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The UHC Welcomes Two New Members


The following is from the Unwanted Horse Coalition:

The UHC welcomes two new members, the Retired Racehorse Project and Palmetto Carriage Works. Each will be featured in future editions of the UHC Roundup. Member organizations help make programmatic decisions in the areas of education, programs, funding, and visibility.

For a full list of members, visit www.unwantedhorsecoalition.org/member-organizations/ or to inquire about UHC membership and programs, contact the UHC office at uhc@horsecouncil.org.

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The Veterinarian’s Role in Equine Abuse Investigations


The following is an article from The Horse.

The Veterinarian's Role in Equine Abuse Investigations

Photo: Courtesy of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Veterinarians must know how to properly document findings and avoid destroying evidence while still putting the horse’s welfare first.

How a veterinarian goes about examining and treating allegedly abused horses can mean the difference between a successful or unsuccessful case against the owner. He or she must know how to properly document all findings and avoid destroying evidence while still putting the horse’s welfare first.

Nicole Eller, DVM, a Minnesota-based field shelter veterinarian with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Field Investigations and Response team, described the veterinarian’s unique role in animal crime scene investigations during her presentation at the 2016 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 3-7 in Orlando, Florida.

First, she reviewed the basics of evidence identification, collection, and preservation. “Evidence is generally defined as anything that can demonstrate or disprove a fact in contention,” said Eller. In equine abuse investigations, this can include anything from photos of a horse’s injuries or body condition to the moldy hay in his feeder.

Veterinarians must view these cases through the lens of someone looking for and collecting evidence. As the equine expert, the veterinarian will recognize key pieces of evidence that other investigators might overlook.

Eller then described the four phases of processing an animal crime scene.

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Horse Welfare Report Clears European Parliament Hurdle


The following is an article from The Herald.

The report from Julie Girling MEP sets out to stop the abuse of horses across Europe and ensure their welfare is catered for

The report from Julie Girling MEP sets out to stop the abuse of horses across Europe and ensure their welfare is catered for.

Major steps to halt the abuse and cruel exploitation of horses and donkeys, set out in a report from British MEP Julie Girling, were approved this week by a key committee of the European Parliament.

The package of measures for equine welfare received the approval of the European Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee on Wednesday (January 25).

“We are on our way to a better deal for donkeys and horses. Cruelty and neglect is a problem across the continent and we must tackle it,” Mrs Girling declared.

Julie Girling, Conservative MEP for the South West and Gibraltar

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There Are 100 Million Working Horses, Donkeys & Mules in the World– We Want to Help Them All


The following is an article from The London Economic.

There are 100 million working horses, donkeys and mules in the world. They are the tractors, taxis and engines that power developing economies, working in the construction industry, carrying food and water, and transporting goods to market. It’s estimated that each animal can support a family of six, so around 600 million people’s lives are supported by a working equine – 8% of the world’s population. Without healthy working horses, donkeys and mules, they wouldn’t be able to put food on their tables, send their children to school or build better futures for themselves and their families. However, it’s estimated that more than half of these animals suffer from exhaustion, dehydration and malnutrition as a result of excessive workloads and limited animal health services

Brooke is an international charity that protects and improves the lives of working equines. The UK based charity works to deliver significant and lasting change, even in some of the world’s most challenging areas. Their teams concentrate on training and support for owners of owners and handlers, as well as local vets, farriers, harness makers and animal traders to improve standards of care. They operate in 11 different countries, and fund small projects in others. Brooke also conducts research, and works with policy makers to make overarching changes to the way governments tackle working equine welfare.

One of the countries that Brooke works in is Kenya, a country with almost 2 million donkeys. Around 50% of people live below the poverty line, so these animals support many people’s lives in both urban and rural areas, transporting food and fuels. Brooke has been working through local partners in the country since 2011, and opened an office in Nairobi in 2013, with programmes stretching from Turkana County in the North to Kajiado in the South. The work focusses on bringing communities together to make donkey welfare a group priority, with a financial focus.

©Brooke/Freya Dowson.


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How You Can Help Stop Horses, Camels and Other Animals Suffering On Your Holidays


The following is an article from Wander Lust.


“You don’t have to be very bright to see if an animal looks like it’s on Death Row,” says Jeremy Hulme, Chief Executive of animal welfare charity SPANA. “If you’re looking at a horse or mule, and it’s head is down, it’s looking thin and its bones are sticking out, it’s obviously not right. If it’s limping, you know it’s got problems.”


