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Are Horses Considered Livestock Kentucky
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Are Horses Considered Livestock Kentucky

author
James Lee
• Monday, 02 November, 2020
• 11 min read

Their previous legal designation was domestic companion animal, like dogs and cats. The reclassification of horses as livestock in Kentucky better positions owners to receive tax breaks on feed and other necessities, and it will not weaken protection rules and reopen slaughter facilities, according to supporters of a new state law. Matt Begin on March 27, put horses in the same category as cattle, sheep, swine, goats, alpacas, llamas, buffaloes and related species.

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(Source: en.wikipedia.org)

Contents

While many in the veterinary profession applaud the change, some activists interpreted it as a reduction in the status of horses intended to help lift the ban on federal funding for horse-slaughter inspection. They're smacking their lips to be horse slaughter back to the USA,” an anti-slaughter group warned at the time.

One animal rights activist called the bill's supporters “sadistic,” while another asserted that state politicians “have taken total lack of care concerning Kentucky's horses to a baser level.” Supporters, however, characterize the controversy as much ado about a very preliminary step toward achieving sales tax equity for horse owners.

While including equines in the state's livestock definition does not directly address the sales-tax issue, proponents of the move say it makes a stronger case for extending the break to horse owners. The governor plans to hold a special legislative session later this year to address comprehensive tax reform, during which the livestock designation could matter for horse owners.

In addition to the livestock change, the governor signed another bill on March 27 that makes it easier for officials to intervene and remove horses in abuse or neglect cases. VIN News Service commentaries are opinion pieces presenting insights, personal experiences and/or perspectives on topical issues by members of the veterinary community.

Senator Robin Webb, an accomplished horsewoman from Carter County, sponsored the bill, a measure she’s worked on for several years. “The continued and consistent designation of equine as livestock is imperative for the ownership and utilization of the animals that we have relied on for centuries,” Webb said.

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(Source: en.wikipedia.org)

Rep. Susan Destroy, whose district is in Fayette County, said the measure is a major step toward putting horses on equal footing with other livestock. “I am pleased to know that my colleagues finally understand that the equine industry in their own backyard was never treated ‘business friendly’ by the state,” Destroy said.

Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne of Old ham County said the action “highlights the importance of the horse industry to our overall agricultural economy.” This designation will clear the way for tax equity and other legal parity within the entire equine industry, which will strengthen the future for years to come.

Osborne, an owner of both Thoroughbreds and Saddlebags, said the bill affords protections to horse farmers in ways that might surprise people. “As Chair of the House Agriculture Committee, I am pleased to lend a hand to the equine industry in Kentucky and vote to classify horses as livestock, which brings long-overdue fairness and equity,” he said.

“After all these years of interested parties attempting to make this change, I’m proud to be a part of the new voice in Kentucky that respects and takes action to protect this multi-billion dollar industry that employs tens of thousands of hard-working Kentuckians. “As a cattle farmer with my husband, I am keenly aware of the previous livestock classification issues in Kentucky,” said Rep. Kim King of Harrods burg.

This move will create the foundation for further progress, including tax implications, and will offer the protections that the equine industry deserves. “This legislation is a crucial step forward in recognizing the importance that the equine industry has in our Commonwealth,” said Rep. Dean Sycamore of Harrisburg.

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Rep. Wilson Stone, whose district includes Ellis Park, called it “a good day when we can recognize Kentucky livestock.” Said Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer of Scott County: “I’m pleased that SB 139 has passed the House and is headed to Governor Begin’s desk.

“The legislature’s understanding of the importance of this issue is demonstrated by its unanimous approval in the Senate and the House,” said Joe Clades, KEEP executive director. Senate Bill 139 amends various Kentucky Revised Statutes (Mrs) to include equine in the definition of livestock.

“This does not present that big of a shift in designation, it’s just a clarification and consistent treatment throughout our statutes that deal with livestock.” “They know it’s important to the state’s bottom line to protect equine across the board with the current pursuits, for future generations,” she said.

“What we heard, wrongfully, was this (law) would enable the consumption of horse meat or somehow enhance slaughter and this bill had nothing to do with that,” she said. It just wasn’t timely, but we feel like perhaps it does enhance the issue and certainly if and when we move forward on tax reform, we would want to put that potentiality on the table, as well,” said Webb.

Barnett pointed out that horses have long been a part of many farms across the state and it was time for this legislation to be passed. “Many horse owners have been waiting for passage of such a statute for some time to give them the protection and benefits other livestock producers enjoy,” he said.

