How Will the Government Shutdown Affect Equine Interests?

Find out how the government shutdown could impact the horse industry and your equine interests.

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As of midnight on Oct. 1 all employees deemed nonessential by the federal government were furloughed without pay. In fact, Congress has failed to pass any of the annual appropriation bills that fund government agencies and projects for the fiscal year that runs today through Sept. 30, 2014. What does this mean for your horse-industry activities?

The National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management have closed and secured park, refuge, and visitor facilities on public lands. National Forest recreation sites, which are manned by government employees, are also closed.

Equine Imports and Exports
The USDA maintains and operates equine import, export, and quarantine facilities. Currently, border inspection is considered essential and will not experience service interruption. These facilities operate on user fees, so will continue operations as usual.

Veterinary Testing and Disease Outbreaks
Although tests already pending will be completed, new test samples submitted to the National Veterinary Service Lab in Ames, Iowa, will be stored by USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Services staff for later processing. Should a disease outbreak occur, high-priority tests will be run at the National Veterinary Service Lab on a case-by-case basis

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Written by:

Diane Rice earned her bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism from the University of Wisconsin, then married her education with her lifelong passion for horses by working in editorial positions at Appaloosa Journal for 12 years. She has also served on the American Horse Publications’ board of directors. She now freelances in writing, editing, and proofreading. She lives in Middleton, Idaho, and spends her spare time gardening, reading, serving in her church, and spending time with her daughters, their families, and a myriad of her own and other people’s pets.

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