Most savvy travelers are now clued up on how animal experiences, from elephant rides to tiger temples, might be harmful to animals. Less attention is paid, though, to horses, donkeys, mules and camels put to work in the tourism industry, which is why SPANA has launched a Holiday Hooves campaign.

Thousands of animals are used in travel experiences, from camel rides and horse-drawn carriages to mules carrying gear on expeditions. The animals are often essential to their owners’ livelihoods, but in some cases are cruelly treated, neglected or kept in poor conditions.

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Whips Banned in Australian Harness Racing


The following is an article from the Horse.

standardbred-at-sunriseIn a groundbreaking move, Australian racing authorities have declared a nation-wide ban on the use of whips in harness racing.

Harness Racing Australia (HRA) announced Dec. 10 that no whip use will be tolerated on any of its tracks as of September 2017, making it the second country worldwide to ban whips in harness racing (Norway was the first to implement a ban).

However, an important distinction is that the Norwegian ban came down from a government decision, where as in Australia, the interdiction results from a decision by the national racing authority itself, a leading equitation scientist said.

“In Norway, the move was triggered by animal welfare legislation, but the HRA announcement represents the first time a racing authority has taken the lead and voluntarily walked away from the whip,” said Paul McGreevy, BVSc, PhD, MRCVS, MACVS (Animal Welfare), professor of animal behavior and animal welfare science at the University of Sydney.

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Lawsuit Challenges Plan to Remove Estray Horses at Fort Polk


This article is featured on the HORSE.

A group of equine advocates in Louisiana have filed a federal lawsuit to halt the Army’s plan to remove estray horses that roam property at Fort Polk, in Vernon Parish, Louisiana, and the Kisatchie National Forest, which spans seven central and northern Louisiana parishes.

Last year, the Army issued a public notice of intend to conduct an environmental assessment in advance of a proposed action to remove the so-called “trespass horses” at Fort Polk. In April the Army released the final assessment, which stated that, due to herd growth, the horses interfered with Army training operations at the base and in the national forest and presented a safety concern to nearby communities.

On Dec. 14, the Pegasus Equine Guardian Association (PEGA) filed a lawsuit asking the court to prevent the Army from removing the horses on grounds that the animals had roamed the base and national forest property since the 1600s, and that the removal plan threatens the horses’ long-term survival.

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Brooke Beats the Odds to Help Out Two Million Working Equines


Equine charity Brooke has met its goal of reaching two million working horses, donkeys and mules in a single year.

The ambitious goal to reach this vast number of working horses and donkeys to relieve their suffering and improve welfare through training, research and treatment was set almost six years ago.

It is estimated that at least 100 million equines are supporting more than 600 million people in the developing world. The majority of those animals are suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, malnourishment, crippling injuries, lameness, and/or contagious diseases, nearly all of which can be prevented with proper training for their owners.

Measuring the impact of its work is a key focus for Brooke. In 2016, in Nepalese brick kilns where Brooke works the number of animals with eye problems fell by 42%. In Brooke projects in Nicaragua the number of severely underweight animals was reduced by 31% and Brooke Pakistan reduced by 16% the number of animals in their coal mine projects with severe wounds. In the UK, Brooke now has 30 community fundraising groups passionate about raising money for the cause, and almost 10,000 new supporters have jumped on board this year alone.

“Reaching two million horses, donkeys and mules in a year is one of our proudest achievements,” said Chief executive Petra Ingram said.

“We’re so grateful to our donors for enabling us to offer support to so many animals. This success paves the way for the future of Brooke. By 2021 we want to reach even more working horses, donkeys and mules in the greatest need. And we want to ensure that Brooke makes a lasting difference to animals’ lives – so they continue to benefit for generations to come.”


US donors had also contributed to the year’s success, through its American fundraising affiliate Brooke USA.

Brooke USA Chairman Dr David Jones said the organisation would rely on its donors in coming years “as we strive to expand and reach our next goal of five million animals each year by 2021.”

In a huge milestone for Brooke’s global animal welfare and advocacy work, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) announced this year the first set of welfare standards for working horses, donkey and mules. Furthermore contribution of working equines to food security was officially recognised by the UN in livestock recommendations formally endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS).

