for a year, but the plan makes that horrific outcome more likely as holding pens swell with tens of thousands more horses and no guarantee of funding for their safety or long-term care.

But don’t despair. This is a setback, but not the end of the battle.

There’s a long process ahead before this becomes law – if it ever does. Congress may choose to fund the government in FY 20 by passing a Continuing Resolution instead of a spending bill. And the BLM will have many hurdles to cross before accelerating the roundups and implementing inhumane management tools.

That means this fight goes on.

With your continued support, we will fight those who betray our wild horses and burros. We’ll fight them in court. We’ll fight them in Congress. We’ll expose the backroom deal that sold out our mustangs. We won’t rest. With your continued support, we won’t stop until our mustangs are safe.

In Freedom,

Suzanne Roy, Executive Director

Donate

Red Alert: Call the Senate Now

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

There’s a lot at stake for wild horses and burros this week on Capitol Hill. The Senate will unveil its Fiscal Year 2020 Interior Appropriations bill at a subcommittee hearing tomorrow and a full committee hearing on Thursday.

That means this is the last day to oppose funding for the dangerous cattlemen’s plan that will destroy America’s wild free-roaming herds.

If you do nothing else today, please pick up the phone now to contact the key Senators below. Tell them:

“Hello. I’m calling to ask the Senator to oppose funding in FY20 Appropriations for the cattlemen’s plan for America’s wild horses and burros. I don’t want my tax dollars spent on mass roundups that will lead to eventual slaughter or on cruel sterilization surgeries. Please don’t throw more money at a failed program that has shown no ability to reform. Thank you.”

  • Senator Lisa Murkowski, (202) 224-6665 or (907) 271-3735
  • Senator Tom Udall, (202) 224-6621 or (505) 346-6791
  • Senator Susan Collins, (202) 224-2523 or (207) 780-3575
  • Senator Lindsay Graham, (202) 224-5972 or (803) 933-0112
  • Senator Marco Rubio, (202) 224-304, (305) 596-4224
  • Senator Patrick Leahy, (202) 224-4242 or (802) 863-2525
  • Senator Dianne Feinstein, (202) 224-3841 or (415) 393-0707
  • Senator Jeff Merkley, (202) 224-3753 or (503) 326-3386
  • Senator Chris VanHollen, (202) 224-4654 or (667) 212-4610
  • Senator Jack Reed, (202) 224-4642 or (401) 528-5200

After you make the call, please take one moment to send this automated tweet.

We must amplify our voices now! There’s too much at stake not to act. 

Thank you for speaking up for America’s wild horses!

Suzanne Roy, Executive Director

 

Help us secure the future for wild horses.

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

There’s a lot at stake for wild horses in Washington this week as the Senate unveils its FY2020 Interior Appropriations bill at a subcommittee hearing tomorrow. The legislation could have huge ramifications for mustangs and burros.

The bill could include funding to implement the dangerous cattlemen’s plan for our wild horses, which includes accelerated roundups, cruel surgical sterilization, and tripling the number of horses in holding — making slaughter more likely in the long run. If the bill doesn’t prohibit the Forest Service from selling horses for slaughter, all wild horses under Forest Service jurisdiction, including California’s Devil’s Garden mustangs, will be at grave risk.

If the Senate funds this devastating proposal, we’ll need to escalate the fight over the next months and beyond.

Here’s what American Wild Horse Campaign is doing to defend wild horses.

We lobby. On the Hill, our experienced legislative team is fighting every day to convince legislators to secure real and humane solutions that protect these national icons.

We lead grassroots campaigns to make sure your voices are heard. In 2017, we beat back the existential threat of mass slaughter. With your support, we’ll prevail again.

We defend in the courtroom. Our lawsuits have defeated rancher attempts to force mass roundups and BLM plans to eradicate wild horses from designated habitat. We’re currently in court simultaneously fighting the Forest Service’s slaughter plans and the BLM’s plans to perform barbaric sterilization surgeries on wild mares.

We can keep this vital work going – but only with your help. The lives of tens of thousands of mustangs and burros depend on your support.

Thank you for your steadfast support for AWHC and our beloved mustangs and burros

Suzanne Roy, Executive Director

Donate

 

Idaho Mustangs at Risk and More News

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

 

BLM Plan Could Destroy Idaho Wild Horse Herd – Take Action!

The BLM is accepting public comments on a Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) that will affect a small herd of wild horses living in the Four Mile Herd Management Area in southwestern Idaho, near the Oregon border for the next 10-20 years. Among the management options under consideration for wild horses in the Four Mile mustangs are surgical removal of ovaries in mares and castration of stallions, vasectomy, PZP, GonaCon, skewed sex ratios, and the creation of non-reproducing herds. Now is the time to weigh in for humane and proven management options like PZP fertility control, and rejection of dangerous methods, like surgical sterilization and sex-ratio skewing, that will destroy the horses’ wild free roaming behaviors and social organization. Please take one moment to take action below.

