Bulletin Board: 05/01

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EPA Seeks to Define Animal Operations
The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed new waste-water management regulations, to be adopted in December 2002, that could affect large horse farms and operations.

The proposal is based on definitions for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, situations where animals are kept in a confined area as opposed to pasture. The definition will be based on an Animal Unit, with various animals counted more heavily. For example, one horse could equal two cows.

One proposal could define a CAFO as containing 250 horses and would therefore be subject to building storm-water facilities to prevent manure from washing into waterways.

An organization in California called EnviroHorse is seeking input from horse owners to convince the EPA to count horses on an equal basis with other animals of a similar size. The organization also seeks to convince agencies restricting horses from trails that horses are benign and that horse manure won’t spread weed seeds.

Contact EnviroHorse, 3027 St. James Rd., Belmont CA 94002, 650/592-0722, or you can visit www.californiastatehorsemen.com. For more information on the EPA proposal, visit www.epa.gov/own/afo.

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$539,000 For Illinois Trail
The Freeport, Ill., Parks Department has received $539,259 to develop a 14.5-mile trail for equestrian, hikers, bicycles and snowmobiles from Freeport to the Wisconsin state line. Information on this trail is available from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources 217/782-3715.

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Neogen Corp. Purchases Squire
Neogen Corp. of Lansing, Mich., purchased Squire Laboratories, Inc. of Revere, Mass., last fall, moving its products to the Neogen animal-safety operations in Lexington, Ky.

Among the products involved are Stress-Dex and AluShield (see wounds article in this issue), which will continue to be marketed under the Squire label. Squire’s Fura-Zone will still be made in Massachusetts by a new company owned by Squire’s former president, Rico Salerno, but will be marketed through Neogen.

Neogen makes several dozen animal care products, including the Gold Nugget line of grooming products.

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FMD Affects Shipping And Leather
merican horsemen who plan to travel to Europe or ship horses from there should watch the foot and mouth disease (FMD) situation, since further restrictions could be made. According to the American Horse Council, the USDA is under pressure to ban equine imports from England, following the lead of Australia and Canada. Colorado and Virginia also banned entry to horses from FMD countries.

Horses don’t get FMD, but European horsemen are seriously affected by the cancellation of competitions and the restriction of movement. Horses and their handlers may transmit the disease. Current U.S. import measures include footbaths and disinfecting horses. Any equipment accompanying horses into the United States will be confiscated and burned or disinfected. Therefore, horses shipped from Europe should bring with them only a minimal amount of expendable tack.

Trunks and other equipment for competition horses can be shipped directly to a U.S. site. However, that doesn’t eliminate the risk of introduction of FMD, and the virus can survive on clothing, footwear and equipment for long periods, so they must be disinfected.

Availability of leather products from England may also be affected by the culling of cattle there. It appears that wholesale leather prices may go up and thus we could see at least a temporary rise in tack prices in a few months. However, hides can be purchased in other countries but tanned in England to maintain the quality, so a drop in availability or rise in price may only be temporary. Companies that import tack in volume and have a backlog will not be as seriously affected as smaller companies.

The USDA announced in mid-March that all animals and animals products have been prohibited entry from the European Union to the Unite States This confused horsemen seeking to ship animals from Europe. However, only ruminants (cud-chewing) animals and swine were included in the ban at that time.