“This means that the needs of countless horses, donkeys and mules who have laboured for so long without recognition can no longer be ignored. They’re on the international agenda – giving Brooke a hard-won opportunity to reach more of the world’s 100 million working equines than ever before,” Ingram said.

Heralding this new chapter, Brooke launched its new brand in 2016, including the new strapline “Action for working horses and donkeys” to create instant understanding of the charity’s work and the role of animals in the everyday life in a world where fewer than 20% of people have access to a motor vehicle.

Brooke currently works primarily India, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kenya, Egypt, Ethiopia, Senegal, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and has pilot projects in several other developing countries.

Brooke appointed five new trustees including three from countries where it works, helping to bring it closer to the communities that rely on working animals.

Brooke’s new overseas trustees are CEO of Change Alliance in India, Belinda Bennett, CEO of Emerge Africa Ed Rege, based in Kenya, and Cheikh Ly, from Senegal, a veterinary school full tenure professor. The UK trustees are Graeme Cooke, the UK’s Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer and former Veterinary Director of the World Governing body of Horse Sport (FEI) and Sarah Arnold, a specialist trust and estates solicitor.




chillyThe following is an update from Chilly Pepper-Miracle Mustang Rescue.


It’s Thursday, and Matt and I are finally headed home for a break. We are hoping to celebrate Christmas with our family. We have precious cargo with us once again, and Circle Bear, Princess and Leeanna are all special needs babies.

Circle Bear, shown above, was severely underweight and barely hanging on. The severe weather is extremely hard on these little ones and he was by himself. We don’t know where Mom is, but it was life and death for him so we brought him in. He has pneumonia, so please send lots of prayers.

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Still here in Blizzard Country, Sorting and Saving More Horses



The following is an update from Chilly Pepper-Miracle Mustang Rescue.

Where to begin. Matt and I were supposed to head back to NV together to take horses home, but the reality was I needed to stay so we could load out horses as time was running out. I am glad I stayed, as we have been successful in getting horse kids out, and every single one of them is a life saved.

The horses were scheduled to be taken to auction today and tomorrow and at the last minute we were given more time to keep up the adoptions. So I get to go home for Christmas but have been scheduled to be back sorting and loading up horses after the first of the new year.

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Horse Industry by the Numbers


According to the American Horse Council, the horse industry contributes approximately $39 billion in direct economic impact to the U.S. economy, and supports 1.4 million jobs on a full-time basis. When indirect and induced spending are included, the industry’s economic impact reaches $102 billion.

Some key industry statistics and economic indicators:

Estimated number of horses in the U.S.

9.2 million

Estimated number of horses by activity

Recreation- 3,906,923

Showing- 2,718,954

Racing- 844,531

Other- 1,752, 439

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Take A Stand Against Barbaric BLM Sterilization Experiments


The following post come from the American Wild Horse Preservation.

Please take action on our petition to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board, which is asking its members to oppose the BLM’s dangerous plan to conduct painful and risky surgical sterilization experiments on wild mares.

The experiments will subject mares to the risk of death from hemorrhage, evisceration and infection, and will cause pregnant mares to abort their foals. If implemented in the field, this sterilization method (“ovariectomy” – surgical removal of the ovaries) would take the wild out of wild horses by destroying their natural free-roaming behaviors and causing social chaos on the range.

We will be delivering these signatures in just three days and need to make sure our voices are heard. Will you please help by sending a message to oppose this horrific plan?

American Horse Council Tax Bulletin – April 2016


The following post in an excerpt from the American Horse Council’s Tax Bulletin.

Circuit Court Affirms Lower Court Finding Horse Activity Not a Business for Profit

By Thomas A. Davis, Esq., Davis & Harman LLP, Washington, DC

The taxpayers, wife and late husband, bred Tennessee walking horses on their farm in Tennessee. They incorporated the horse-breeding operation as LSA, Inc. and claimed substantial losses as deductions from LSA on their personal tax returns. (The husband died in a fire at their residence in January of 2003.)  The IRS determined that the horse-breeding operation was not an activity engaged in for profit and therefore assessed taxes and penalties against taxpayers.

