A Second Horse Tests Positive for Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1)

According to the Maryland Department of Agriculture, a horse that was at the same breeding facility as a Montgomery County horse that was recently diagnosed with the mutant neurotropic form of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) has tested positive for EHV-1. This second horse, which is still at the breeding facility, had no symptoms and was diagnosed as the result of lab tests. Both EHV-1 positive horses are under care by private veterinarians and are in strict isolation, according to protocol.
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Montgomery County Horse Tests Positive for Equine Herpes Virus

 According to the Maryland Department of Agriculture, a horse stabled in Montgomery County has tested positive for the mutant neurotropic form of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) and is being treated by a private veterinarian.

The horse had been outside Montgomery County for breeding for more than two weeks before returning home on Monday. The horse began showing mild respiratory and neurological signs on Tuesday
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Curry Found Guilty of 12 Counts of Animal Cruelty & Neglect

Last summer, Robert Curry Sr. was charged in Montgomery County with 17 charges of animal cruelty after authorities seized seven horses from his Dickerson stable.  Curry pled not guilty to all 17 counts, but on Tuesday, April 7, Montgomery County District Court Judge Patricia Mitchell found him guilty of 12 counts of criminal animal neglect and cruelty. He was sentenced to three years of supervised probation and is prohibited from owning animals. A restitution hearing will be held later this year to reimburse the county for the cost of care of the animals seized.

For more on this case:

WJLA Channel 7 

In 2008, Curry’s son, Robert Curry, Jr. faced similar charges, pleading guilty to three misdemeanor counts  in the summer of 2009 (click here for Equiery article).

Baltimore City issues charges in January Arabber Seizure

While it is still not clear what the charges are, apparently Baltimore City is finally charging somebody (or somebodies) with something.

In early January of this year, the Baltimore City Health Department oversaw the seizure of 14 “arabber” horses (cart ponies) from a South Carlton Street stable.

According to today’s Baltimore Sun, prosecutors are charging six people with animal cruelty; William Murray Jr. faces 47 counts of animal cruelty. And according to The Sun, “Detailed allegations of the criminal charges were not immediately available because the defendants have not been served with summons.”

Click here to read more.

Pennsylvania EHV Horse showed in Maryland

A horse from Pennsylvania that appeared in a Maryland horse show on March 15 has tested positive for the equine herpes virus (EHV); however, none of the horses that were in the Maryland show and none of the horses that live with the sick horse in Pennsylvania are currently exhibiting any signs of illness. One horse that was reported to the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) with a fever on March 29 tested negative for EHV.

The horse that is sick did not exhibit any symptoms until March 22 and did not exhibit any signs of illness while in Maryland. The officials of the Maryland show have contacted all trainers of horses in the division that the sick horse was shown in to alert them of the risk and recommend they monitor their horses through April 5, which is the end of the 21 day incubation period for equine herpes.

MDA’s Animal Health Program is monitoring the situation closely. Owners should contact their private veterinarians to arrange for EVH testing if a horse exhibits significant temperature elevations or neurologic signs. Veterinarians are required to report equine neurologic syndrome to MDA.

As of right now, there is no indication that any other horses that had contact with the sick Pennsylvania horse are ill. The Pennsylvania horse is reportedly improving.

Grants and Awards for Keeping Maryland Beautiful

The Keep Maryland Beautiful (KMB) program was established in 1967 as the first program administered by the Maryland Environmental Trust (MET). This program is partially funded by the Maryland State Highway Administration and provides grants to nonprofit organizations and schools to support environmental education and demonstration projects that enhance and maintain the environment.  Certainly there are horse organizations in Maryland that might also qualify for this.

There are two categories: 
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This week in Annapolis…

The Maryland Horse Council and the Maryland Farm Bureau will either be monitoring or testifying on the following bills this week, which may be of interest to our readers.
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Repealing Ag Tax Exemptions, Later School Start Date, plus more

The Maryland Farm Bureau is active on the following bills, which may be of interest to Equiery readers.

Including Manure Equipment for Tax Adjustments

With  SB 345, livestock manure loading or hauling equipment used to transport animal manure from a farm would be added to the list of “enhanced agricultural management equipment”.  The purchase value of this type of equipment is eligible for subtraction from the federal adjusted gross income of a resident to determine Maryland adjusted gross income.

As more and more regulations are created that require the removal and hauling of manure from farms, having the ability to treat this removal equipment as essential farm equipment will help in lowering the cost of complying with these regulation.

MFB supports SB 345.

Delaying Start of School Year

HB 389 would prohibit public schools and publicly funded prekindergarten programs from opening for pupil attendance prior to the day after Labor Day.

Starting school after Labor Day will benefit the number one industry in the state, Agriculture.  Maryland’s State Fair, 4-H and FFA programs and a decrease of available labor during the last two weeks of August are the primary areas negatively affected by starting school earlier than Labor Day. It is projected that small family owned farm businesses lose up to 1/3 of their local student workforce because of the current school calendar.

MFB supports SB 389

Small Business Personal Property Tax Relief Act of 2015

HB 480 would exempt a person with personal property that has a total assessed value of $10,000 or less from paying personal property tax.  There is a provision in the bill that would have the state pay the county and municipality their portion on the exempted personal property tax.  This would be paid at a rate of 100% in year one, 75% year two, 50% year three, 25% year four and 0% year five and on.  MFB supports the lowering and eliminating of taxes.

MFB support HB 480

Repeal of Ag Tax Exemptions

Maryland Farm Bureau members, agricultural seed and equipment suppliers and others who seek to preserve our rural economy are urged to contact the Maryland General Assembly in opposition to HB 928, legislation that could put farms on the brink of disaster.

HB 928, entitled Sales & Use Tax – Agricultural Products and Equipment – Repeal of Exemption, was introduced by Delegate Jay Walker of Prince George’s County.  The bill would repeal the tax exemption that exists in current law for the purchase of inputs for farm operations.  If passed, this bill would require farmers to pay sales tax on the purchase of:

The current exemption is in place because farmers, like other businesses that build or manufacture a product for consumer consumption, have always been exempt from taxation during the input and production process.  Just like we would not expect an automobile manufacturer to pay sales tax on every piece of metal, fastener or fabric used to produce a car or on the assembly line parts to move those products, we should not expect farmers to pay retail sales tax for the items they purchase to grow food, fiber, and fuel.

The Hearing on HB 928 is scheduled for Tuesday, March 3 at 1:00pm in the House Ways and Means Committee.

For more information, visit Maryland General Assembly.

EHV-1 found in VA Horses; no trace-back to any Maryland horses as of today

The Maryland Department of Agriculture is carefully monitoring several recent cases of EHV-1 in Virginia.

Loudon County 

According to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), on Thursday, February 12, 2015,
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Tax Incentive Legislation For Land Conservation

From the Land Trust Alliance in Washington, D.C.

On Feb. 2, 2015, a federal bill was introduced by Sens. Dean Heller (R-NV) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Reps. Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Mike Thompson (D-CA), that would make permanent a tax incentive that encourages landowners to place a conservation easement on their land to protect important natural, scenic and historic resources for public benefit.
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