June 13, 2008

The American Horse Council's 2008 National Issues Forum in Washington, DC, will feature a day-long public forum on unwanted horses.

The forum on "The Unwanted Horse Issue: What Now?" will be held Wednesday, June 18, and is free and open to all. It will focus on the current situation and the next steps that might be taken. It will cover a variety of topics including historical, ethical and general perspectives on the unwanted horse issue, transportation issues, and potential solutions and options.

"There is little data about the size of the problem, the numbers of unwanted horses, the ability of the current system to care for them, whether there is an increase in neglect and similar issues," said Jay Hickey, president of the American Horse Council.

"We hope that this forum will be an opportunity to focus on the many factors that surround the problem of the unwanted horse and bring some clarity to the extent of the problem and potential solutions."

The AHC forum, from June 15 to 18 at the Hyatt Regency, will focus on how the horse industry and individual members can be involved in the 2008 federal elections. "With a third of the Senate and all the members of the House of Representatives up for reelection, there is an opportunity for the horse industry to be involved in that process," said Hickey.

The horse industry has many issues, including taxes, immigration, gaming, welfare, access to public lands, interstate and international movement of horses, that are considered by Congress. "When Members of Congress are running for election, that is an opportunity for the industry to get their attention and explain these issues and the importance of the horse industry to the national, state and local economies, sporting life and recreational activities," said Hickey. "The Forum will explain how to be involved."