Tax Court Finds Horse Training Activity Not Engaged in for Profit

By Thomas A. Davis, Esq., Davis & Harman LLP, Washington, DC

During the taxable years in issue, 2010 and 2011, the taxpayer, Linda Kaiser, operated a financial consulting and insurance business from her home called “Kaiser Consulting/Insurance Sales.” The taxpayer also conducted a horse training activity known as “The Forty Carrot Wisdom Co.” Previously, she had operated a small business, worked in real estate and insurance, and was a sales manager at a multinational financial services company.

Attorneys’ Fees and Other Costs in Tax Cases: Opportunities Exist for Taxpayers to be Reimbursed Their Costs
By Douglas P. Romaine, Esq., Stoll Keenon Ogden, PLLC, Lexington, KY
To date myself, I remember when a rate of $100 per hour for an attorney was a big deal.  Today it is not unusual to find hourly professional fees in major metropolitan areas have broached $1,000 per hour and beyond.  This article is not intended to examine the vagaries of hourly rates or their steady march up the scale but to make the observation that in the federal tax system where taxpayers generally bear the burden to prove that the determination of the IRS is not correct, it is often an expensive proposition for a taxpayer to contest an assessment.

Horse Deaths Related to Endurance Rides


The following is an except from recent article by by Nancy S. Loving, DVM for thehorse.com.

The best ways a rider can reduce the risk of fatality is to be in tune with their horse, manage him properly through the ride, and voluntarily withdraw when their horse is not performing as expected, Schott said. Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

“Endurance” is an aptly named riding discipline. The sport requires horse and rider to complete more than 50 to 100 miles of trail in a single day. Depending on the competition type, terrain, and climatic conditions, horses might be actively working anywhere from six to 24 hours. Because of the nature of the sport,dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and heat stress can arise, sometimes leading to fatalities.

To investigate causes of fatality in endurance horses, Olin Balch, DVM, MS, PhD, of North Fork Veterinary Service, in Cascade, Idaho, and Hal Schott II, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, professor of large animal medicine at Michigan State University, reviewed 13 years of endurance ride veterinary reports. Schott presented their findings at the 2015 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 5-9 in Las Vegas.

For their study, Balch and Schott compiled results from American Endurance Ride Conference post-ride surveys and veterinary reports from 2002-2014. During this time there were 96 fatalities out of 270,070 horses entered in endurance competitions—that’s 0.32 fatalities per 1,000 starts. Of the fatalities, 69 were euthanized and 27 died. Eighty-seven had participated in the ride, while nine others died or were euthanized due to injuries sustained by escape from an enclosure, kick injury, or colic unassociated with the demands of endurance exercise. There were no differences among sex or age and the number of fatalities did not differ over the years studied. Although there were no statistically significant regional differences, the Southwest had more fatalities than the West, which had more than the Mountain region, which had more than the Northeast.

“Despite veterinary oversight, which is arguably the highest of any equestrian sport during competition, fatalities do occur,” remarked Schott, who presented their findings. During endurance rides, horses must stop at mandatory rest points for examination by a ride veterinarian to determine that they are “fit to continue.” At the finish line exam, horses must again be examined and deemed fit to continue in order to receive a completion and placing.

Balch and Schott’s study included all fatalities that occurred over the four-day period from check-in the day before the race to two days following the competition. If a problem developed at the ride, then they investigated that horse’s outcome beyond those four days. “An increase in ride distance often leads to gastrointestinal problems and metabolic compromise,” Schott explained.

They determined that 26 deaths (30%) in competing horses were not fatigue-related. These resulted from falls, catastrophic injury, gastrointestinal disorders, or sudden death, and one horse was lost and later found dead. There were 61 fatalities (70%) attributed to the demands of endurance exercise, including consequences of severe muscle cramping and exhaustion.

“Exhaustion was commonly associated with decreased intestinal function due to a long period of decreased blood flow to the intestinal tract, as blood was diverted to the exercising muscles during exercise,” Schott explained. “Affected horses showed a poor appetite and colic signs, attributable to ileus (poor intestinal motility). A disastrous consequence was stomach rupture in several horses, with no apparent relation to stomach ulcers, while others developed renal failure and/or laminitis.”

Another important finding, he said, was that 20 of these 61 horses actually finished the ride and received completion awards, yet developed signs of exhaustion after the ride with fatalities developing over the next couple of days.

“This finding emphasizes that riders must monitor their horses closely after the ride and seek veterinary attention when any concern over recovery arises,” he said.

