The American Horse Council’s National Issues Forum, entitled “Congress on a Diet: What It Means for the Horse Industry,” will feature several important speakers. “We are very pleased this year to have three Members of Congress and several Agency leaders to discuss this important topic,” said AHC president Jay Hickey. This year’s National Issues Forum will be held June 21 in Washington, DC during the AHC’s annual meeting, which will run from June 19 to 22 at the Washington Court Hotel.
“The highlight of this year’s forum will be presentations on Tuesday afternoon, June 21, from Members of Congress and federal regulatory agencies on the new fiscal realities in Washington. We are very pleased that Congressman Hal Rogers (R-KY), the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, will be there to give us his perspective, along with Congressmen Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Dennis Cardoza (D-CA), who are the co-chairs of the Congressional Horse Caucus.
Dr. John Clifford, Deputy Administrator of USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services, Veterinary Services, will discuss USDA activities and how they might be impacted by budget constraints. “USDA’s involvement in disease outbreaks is critical to the health of our horses and the economic viability of the industry,” noted Hickey, “so Dr. Clifford’s remarks will be important, particularly in light of the recent outbreak of Equine Herpesvirus-1/EHM and its affect on the industry.”
Reacting to the federal situation from the state point-of-view will be Dr. Guy Hohenhaus, DVM, State Veterinarian of Maryland and President of the National Assembly of State Animal Health Officials. “With the potential of cutbacks in federal funds and programs, the states may have to assume more responsibilities and accompanying costs,” said Hickey, “Dr. Hohenhaus is very qualified to discuss this and what it might mean to the industry.”
On Tuesday morning, the National Issues Forum will include speakers providing updates on the national equine health initiative, the activities of the Unwanted Horse Coalition, the status of the national animal identification system, and a discussion about how the horse industry can improve its political activities with a focus on the 2012 elections. The annual Congressional Reception will take place on Tuesday night and the Congressional Ride-In on Wednesday. This year’s meeting will also see the return of the AHC’s Breed Roundtable, a popular event that brings together leaders of horse associations to discuss common issues of importance to the industry. Please see the attached schedule for a listing of all programs and speakers now confirmed.
The AHC’s various committees, including the Unwanted Horse Coalition, will meet on Monday, June 20, during the convention to discuss issues affecting the equine community.
More information on these Forums and the entire AHC annual meeting, including registration and hotel information is attached or can be found on the AHC’s website, http://horsecouncil.org/events.php or by contacting the AHC.