 

BLM Roundup Reports: Utah, Nevada and California

The BLM is well into its summer/fall roundup season, aiming to remove 3,565 federally-protected wild horses from public lands through the fall. This month has seen three roundups conducted simultaneously in three different states — including one targeting the nation’s most high profile wild horse herd. AWHC has been onsite at all three roundups and you can read our reports from the field by clicking below.

 

Wild Horse Week in Washington a Success!

Thanks to all the members of our herd who galloped to action last week to let the Senate know that the so-called Path Forward for wild horses — being pushed by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, ASPCA, HSUS and Return to Freedom — will be a giant step back for these cherished national icons. Together we made our position known, loud and clear. Read more about the successful mini campaign below!

 

Video Highlight of the Week: Salt River Wild Horse Management Group

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Tell Your Senators to Co-Sponsor the PAST Act!

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

Tell Your Senators to Make History! Push PAST Act Over the Finish Line!

Before breaking for the August recess, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted the Sen. Joseph Tydings Memorial Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act of 2019 (H.R. 693) by a vote of 333 to 96.  In the wake of this historic vote, the horse industry is focusing efforts on the Senate, where there is an opportunity to gain a “super-majority” of cosponsors for the senate version of the bill (S. 1007), championed by Sens. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Mark Warner (D-VA).  During August, AHC members sent 200 letters to the Senate urging support for this important bill.  You can put even more horsepower in the PAST Act by sending a letter to your senators today!

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Action required: Wild horses on brink of destruction

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Right now, the Senate is considering partial funding for a plan that, if approved, could mean the beginning of the end for free-roaming horses and burros. The plan, ill-conceived and full of dangerously vague language, is hidden within the Interior budget bill and it’s on track to be negotiated in September.

Take action now: Sign our petition to protect America’s wild horses and burros.

What is this plan? It’s a ten year attack on wild horse populations, and nothing short of a surrender of the decades-long fight for fair treatment, humane management, and preservation of our nation’s wild horse and burro herds.

The plan is billed as a compromise between the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, other livestock lobbying groups, and the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS), the ASPCA and Return to Freedom, but there’s nothing in it for wild horses.

In fact, it calls for the roundup of 130,000 wild horses and burros over the next decade – more than exist today on the range. This will triple the number of wild horses and burros incarcerated at taxpayer expense, at a cost of close to $1 billion over the next decade, without any guarantee of long-term funding to ensure safety from slaughter for these cherished animals.

And there’s more. Herd numbers will diminish beyond minimum viable populations, gruesome sterilization experiments for wild mares will remain on the table, and herds left on public lands will be manipulated with unnatural sex ratios that will wreak havoc on social organization and dynamics.

We’ve seen the power Americans have to affect change at a national level. We must band together to demand an absolute NO to this disastrous plan.

Take action now, and sign our petition to make sure your Senators vote against this dangerous proposal.

Thank you,

– AWHC Team

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Tell Your Senators to Co-Sponsor the PAST Act!

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

American Horse Council Action Alert

Tell Your Senators to Make History! Push PAST Act Over the Finish Line!

Before breaking for the August recess, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted the Sen. Joseph Tydings Memorial Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act of 2019 (H.R. 693) by a vote of 333 to 96.  In the wake of this historic vote, the horse industry is focusing efforts on the Senate, where there is an opportunity to gain a “super-majority” of cosponsors for the senate version of the bill (S. 1007), championed by Sens. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Mark Warner (D-VA).

Take Action

 

VSV – CDA Warns against Misinformation- 8-16-2019

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The following is from the Colorado Horse Council:

August 16, 2019

Colorado Department of Agriculture warns against vesicular stomatitis misinformation

Stay informed!

 

For information all equine diseases

Equine Disease Communication Center

Great information on all equine health notices and needs.

Don’t leave home with your horse until you have

 check this site out!

 

Stay informed and help us protect your rights as Horse Owners
Join or Renew your Colorado Horse Council membership online today!

 

Did you know you can renew membership or become a new member online at the Equine City Hall?  Just  Click Here!

Save the postage and the time, and renew today!

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 16, 2019

Veterinarians and Livestock Owners Contact:  Colorado State Veterinarian’s Office, 303-869-9130

Media Contact:  Mary Peck, 303-869-9005, mary.peck@state.co.us

 

Broomfield, Colo. – As Colorado’s livestock communities continue to manage a significant vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) outbreak affecting 20 counties across the state, misinformation about the virus is being shared on social media channels and traditional media outlets. The initial source of the inaccurate reporting, comparing VSV to a “rabies-like” virus, was an  Associated Press article that was reposted by a number of media outlets. The article has since been corrected.

“It is highly misleading to say that vesicular stomatitis virus is a rabies-like virus.  Both viruses belong to the same family, Rhabdoviridae, but that classification is based on viral structure alone,” said Maggie Baldwin, Epidemiology Traceability Veterinarian for the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA).”The two diseases have no similarities in transmission, clinical signs, or outcome.”

