Appropriations Bill Includes Money For Horse Programs

The American Horse Council (AHC) reports that before adjourning Congress passed a giant Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which included federal funding for several equine programs the AHC has been working for on behalf of the horse industry. The bill was signed into law by the President on October 21, 1998.

“The funding for these important programs was strongly supported by Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell and others,” said AHC President Jay Hickey. “The AHC very much appreciates this. We are putting more emphasis on the need for federal funds to do research into equine diseases and other issues which threaten the health of our horses and the economic impact of the $112 billion horse industry.

These funds will allow research to be done on diseases of great concern to the horse industry, including Contagious Equine Metitis (CEM) and the newly discovered CEM-like bacterium found in California and Kentucky. USDA will provide the University of Kentucky $250,000 for research into CEM. The Department will also provide $300,000 for an assessment of the economic threat from the newly-described CEM like bacterium.

Along with these equine specific research funds the Fiscal Year 1999 Omnibus Appropriations Bill provides USDA with $3.1 million for general research into emerging infectious animal diseases. A total of $3.5 million is also provided for the general maintenance and continued modernization of the USDA's Animal Research Service's foreign animal disease laboratory at Plum Island, N.Y.

The FY 99 Omnibus Appropriations Bill also provides USDA with funds to ensure the humane treatment of horses in the United States. $361,000 has been set aside for the enforcement of the Horse Protection Act, and $400,000 has been appropriated for the continued development and enforcement of regulations governing the commercial transportation of equine to processing facilities.

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