Making Horses Eligible for Federal Emergency Funds

Language making horses eligible for federal disaster assistance is now included in the USDA FY 2006 appropriations bill. The provision was added as an amendment offered by Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY). It was passed by voice vote. Its effectiv

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Language making horses eligible for federal disaster assistance is now included in the USDA FY 2006 appropriations bill. The provision was added as an amendment offered by Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY). It was passed by voice vote. Its effective date would be July 28 in order to cover losses suffered because of Hurricane Katrina. The full 2006 USDA appropriations bill must still be passed by the Senate, which could occur as soon as today (Sept. 21) or tomorrow.


The provision is the same as the language in the Equine Equity Act (S. 1528) introduced in July by Senators McConnell, Jim Bunning (R-KY), and Blanche Lincoln (D-AR).


There is no similar provision in the House-passed USDA Appropriations bill. A Conference Committee will be formed to work out the various differences between the two bills, and the Conference bill will then have to be passed by Congress.


This legislation would also make horses eligible for federal emergency relief similar to other livestock and crops. It would specifically repeal the restrictive definition of livestock under the old and outdated Agricultural Act of 1949, which defined “livestock” to consist of various animals, including “equine animals used for food or in the production of food

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