VSV is a virus from the genus Vesiculovirus. VSV is a viral disease that causes blisters and ulcers on the mouth, feet, ears, and udder of cattle, horses, and swine, and occasionally mules, donkeys, sheep, goats, llamas, and alpacas. The rabies virus is from the genus Lyssavirus.  Rabies is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system of mammals and has an extremely high case fatality rate.

VSV is not considered a highly contagious virus, as it is spread primarily through insect vectors, and rarely through saliva or other contact. Please refer to the CDA VSV website for accurate information and resources.

CDA has confirmed cases of VSV in Adams, Alamosa, Arapahoe, Archuleta, Boulder, Broomfield, Conejos, Delta, Douglas, Gilpin, Grand, Jefferson, La Plata, Larimer, Mesa, Mineral, Montezuma, Montrose, Morgan, Ouray, Pueblo, and Weld counties.

ALL VSV cases are important for the epidemiology and management of this outbreak and MUST be reported to the State Veterinarian’s Office at 303-869-9130, regardless if the owner and veterinarian decide to have their livestock tested or choose to manage as positive premises based on the presence of typical clinical signs without testing.The only cases that may be managed as suspect positive are equine cases located in counties that have confirmed cases.

Equine owners and livestock producers across the state are impacted by VSV; all livestock owners should carefully watch the case numbers and affected counties to gauge their level of risk and institute mitigation measures.

The total count of premises under quarantine for VSV by county is outlined in the table below.  CDA’s Animal Health division is updating this table regularly with the latest data on its CDA VSV website.

FULL TABLE HERE

Please see the USDA APHIS Veterinary Services website to read the current situation report for all confirmed cases in the U.S.

The first case of VSV in Colorado was reported on July 3rd in Weld County by a field veterinarian from the State Veterinarian’s Office at the Colorado Department of Agriculture.  An incursion of VSV-infected insect vectors is the likely source of infection. There are no USDA approved vaccines for VSV.

Vesicular Stomatitis Background
Vesicular stomatitis is a viral disease that primarily affects horses and cattle but occasionally swine, sheep, goats, llamas, and alpacas will show clinical signs. The transmission process of VSV is not completely understood, but includes insect vectors such as black flies, sand flies, and biting midges.

The incubation period ranges from 2-8 days. Clinical signs include vesicles, erosions, and sloughing of the skin on the muzzle, tongue, ears, teats, and coronary bands. Often excessive salivation is the first sign of disease, along with a reluctance to eat or drink. Lameness and weight loss may follow.

Humans may become infected when handling affected animals, but this is a rare event.  To avoid human exposure, individuals should use personal protective measures when handling affected animals.

Tips for Livestock Owners

  • Strict fly control is an important factor to inhibit the transmission of the disease.
  • Avoid transferring feeding equipment, cleaning tools or health care equipment from other herds.
  • Colorado veterinarians and livestock owners should contact the state of destination when moving livestock interstate to ensure that all import requirements are met. Contact information for all state veterinarian offices is listed here.
  • Colorado fairs, livestock exhibitions, and rodeos may institute new entry requirements based on the extent and severity of the current VS outbreak. Certificates of veterinary inspection (CVIs or health certificates) issued within 2-5 days prior to an event can be beneficial in reducing risks. Be sure to stay informed of any new livestock event requirements. See the Vesicular Stomatitis Guidelines for Shows and Fairs.

 

Important Points for Veterinarians and Horse Owners

Any vesicular disease of livestock is reportable to the State Veterinarian’s Office in Colorado – to report call 303-869-9130. If after hours, the voice message will indicate which staff veterinarian on call.

 

Additional resources

Ranchers call for a roundup of wild horses on our public lands. Don’t let the cattle industry win

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Earlier this week, a federal court judge in California issued an order granting us the right to intervene in a lawsuit, filed by public lands ranchers, seeking the immediate round up and removal of 2,000 wild horses from the Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory in the Modoc National Forest.

At the same time, our attorney is in San Francisco today, participating in court-ordered negotiations with the U.S. Forest Service on a separate lawsuit, filed by AWHC and the Animal Legal Defense Fund, to stop the agency from selling Devil’s Garden horses for slaughter.

Please, support our ongoing legal efforts to protect the Devil’s Garden wild horses in California from special interests that seek their mass removal and slaughter.

The Devil’s Garden Territory is home to one of California’s largest remaining wild horse populations. Yet under pressure from local ranching interests, the Forest Service seeks to reduce the wild horse population to 200 – 402 horses, while allowing over 3,700 cows and 2,900 sheep to graze the public lands there.

The situation that has been unfolding in Devil’s Garden — from the roundups to the proposal to sell the mustangs without limitation on slaughter — represents one of the more serious attacks on wild horses by the public lands ranching industry.

Enough is enough. We’re waging two separate legal battles to defend Devil’s Garden mustangs from this existential threat.

Please help us fund this crucial fight today. Your donation will be earmarked for the legal efforts to protect the right of the Devil’s Garden wild horses to live wild and free on our public lands.

As always, we are the last line of defense for America’s wild horses and we must keep fighting until their safety is assured.

—AWHC Team

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