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(Source: www.dreamstime.com)

“KGB has supported it, and we look forward to the continued strength our equine industry brings to our economy.” Webb said she is happy with the support her fellow lawmakers showed during passage of the bill and feels confident this will do nothing but better the state’s equine industry.

The bill, which amends the definition of livestock to include horses, is viewed as a stepping stone towards achieving tax equity in the future. Some people have criticized the bill based on the false perception that it promotes horse slaughter, KEEP executive director Joe Clades told the Courier-Journal.

Designation as livestock does not automatically equate equines to food, but does allow horses to be overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, instead of leaving it up to individual owners to address potentially widespread issues such as the Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome outbreak that shook Kentucky in 2001. Additionally, Clades said, SB 139 does not supersede federal regulations such as the Horse Protection Act and thus will not alter restrictions on abuse or slaughter.

A USDA spokeswoman confirmed in an email to the Courier-Journal on Thursday that the department already considers horses, mules and other equines as livestock which are covered under the Federal Meat Inspection Act. The provision prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for inspections of horses intended to be killed for human consumption.

“I am pleased to know that my colleagues finally understand that the equine industry in their own backyard was never treated 'business friendly' by the state,” Destroy said in the release. The Kentucky legislature on Wednesday also passed House Bill 200, which would allow courts to demand restitution or take away a horse from any person convicted of second-degree animal cruelty.

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Clades said supporters of SB 139 “have every reason to believe” Begin will share their opinion on the bill and sign it into law. Securing livestock classification has been among the top policy priorities of the Kentucky Equine Education Project since its 2004 creation.

“The continued and consistent designation of equine as livestock is imperative for the ownership and utilization of the animals that we have relied on for centuries,” Webb said. Rep. Susan Destroy, whose district is in Fayette County, said the measure is a major step toward putting horses on equal footing with other livestock.

This designation will clear the way for tax equity and other legal parity within the entire equine industry, which will strengthen the future for years to come. In fact, on this same day, the Legislature gave final passage to House Bill 200 to make it easier for local officials to intervene and remove horses in abuse and neglect cases.

These bills combined will greatly benefit the entire equine industry in Kentucky, and help to solidify our global role as the Horse Capital of the World.” Osborne, an owner of both Thoroughbreds and Saddlebags, said the bill affords protections to horse farmers in ways that might surprise people.

Rep. Richard Heath of Mayfield, head of the House Agriculture Committee, said SB 139 makes an overdue correction. “As Chair of the House Agriculture Committee, I am pleased to lend a hand to the equine industry in Kentucky and vote to classify horses as livestock, which brings long-overdue fairness and equity,” he said.

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(Source: www.wmky.org)

“After all these years of interested parties attempting to make this change, I’m proud to be a part of the new voice in Kentucky that respects and takes action to protect this multi- billion dollar industry that employs tens of thousands of hard-working Kentuckians. “As a cattle farmer with my husband, I am keenly aware of the previous livestock classification issues in Kentucky,” said Rep. Kim King of Harrods burg.

This move will create the foundation for further progress, including tax implications, and will offer the protections that the equine industry deserves. “This legislation is a crucial step forward in recognizing the importance that the equine industry has in our Commonwealth,” said Rep. Dean Sycamore of Harrisburg.

Said Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer of Scott County: “I’m pleased that SB 139 has passed the House and is headed to Gov. “The legislature’s understanding of the importance of this issue is demonstrated by its unanimous approval in the Senate and the House,” said Joe Clades, KEEP executive director.

Animal Identification The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is cooperating with USDA on improving the traceability of US livestock moving interstate when animal disease events take place. Under the proposed rule, unless specifically exempted, livestock moved interstate would have to be officially identified and accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection or other documentation, such as owner-shipper statements or brand certificates.

The proposed rule encourages the use of low-cost technology and specifies approved forms of official identification for each species, such as metal ear tags for cattle. However, recognizing the importance and prevalence of other identifications in certain regions, shipping and receiving states or tribes are permitted to agree upon alternative forms of identification such as brands or tattoos.

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This program is managed by our office, but the qualifying methods are mandated by USDA (listed in the UMR, the latest update 1/1/05). This program is managed by the DA, Office of State Veterinarian, but the qualifying methods are mandated by USDA (listed in the UMR).

Jones Information & Education John's (pronounced “Townees”) disease is a chronic, contagious bacterial disease that affects the small intestine of ruminants such as cattle, sheep, goats, deer, antelope and bison. John's disease is caused by Mycobacterium para tuberculosis, a hardy bacterium that embeds itself in the wall of the lower part of the small intestine known as the ileum.

