Farm Aid bill includes line item for MRLS
Washington-Financial and legislative efforts tied to mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS) have done more than bend some ears on Capitol Hill, according to The Horse Interactive.
The farm aid bill, which includes some assistance for people affected by foal loss and also designates the horse as livestock, passed the House on Oct. 4 and now heads to the Senate.
David Switzer, executive director of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, says action on the bill wasn't anticipated until early next year, but now that it has passed the House, the Senate must act on it within the month.
In Kentucky, the University of Louisville has completed an economic impact study of the syndrome and recently released an executive summary.
"It should forecast money lost to the state's general fund," Switzer says. "With a $335-million budget deficit in Kentucky, the $2 million (in lost revenue from a tax on stud fees) is only part of the puzzle."
Given the fiscal climate in Kentucky, Switzer says he doubts the state will be in a "lending position," though during recent hearings, legislators have shown willingness to consider ways to assist the racing and breeding industry.