Supporters of Kentucky SB 139 respond to their critics in Blood-Horse article

FRANKFORT, KY — Kentuckians please take action.

In an article posted online by the Blood-Horse [1] 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.

Sen. Robin Webb. Source: The Paulick Report.
Sen. Robin Webb. Source: The Paulick Report.

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 [2]. She was called the “Big Lick Queen” in a Lexington-Herald Leader article [3]. Webb “even defended the horrifying tape that showed Jackie McConnell, who is now a felon, beating and torturing horses.” [4].

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.” [5]

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.

[1] https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/220493/livestock-designation-for-horses-vital-for-kentucky
[2] http://www.kentucky.com/news/business/article44397153.html
[3]http://www.chattanoogan.com/2013/1/23/242756/Roy-Exum-Senator-Just-Like-Lance.aspx
[4] See also 3.
[5] https://legiscan.com/KY/bill/HB200/2017

KENTUCKIANS CONTACT GOVERNOR MATT BEVIN
Tell Him You OPPOSE SB 139 Becoming Law — VETO SB 139

Online Email Form

http://governor.ky.gov/Pages/contact.aspx

Twitter @GovMattBevin

Phone/Fax
Main Line: (502) 564-2611
Fax: (502) 564-2517​
TDD: (502) 564-9551

TRACK SB 139
https://legiscan.com/KY/bill/SB139/2017

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Equine injury data called critical to racing (US)

Cross-posted from the BloodHorse

By TOM LaMARRA | 9 Dec 09

The Jockey Club Equine Injury Database has compiled statistics over a 12-month period for 84% of all flat racing in North America, but now comes the process of analyzing the data in an attempt to quantify the results.

Dr. Mary Scollay, equine medical director for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and veterinary consultant for the EID, said Dec. 9 stats were taken from Nov. 1, 2008, through Oct. 31, 2009. In January, local data will be rolled out, she said.

Scollay, who spoke during the University of Arizona Symposium on Racing & Gaming in Tucson, said the Jockey Club is now checking to make sure there aren’t errors or redundancies in the data. The information will then be given to Dr. Tim Parkin, who is on the faculty of veterinary medicine at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

There is no timeline for release of general data to the public. It remains to be seen how it will be presented given the numerous variables involved, but Scollay said she and others understand the importance of its release.

“We understand the urgency,” Scollay said after her presentation. “If we don’t start providing it, people will see it as a black hole. The industry needs to fear lack of data more than it fears the data itself. The message to people watching us is a terrible one if we’re not able to establish accountability.” Read full story >>

Adopting no sale Thoroughbreds (US)

By VIVIAN GRANT

Wow, at long last horse breeders and traders with their thinking caps on. And not solely about themselves, but about the future of the horses they bring into the world.

This is such a step forward that it is difficult for us to think of anything sarcastic to say, and as our dear readers know, we have plenty of it for the nonsensical ideas people who have control over horses’ lives come up with. Or worse, ones that design programs who say they are in our horses’ interests, and are anything but.

In an article entitled “Unwanted Horses: A Challenge for Sellers,” by the excellent Deirdre Biles writing for The Blood-Horse, she tells us about a new adoption program for Thoroughbreds that remain unsold.

Calling them unwanted would not be our choice of words, rather these are horses, because of excessive breeding, have no takers in the sale ring. They are unsold horses, not unwanted horses.

The unsold Thoroughbred adoption program is the brainchild of Antony Beck, president of Gainesway Farm in Lexington. So far, we like Mr. Beck.

Beck tells Biles:

It’s a sad, but a very definite situation that we’re facing,” Beck said. “A large number of Thoroughbreds are going to be taken out of the breed one way or another, and it would be wonderful if they could go out of the racing orbit into the show horse or pleasure horse worlds. This is a way we can save a lot of lives.

Biles reports that available Thoroughbreds will be listed on the website of the Blood-Horse‘s sister publication, The Horse (www.TheHorse.com).

The site will allow Thoroughbred owners to list information about horses they are willing to give away free to good homes in the United States.

Uh, oh. That does not sound so good. First they are adopting them out, then offering no Sale Thoroughbreds for sale, now they are giving them away. How many times are people warned never to advertise any animal, “free to a good home?” And of course TheHorse.com is an AAEP affiliated site. The AAEP (American Association of Equine Practioners), along with the AVMA, are pro horse slaughter and lobby against legislation prohibiting it. Of course, that is their creepy Boards, and not all of their members, who have courageously broken from the pack and come out against horse slaughter.

Read >> Rescue Highlights Danger of Free Horse Offers from TheHorse.com.

Biles informs us that:

More than 5,800 Thoroughbreds are cataloged to the Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland mixed sales in November in Central Kentucky. All but 189 of that total (including one late addition) are in the Keeneland auction.

According to Keeneland’s director of sales, Geoffrey Russell, his company is taking a “wait and see” approach to the situation, but he praised Beck for seeking a solution to what could become a very big problem.

“We commend Mr. Beck for trying to find alternative markets for these Thoroughbreds (that aren’t considered commercially viable), and we think it’s a great idea,” Russell said.

Here comes the money part of it, but it would be totally out of the question for it not to:

During previous Thoroughbred market downturns, people buying horses for slaughter and broodmares to join nurse mare herds shopped at the lower end of the Kentucky mixed sales. But the $1,000 minimum bid at both Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton was designed to make horses too expensive for slaughter buyers, and it also probably will shut out nurse mare owners as well.

>> The Blood-Horse

For the minimum bid we can thank the late and sainted John Hettinger.

Ah, the cruelties of nurse mares. That is another story for another day.