“Finally, it warrants mention that owners of 19 horses that ultimately died or were euthanized declined fluid therapy and/or referral to a hospital for further care when recommended by veterinarians at the ride site,” Schott added.

Read The Full Article Here

Brook USA Helps Deliver Feed to 600 Equines Daily During Ethiopian Drought


This is an excerpt of an article at the Equine Chronicle.

Every day in Ethiopia, 9 million working horses, donkeys, and mules are supporting 54 million poor people who depend on them.  Now, as Ethiopia is struggling through its worst drought in 50 years, these animals are not only fighting for their own survival, but doing so while helping people access emergency supplies.  While these extremely important animals are being utilized to help people, the Brooke has launched an emergency response to help those animals.

The Brooke is the world’s largest international equine welfare charity, dedicated to alleviating the suffering of working equines in the developing world. Brooke USA, the American fundraising arm of the Brooke, exists to support vital programs like this one, which will supply emergency feed for 600 working equines each day for a month, and will deliver water for up to 1,800 equines each day.

Brooke USA donors make it possible for the Brooke to be ready during natural disasters like this, to provide very practical aid to the animals and to help ensure the livelihoods of their owners by keeping their animals alive until the rains come again. Please help us to continue to be ready in times of crisis through tax-deductible donations: www.BrookeUSA.org/give-money.

Click Here To Read The Full Article

Chilly Pepper Equine Rescue Update on Cowboy


The following update is from Chilly Pepper Equine Rescue 

Cowboy is doing wonderfully. He has been getting tiny little corrective trims and treatments on his lil hoofers and it is already helping his hind legs. We still need lots of prayers for this little one, but he is progressing a tiny bit each day.

LatelCowboyy, he has enjoyed being able to spend most nights with his real mama Lacy.

We were truly blessed to find some inexpensive labor and to get more shelter for the critters here, which ultimately is allowing us to take our 24 x 24 shelter over to where the 55 wild horses (less coming adoptions) are going to be spending their winter. We had no hay shelter to protect the hay and desperately needed one. We also were able to raise enough money to buy roofing materials for said shelter.

Unfortunately we still have a very long way to go in procuring a secure future for the wild ones. Our next project is putting up the shelters, fixing fence and adding additional fencing. Then we need to make sure we fill the hay barn and procure enough hay to make it through the upcoming winter for the group of wild ones in NV.

Fundraising is never easy or fun, but unfortunately very necessary as these horses, although thankful they were “saved from slaughter” actually want to eat every single day. :)

We have good news as the minute BLM found out about the 3 orphans needing the emergency hernia surgery they said thank you for the offer, but they would be happy to pay for the surgeries for the 3 orphans. So that just leaves us with Cowboy, (who is technically not an orphan due to the fact his mama is here), but needs special care so I kind of think of him that way, and Cicero and Honey who are “slaughter babies” (their mama’s were killed and slaughtered). Cicero and Honey are ready for their forever homes.

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Update on Cowboy


The following update is from Chilly Pepper Equine Rescue 

Hi, lots of news this month. Some of it positive and some simply Cowboy Chilli Pepperfrustrating. The positive is that we are finding homes for some of the 55 wild horses. We still need lots more homes, but we are definitely on the way.

We have been hit with lots of unexpected expenses this month, one being a repair job on our one and only rescue truck which is used for everything we do. Although the injectors were replaced 3 years ago, nearly all of them have failed to the tune of $2400. (This truck initially had a recall on them and apparently they have not improved them much.) It is frustrating when a company does not stand by their own product.

We took two trips to NV to save Cowboy. Cowboy is the preemie who was born in a group of Virginia Range horses that had been rounded up by Nevada Dept. of Ag and saved from slaughter. We are currently trying to find permanent homes for the remaining 55 horses (plus babies).

9288661_origCowboy had some life threatening issues, including a septic knee joint. Unfortunately it was an emergency type situation and that vet bill was just shy of $900. He then contracted some type of infection (similar to pneumonia) and has been on further antibiotics. He had scours and was struggling pretty badly. (When you are dealing with a preemie, it is especially dangerous as their lungs are not fully developed and they have no reserves. He was looking like quite the little riblet, with no extra meat on his bones). To date he has come through the tough times very well but is still dealing with a nasty cough. He is eating and drinking and all systems are go, with the exception of his cough and breathing.

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