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Senate Farm Bill Needs Your Help

The American Horse Council (AHC) reported in December that the recently passed Senate Farm Bill includes several key provisions that would benefit the horse industry.

The $286 billion dollar bill, which passed the Senate on December 14 by a vote of 79 to 14, now includes the Equine Equity Act. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) offered this bill as an amendment to the Farm Bill and it was accepted without objection. This provision would: (1) shorten the capital gains holding period for horses from 24 months to 12 months; and (2) place all racehorses in the three-year category for depreciation purposes.

Additionally, the Senate Farm Bill includes two provisions that would make horse owners involved in production agriculture eligible for additional federal programs that are administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Senator McConnell and Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) were critical to the inclusion of horses in these two provisions.

The first provision would make horse breeders eligible for federal emergency loans for the first time by including “equine farmers and ranchers” within the class of eligible producers. The second provision institutes a permanent disaster relief fund that would provide payments to farmers and ranchers who suffer losses in areas that are declared disaster areas by USDA. This provision specifically includes “horses” within the definition of livestock eligible for the program.

The House bill does not include these provisions.

Members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees will be meeting shortly to negotiate the differences between the two versions of the Farm Bill. The AHC is trying to get grassroots contacts into them asking them to support the horse provisions in the Senate Farm bill in the final bill which will be called the Conference Report. Check to see if your representative is a member of the Senate or House agricultural committee. Please contact your Representative or Senator if they are a member of one of these committees.

To identify your Representative’s or Senator’s fax number please call the AHC at 202-224-3121 or visit the House Web site or the Senate Web site .


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