Thursday, July 27, 2017

Congressional panel permits culling of wild horses - Full Article

Bartholomew D Sullivan, USA TODAY
Published 1:30 p.m. ET July 19, 2017

WASHINGTON — A congressional committee Tuesday night authorized the “humane euthanization” — some called it “extermination” — of what many acknowledge is a large and unsustainable population of wild horses and burros on public land in the West.

After debating the merits and flaws in plans to adopt or find ways to limit the population of an estimated 67,000 wild horses through contraceptive darting, the House Appropriations Committee voted to remove language from the Interior Department’s budget that would have prohibited “the destruction of healthy, unadopted wild horses and burros in the care of” the Bureau of Land Management or its contractors. It passed by voice vote.

The action follows a close roll call vote last week by the same committee to end the prohibition on the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection of horse meat.

The author of the euthanization amendment, Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, stressed that it did not make the horses available for sales that would result in their “processing as commercial products, including for human consumption.”

“The bottom line is this: these horses are starving. They’re destroying the range. They’re crowding out the deer and the elk because we cannot manage them,” Stewart said.

Wild horse enthusiasts and animal rights advocates denounced the measure...

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

An Inner-Mongolian family rides to wealth on horseback - Full Article

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/7/25

"We, the Mongolians, could never live without our horses." That is how a horseman named Altanochir always responds when asked about his nation and his horse. His answer is the same as many other Mongolians likely would give.

The well-known horseman, living on Xilingol prairie in Inner Mongolian autonomous region, talks about the horses he rides with his eyes filled with tenderness.

Altanochir learned how to breed horses like his ancestors, and has led a well-off life ever since. He manages to earn an annual household income of more than one million yuan (approx. $148,000) with the around 400 horses that he owns. His revenue mainly comes from hosting horse races, domesticating horses, and modifying breeds. Altanochir also turned his farm into a tourist destination and his family even built a two-storey villa in 2015, decorated with Mongolian patterns on the exterior wall.

Altanochir's family used to be a traditional herdsman family. "Horses were just a means of transportation, but how can we use them to make money?" said Baatar. Altanochir's father firmly believed that getting rid of horses and increasing flocks would be the best way to become prosperous.

Baatar traded a camel and a horse for a second-hand motor bike in 1989. Five years later, he sold six horses and used the money to buy a new motor bike. With the money from this upgrading of vehicles, the old horseman bought the family's first four-wheel car. Now, this family of nine owns five cars.

However, the value of these horses decreased from 2.39 million to less than 0.7 million from 1975 to 2007, which shocked the government and the local people.

Trying to preserve the Mongolian horse culture and boost the local economy, the government has invested 18 million yuan to breed some 2,000 Mongolian horses each year since 2011. Meanwhile, the administration also organized various events involving sports, culture and tourism, building the horse as the symbol of Inner Mongolia.

"Horses are the soul of Inner Mongolian prairie culture," said Manglai, the deputy headmaster of the Inner Mongolia Agricultural University. "Mongolian horses have remarkable advantages in the areas of endurance, cold resistance and vitality..."

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Thursday, July 06, 2017

Survey for American Horse Council Foundation’s 2017 National Equine Economic Impact Study

June 2017

What is an Economic Impact study?

An economic Impact Study examines the effect an event or industry has on the economy. It usually measures business revenue, business profits, personal wages, and/or jobs. A study of the horse industry will document the economic effects of the racing, showing, recreation and other segments of the horse industry on the state and national economy. It will also provide invaluable demographic data, and insights into professions and related industries that are impacted by equine ownership. 

Why does the horse industry need a study?
Anecdotes have their place, but when it comes to proving our economic impact, we need credible proof. An Economic Impact Study will put data behind the economic and social benefits of the industry.

How can findings be used?

The Study will enable the horse industry to educate the public, the media and elected officials in Congress and state legislatures regarding the industry’s economic size, impact and importance. The study will also be helpful in a number of other ways:

• Help members of Congress and the public fully understand the impact of government action on the economy and the industry;
• Examine the consequences and impacts of economic development projects and efforts, such as real estate development (competition grounds), business openings and closures, and site selection projects. The analyses can also help increase community support for these projects, as well as help obtain grants, and tax incentives.
• Economic Impact Studies are used frequently in planning and decision making regarding product development and to aid in development of marketing strategies.

For more information and to take the survey, see

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Back to Barefoot - Full Article

By Natalie DeFee Mendik, MA
Jun 13, 2017

Going barefoot can benefit hoof health, but consider management realities and athletic circumstances before pulling those shoes.

With today's hectic lifestyle, it's no wonder many people pursue a return to a more natural state--from the food they eat to the products they purchase. This desire for simplicity helps account for the back-to-barefoot trend many horse owners embrace, yet a one-size-fits-all approach rarely applies to hoof care. So what are the pros and cons of barefoot? How should owners best manage their barefoot charges? Let's take a look at the ins and outs of going sans shoes.

To Shoe or Not to Shoe?

To answer this question, we'll start by looking at how structures within the hoof are impacted. When the hoof contacts nonsandy ground, the footing that packs into the hoof (known as the dirt plug) stimulates the frog and sole and helps dissipate energy produced by the hoof's impact with the ground, says Robert Bowker, VMD, PhD, a professor in Michigan State University's Department of Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation...

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