The Horse Fund has been conducting a massive reorganization based on our end-of year-review for 2017. We also took a close look at 2016 where we had a particularly effective year. The time has zipped by.
Accordingly, we have streamlined and regrouped our staff and resources so that we are a leaner, meaner fighting machine.
We have focused a lot on leveraging our social media activities to the highest possible effectiveness in benefiting the horses we work daily to protect. Every day we have terrific people doing just that.
Social media is a constantly changing medium and we need do more then just keep up — we have to stay ahead of the game. More on how you can make your impact there later.
In the meantime, use our Contact Form and let us know what social media platform(s) you use most for advocating. Have you seen someone doing something particularly effective? Please share!
Give us your ideas. Tell us what is important to you as an advocate. In order to continue being a great team your feedback is crucial.
If you would like to donate we have a matching gift campaign underway. It has been active through the entire month of January and expires in a few days. Donate now here.
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THE HORSE FUND
Featured Image: With gracious permission, Bob Langrish.
In an article posted online by the Blood-Horse  it states:
A Kentucky bill that would uniformly designate horses as livestock has been approved by both houses of the legislature and now awaits the signature of Gov. Matt Bevin.
Once the legislation (SB 139) becomes law, it would provide the groundwork for state lawmakers to move forward on related tax reforms that have the potential to save horse industry participants millions of dollars.
We reiterate. They need not change the horse’s status in Kentucky from a domestic animal to a livestock animal in order to accomplish this. They could have done the reverse.
Instead of demoting the status of the horse Kentucky lawmakers could have elevated it recognizing the contributions of the horse industry to the Commonwealth by giving the participants the tax breaks they seek.
This also from the same article:
Currently the sales taxes on horse feed and supplies generates about $18 million annually. All other livestock are exempt from sales tax on those same necessities.
Whose pockets are these millions coming out of? And this in a State that is routinely listed as one of the ten poorest in the US.
The Blood-Horse continues:
Sen. Robin Webb, an accomplished horsewoman from Carter County, sponsored the bill, which she said provides badly needed consistency across all statutes.
This statement is particularly rich. Webb is accomplished alright, accomplished in not only committing horse abuse but also publicly sanctioning it.
Webb was cited for horse soring violations, a particularly heinous type of abuse meted out to Tennessee Walking Horses . She was called the “Big Lick Queen” in a Lexington-Herald Leader article . Webb “even defended the horrifying tape that showed Jackie McConnell, who is now a felon, beating and torturing horses.” .
No, we do not want someone like Sen. Webb setting the standard for horse cruelty in Kentucky or anywhere else. Kentucky lawmakers are surely aware of Webb’s background.
Here’s another look into how the notorious Webb thinks from the cited article:
“ . . . some animal rights groups have tried to position the legislation as a backdoor to permit horse slaughter.
“That is not what this bill is about,” she said. “There are other livestock animals that are not raised for food, like alpacas or llamas. Whatever else is being said is just rhetoric to sensationalize and raise money.”
Classifying an animal as livestock does not mean they will be slaughtered for food but they can be slaughtered for food.That opens the door.
Here is another interesting question. Why are kill buyers with feedlots in Kentucky who supply slaughter plants with horses happy about SB 139? But that’s only hearsay and can’t be relied on.
Kentucky Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne of Oldham County was noted as saying in the article:
Osborne also stressed the bill in no way opens a door for horse slaughter nor weakens any horse protection laws. He said the same day SB 139 was approved unanimously, the legislature also passed HB 200, which would make it easier for local officials to intervene and remove horses in abuse and neglect cases.
HB 200 was written to, “Amend KRS 525.130, relating to cruelty to animals in the second degree, to allow a court to order an offender to pay restitution for the upkeep of a horse involved in the offense and terminate the offender’s interest in the horse involved in the offense.” 
Getting a court order is very difficult as we have seen in past horse abuse cases across the country concerning all breeds but particularly in Tennessee and Kentucky. We will be testing this at once should it become law and see if it actually helps.
Then there’s these individuals from Kentucky Equine Education Project:
KEEP chairman Corey Johnsen. “Many KEEP members have been instrumental in getting this legislation to this point, but we owe particular recognition to Frank Penn for being a tireless leader and advocate on this issue from the start.”
“Having horses and equines included as livestock in Kentucky law has been a key policy priority for KEEP since its founding over 12 years ago,” said Penn, a KEEP board member and chairman of the organization’s Equine Sales Tax Equity Task Force. “I applaud the Kentucky legislature for their unanimous support of SB 139 and recognizing horses’ rightful place along side other agriculture commodities in Kentucky.”
The horses’ rightful place along side other agriculture commodities in Kentucky. You get the drift, right?
If Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signs SB 139 into law, we are ready to take immediate action to test these ideas.
We will see what their motivation truly is. Perhaps they will prove us wrong. Nothing would make us happier.
In the meantime, if you are a Kentucky resident please take action. Do not delay! See below.
On March 15, 2017, SB 139, the Kentucky State Bill reducing horses to livestock — removing what precious few protections they have — was sent to the Governor’s Office to sign into law.
Kentucky already has an abysmal record when it comes to animal protection laws and enforcement. If this becomes law it may deliver a black eye to Kentucky that it may never recover from.
SB 139 passed both the Kentucky State Senate Agriculture Committee and Kentucky State House Agriculture unanimously.
We cannot find that a single negative vote was cast against a bill so insensitive to the well being of horses in the Kentucky State House or Senate although Kentuckians raised their voices in opposition to it.
The State legislator who introduced SB 139, Sen. Robin Webb (D-Grayson), and pushed it through is herself an animal abuser. In 2013 Webb was cited for violations of the Horse Protection Act for evidence of horse soring.
Another issue concerning SB 139 reducing the status of horses to livestock is that it paves the way for horses to be slaughtered in Kentucky.
Securing livestock classification has been among the top policy priorities of the Kentucky Equine Education Project since its 2004 creation. In horse circles KEEP is known to be pro horse slaughter.
A KEEP board member said, “I applaud the Kentucky legislature for their unanimous support of SB 139 and recognizing horses’ rightful place along side other agriculture commodities in Kentucky.”
Others in Kentucky’s horse industry who have cheered loudly and lustily in support of this move say it is only about tax breaks and incentives. However, they did not have to put Kentucky’s horses at risk to do this.
Kentucky lawmakers could have thought outside the box and elevated the horse’s status by giving them their own unique classification apart from other animals, then awarded members of the State’s horse industry with all the perks in the world, and at the same time set the standard for other States to follow.
However, this never occurred to any of them because they do not really value the horse at all.
All of this in a State who built its reputation on the back of the horse, is home to the Kentucky Derby and uses the horse in its logo.
CONTACT KENTUCKY GOVERNOR MATT BEVIN State You OPPOSE SB 139 Becoming Law