American Horse Council Seeking Support for the Senate Farm Bill
RELEASE: February 7, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By the American Horse Council
The Senate Farm Bill (H.R. 2419) includes several provisions beneficial to the horse industry. The House bill does not include these provisions.
Members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees will be meeting shortly to negotiate the differences between the two versions of the Farm Bill. The American Horse Council is trying to get grassroots contacts into them asking them to support the horse provisions in the Senate Farm bill in the final bill which will be called the Conference Report.
Below is a draft letter that you can fax to your Representatives and Senators and that you can pass on to your members asking them to do the same.
To identify your Representative’s or Senator’s fax number please call the AHC at (202) 224-3121 or visit the House website at www.house.gov
or the Senate website at www.senate.gov
The Food and Energy Security Act of 2007 (H.R. 2419) passed by the Senate on December 14, 2007, includes several provisions that would benefit the horse industry.
Section 5404. Making Equine Farmers and Ranchers Eligible for Emergency Loans
This provision would make horse breeders eligible for emergency federal loans following a disaster by including “equine farmers and ranchers” within the class of eligible producers. Horse breeders and horses have not been eligible in the past for these loans, which have been available to other livestock producers for some time. But horse breeders suffer losses caused by hurricanes, drought, ice, floods and other natural disasters just like other livestock producers do. This provision would end the disparate treatment of horse breeders by making them eligible for emergency loans under the same conditions and limits as other livestock producers.
Title V - Subtitle E
Section 5404. Eligibility of Equine Farmers and Ranchers for Emergency Loans. [Page 780]
Section 901(a)(8)(F). Inclusion of Horses within Livestock for Permanent Disaster Assistance Program
The Senate Farm Bill initiates a permanent Agricultural Disaster Relief Trust Fund that would provide relief funds to farmers and ranchers who suffer losses in areas that are declared disaster areas by USDA. Section 901(a)(8)(F) of Section 12101 specifically includes “horses” within the definition of livestock eligible for the program.
Title XII – Section 12001 - Subtitle A –Section 12101
Section 901(a)(8)(F) defines eligible livestock to include “horses.” [Page 1589]
Section 12509. Asset Treatment of Horses
This provision would: (1) place all racehorses in the three-year category for depreciation purposes; and (2) shorten the capital gains holding period for horses from 24 months to 12 months. This change would end the disparate treatment of the horse industry versus other businesses under the federal tax code.
Title XII – Part I of Subtitle E
Section 12509 provides for the asset treatment of horses. [Page 1793]
Federal Emergency Assistance Programs. The horse industry is hurt by floods, droughts, fire, ice storms and hurricanes just like other industries that produce livestock and crops. If a breeding farm or ranch loses horses because of floods, tornadoes or other natural disasters, it has lost its “crop” and has nothing to sell. When grazing lands are lost because of flood or drought, and feed and hay must be purchased for horses, a breeder might have to sell his horses at distressed prices because he/she could no longer afford to provide for them.
While other livestock producers are eligible for low-interest loans and other federal assistance following a disaster, horse breeders are not. The changes in the Senate Farm bill would provide federal emergency assistance to horse breeders similar to that available to