Late in the infection, antibody production by the animal can be found in serum of animals and is an indicator that clinical signs of disease and death from the infection will soon follow. Sheep and Goats Effective January 1, 2018, ALL sheep and goats MUST be identified with an official Scrapie identification prior to unloading/sold at a KentuckyLivestock Market or Swap Meet.

This requirement applies to all sheep and goats regardless of age, breed or sex. Effective September 1, 2019, USDA Aphid VS is no longer providing free metal scrapie tags to Kentucky sheep and goat producers.

Producers will also have to purchase the tag applicators if they do not already have them, as USDA Aphid no longer has funds to provide these. FMD is a severe, highly communicable viral disease of cattle and swine.

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Currently, the designation of equine as livestock within provincial and federal legislation, regulations, policies, bylaws and rules is inconsistent. This causes confusion that is challenging for producers, owners and custodians and creates disadvantages when compared to other livestock sectors in Canada.

It is hereby submitted industry representatives must be clear and concise to request definition of equine as livestock unilaterally within Canada. A clear designation of equine as livestock would define the realities of commercial and private breeding, owning and attending to the health and welfare of our horses, donkeys and mules.

The designation is important to ensure equines are not improperly classified as companion animals, similar to household pets. These animals are carefully selected and individually trained for purpose and safety and do not represent a significant percentage of equine in Canada.

Federal regulation of equine and related activities comes under the purview of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AFC) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CIA). Part of the objective of AFC is to improve and maintain farm income; develop and expand markets; protect the herds and carry out related research.

If livestock status for equine is not recognized there is a possibility of losing the already limited financial support received federally and provincially respecting research, regulation, disaster relief and emergency preparedness. Currently, Canada Revenue Agency recognizes equine owners and breeders who declare income and deduct expenses resultant from owning, breeding and/or marketing as farmers (agriculture).

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(Source: beaumontinn.com)

Currently, equine owners and breeders are treated differently from other livestock producers respecting goods and sales taxes. Taxation son feed and care items is unique compared to other multi-use species such as rabbits, lamas and ostriches etc.

This discrimination may be an unfair financial burden on equine business operators and is inconsistent in the agriculture industry. Livestock owners and others are encouraged to voice an opinion that is based on fact and relative issues as opposed to emotion.

Now that horses are no longer needed for transportation and farm work, they are often regarded as companion animals. The ASPCA also specifies “species suitable to be companion animals include dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, ferrets, birds, guinea pigs, and select other small mammals, small reptiles and fish.

The Missouri Horse Council maintains that horses are livestock and “supports the legal definition of all domesticated equines to remain as livestock and opposes the current social trend of referring to them as pets or companion animals.” This is a stance taken by many similar associations in the United States and Canada. Those who make their living as trainers, breeders, dealers and running boarding stables and schools may lose the benefit of being an agricultural endeavor if a horse were regarded solely as a companion animal.

A good deal of research into equine diseases, vaccines and husbandry is government funded. Husbandry and humane treatment laws might not apply if horses were designated companion animals.

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(Source: www.kentuckyliving.com)

Many states are passing limited liability laws, which protect livestock owners and livestock event organizers (like cattle and horse shows) from lawsuits from anyone who is injured by a potentially large and dangerous animal such as a cattle-beast or horse. Considering that most of us do regard our horses not just as companions, but family members, our ultimate goal should be the best possible care, in addition to protecting ourselves.

2), sending the legislation to the president, who is expected to sign the bill into law this week, according to the American Horse Council. Horse industry highlights include a revised statutory definition that excludes equines from a blanket definition of “pets” and funding for key livestock and international market development programs through Fiscal Year (FY) 2023.

In response to industry messages communicated to Congressional leaders during the past six months, the final conference report states that the bill “clarifies the definition of pet to include certain companion animals, while also providing protections for other animals such as horses, service animals, and emotional support animals.” The revised definition helps preserve the long-standing classification of horses as livestock,” while allowing equines to fall within the scope of property damage subject to compensation within the parameters of the PAWS Act. A preliminary review of the legislation shows that lawmakers are moving in the right direction with respect to funding important animal health programs.

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2 boatnerd.com - http://boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/JohnDLeitch.htm
3 www.myshiptracking.com - https://www.myshiptracking.com/vessels/john-d-leitch-mmsi-316001701-imo-6714586
4 www.marinevesseltraffic.com - https://www.marinevesseltraffic.com/vessels/JOHN-D-LEITCH/CURRENT-POSITION/6714586/316001701
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6 www.youtube.com - https://www.youtube.com/watch
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