This is an amazing achievement in our quest to save the horse. The bill still has to go through the full Senate and go through a conference committee made up of both House and Senate members to clear up any differences they find, but overall it is most likely going to pass!
Click here for the article on the American Horse Council website. I have cut and paste the article below.
What does this mean? The APHIS is getting more funds to do their work to study equine diseases, agricultural research, work on the transporting horses to slaughter problem, and enforce the HPA on a higher level. The HPA will receive $891,000 when before it only recieved $400,000. This means more funds for the USDA to hold inspections at shows and to be able to hold court cases to convict the criminals.
BE SURE to email your Senators and tell them how much you appreciate their help in the health and welfare of the horse. Ask them if they haven't approved of the bill yet to do so in their vote. To do so, go to www.senate.gov and choose your state in the Find the Senators section up in the right hand corner. You can also write to senators in other states if you wish. This is going to help the equine industry tremendously and take us a giant step further in reaching our goal of saving the Tennessee Walking Horse from further abuse!
Senate Committee on Appropriations Approves FY 2012 USDA Funding Bill
Submitted by admin on Thu, 09/08/2011 - 17:22
The American Horse Council reports that the Senate Committee on Appropriations approved its version of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for 2012. This bill provides funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for 2012 fiscal year (October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012) and contains several provisions of interest to the horse industry.
The Senate bill authorized different levels of funding for various USDA programs than the House bill (H.R. 2112) passed on June 1, 2011. The AHC reported on the House Appropriations Committee approval of the USDA funding bill for 2012 fiscal year.
The Senate bill sets overall funding for USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inpsection Service (APHIS) at $820.1 million. APHIS is the agency responsible for responding to disease outbreaks. This is approximately $36 million more than the House-approved funding level of $783.4 million.
The Senate bill is $43 million less than FY2011 levels and $12 million less than the President’s FY2012 budget request. By comparison, the House bill was $80 million less than FY2011 levels and $49 million below the President’s request for FY2012. However, the Senate bill maintained funding for equine, cervid, and small ruminant health at $22 million in accordance with the President’s request and the House bill.
The Senate bill funds the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) at $1.01 billion. ARS is USDA’s chief scientific research agency and has played a critical role in mitigating the health and economic impacts equine infectious diseases, such as Equine Piroplasmosis, have had on the horse industry. The Senate bill is approximately $100 million more than the House bill authorized.
The Senate bill is $40 million less than FY2011 levels and the President’s FY2012 budget request; however, the House bill was $146 million less than FY2011 levels and $150 million below the President’s FY2012 request.
The Senate also provided $7 million for the new animal disease traceability system, which USDA published a proposed rule on in August 2011. You can view the AHC’s information on the new animal disease traceability program.
Horse Protection Act
The Senate bill approved funding for enforcement of the Horse Protection Act at $891,000 which is the same amount as the President’s FY2012 budget request and $400,000 more than the House bill authorized.
The Senate bill also included committee report language expressing concern with the lack of progress on USDA’s 2007 proposed rule changes under the Commercial Transportation of Equines to Slaughter Act. The Senate Committee directed USDA to finalize the rule before October 1, 2011. USDA published the final rule yesterday, September 7, 2011.
This bill must now be approved by the full Senate, and go through a conference committee with representatives from both the Senate and the House to resolve any differences between the two bills.
If you have any questions regarding this bill please call the AHC.