Thursday, August 28, 2008

An Open Letter to Mr. James L. Hickey

"Because We Care"

To: Mr. James J. Hickey, Jr. President,

American Horse Council

1616 H St. NW, 7th Fl.

Washington, DC 20006

Dear Sir;

I am writing to you as a member of the AHC, a horse-lover and founder of "Quarter-Acre Rescue Ranch & Equine Advocacy Center, and out of concern for the "un-wanted" horse problem in our country today. For whatever reasons, it seems everywhere we turn these days there are stories of unwanted horses and over-burdened rescues. Of course, in addition to the underlying causes, the "unwanted" horse problem in America today is most certainly made worse by our deteriorating economy.

Studies show that most horsemen in the country make under $50,000 per year. Even at that "modest" rate of income, most people these days are just plain out "hard-put" to keep house & home together let alone support a large and expensive animal like a horse. Simply put, it is getting to the point where only the rich or wealthier Americans are able to afford to keep or breed horses.

While we are glad to see that the recently passed Farm Bill & Economic Stimulus Act provide new lucrative tax breaks and breeding incentives for the equine industry, we are a little more than disappointed to see that there is no provisions in either acts that give any care or mention to the "unwanted" horse problem we are alleged to be suffering in this country today. As you well know, "unwanted" healthy horses are being sent off to slaughter by the thousands each year in America today, simply because no one in the EQUINE INDUSTRY wants to be responsible for their care anymore and the industrialists are too cheap to pay to have them humanely euthanized.

If the authors of these bills only realized what a problem "industry cast-off" horses have become for the industry and the horse-loving community in general, , perhaps they would have written into the act(s) a stipulation that would require the breeder of each new horse bred under these acts to contribute a certain percentage of the breeders or owners overall profits to a fund earmarked for the safe retirement of each new horse so bred .Omitting a safety-net provision for the care of the industry "by-products" is foolhardy government oversight in view of the existing problem in the country with unwanted horses. By ignoring this problem and promoting more breeding, these acts, as written, do a dis-service to the species in general and adds to the burden placed upon the "too-few" rescues already struggling to survive against all odds to care for the industry's' "unwanted" horses.

We are writing in hopes that we might be able to interest the American Horse Council to support an amendment to the Farm Bill & Economic Stimulus Act that would provide some sort of a "safety-net" provision for the industry's' "unwanted" horses so bred under the acts, that would protect them and insure them a safe retirement or a painless euthanasia to spare them from going to needless, senseless, brutal slaughter.

We propose to mandate that, for entitlement to any claims or exemptions under these acts, the owners and/or breeders of every new horse bred would be required to contribute a certain percentage of his OVERALL business profits to a fund for the safe retirement of that specific horse.. The owners and/or breeders could put the funds into a "trust" or "rescue/sanctuary " of their own or give to an already existing one of their choice. Requiring such a contribution as a pre-requisite to enjoying the tax benefits of these acts would not only insure a safe future for every new horse bred, but would also act as a deterrent to over breeding.

Once owners are held responsible for the safe retirement or euthanasia of every new or "unwanted" horse they bring into this world, they will think twice about how many horses they want to breed each year.

We are hoping that the AHC will support us in our efforts to amend these acts, or, in the very least, that the Executive Officers and/or Board of Directors will at least put the proposition up for a vote by all members.

Thanking you in advance for any consideration you may give this matter. We anxiously await your reply.

Yours, etc.,

Christine A Jubic, Founder,

Quarter-Acre Rescue Ranch & Equine Advocacy Center


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