AHC plans wide-ranging forum on horse safety, welfare

AHC plans wide-ranging forum on horse safety, welfare

Jun 07, 2009
By dvm360.com staff
Washington -- The American Horse Council (AHC) is putting together what it believes will be "the most inclusive presentation on safety and welfare ever assembled" June 16 at its annual National Issues Forum, focusing on "Welfare of the Horse."

The forum, which will have expert panels on racing, showing, competition, sport and horses used in work and entertainment, is part of the AHC's June 14-17 annual meeting at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.

The program also includes the AHC's annual "Congressional Ride-in," during which horse owners, breeders and other members of the horse industry are invited to meet with their state Representatives and Senators to discuss issues of concern, such as taxes, immigration, welfare, access to trails and public lands, diseases and interstate and international movement of horses.

But the highlight will be the "Welfare of the Horse" forum on Tuesday, June 16, during which the latest welfare and safety initiatives being advanced by racing and all other segments of the industry will be presented.

Scott Palmer, DVM, past president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, will deliver the keynote address. Other features speakers include Gary Carpenter, executive director of the American Quarter Horse Foundation; Cindy Schonholtz, president of the Animal Welfare Council; Dr. Tom Lenz, chairman of the AHC's Unwanted Horse Council who will present findings from that group's recent online survey; and Dr. Gail Golab, director of the American Veterinary Medical Association's Animal Welfare Division.

"We believe this will be the most inclusive presentation on safety and welfare ever assembled in terms of its breadth and the activities and organizations involved," says Jay Hickey, AHC president.

The forum will cover issues that involve racing and show horses, veterinarians, endurance riding, sport horses, rodeo, carriage operators and horses in entertainment and work.

Anyone who wants to participate in the Ride-in on Wednesday, June 17, should make appointments with their Congressional offices now. Contact information to schedule a meeting with Representatives and Senators can be found at www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.

Participants should let the schedulers know what issues they want to discuss. The AHC will conduct a free pre-Ride-in briefing at the Hyatt Regency at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 17. Participants do not have to attend the forum to take part in the ride-in.