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Category: State Agencies

Montgomery Co Horse Tests Positive for Equine Infectious Anemia

Just in from the Maryland Department of Agriculture: A horse stabled in Montgomery County has tested positive for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). The positive horse was discovered during a routine wellness examination by a private veterinarian and was confirmed positive July 9 by the National Veterinary Services Lab in Ames, Iowa. The infected horse will be euthanized. EIA is not known to effect human health. The State Veterinarian’s office has placed the farm under a 60-day investigational hold order. The department will do initial EIA tests on the remaining 42 equines on the farm. The animals will be tested again after 60 days, at which point the hold order will be released barring any positive test results. Equine Infectious Anemia is a blood borne virus typically transferred by biting flies or infected needles. The infected horse did not display any clinical symptoms, but was determined to be in the carrier stage of the disease. Confirmed cases of EIA typically result in euthanasia or lifetime isolation for the infected horse. The department’s Animal Health Program will continue to monitor the situation closely, and reminds all horse owners to remain vigilant in protecting the health of their animals—this includes routine disease testing. More information on EIA is available from USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection...

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The Licensing Game: State and County Stable Licenses

first appeared in the May 2018 Equiery A common question among horse owners in Maryland is whether or not they must be licensed. Often this question is directed towards state stable licenses, which fall under the Maryland Department of Agriculture. Maryland has been licensing stables since 1968, and in 1998 the authority to license and inspect stables was given to the newly established Maryland Horse Industry Board (MHIB). However, in recent months, there have also been many questions surrounding county stable licenses. At this time, only Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Baltimore Counties require stable licenses, though the definition of a “stable” varies slightly from county to county. Although these definitions might vary, the one common theme among all three counties as well as the state is the welfare of the horses. It is to help ensure the safety and care of the horses that the state and these counties require licenses. The Purpose All 23 counties in Maryland offer some sort of animal control or humane society, however, not all these are equipped to deal specifically with equine welfare, which is where the Maryland Horse Industry Board steps in to fill the void. According to the Code of Maryland Regulations for the Department of Agriculture, Title 15, Subtitle 16, Chapter 01, (COMAR the purpose of state stable licensing is to “insure the humane treatment of horses and the...

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Nearly $30,000 in Grands Awarded by MHIB

On February 14, the Maryland Horse Industry Board announced the recipients of nearly $30,000 worth of grant funds. Funding for these grants is provided by the Maryland Feed Fund, which collects $6 on every ton of horse feed sold in Maryland. Since the fund was established in 2002, MHIB, which runs within the Maryland Department of Agriculture, has awarded over $400,000 in grants to over 300 projects. “Horses are a critical component of Maryland’s agricultural industry. The Maryland Horse Industry Board and the Feed Fund help stimulate growth and opportunity in Maryland’s equestrian community without using any government funding,” said Board Chairman Jim Steele. “This self-funded commodity marketing entity is a model of how industry groups can help themselves without relying on taxpayer dollars.” This year, 27 applications were submitted with $29,983.50 was awarded to 20 organizations and individual from around the state. Projects are evaluated based on their value to the industry, degree of industry promotion, size and scope of activity, financial need, potential for matching funds, benefits and overall quality of the written presentation. Grants are capped at $3,000 in order to award funds to as many groups as possible. 2017 Maryland Horse Industry Board Grant Recipients are as follows: $3,000 – Day’s End Farm Horse Rescue (Howard County/Statewide) – Enhance and promote animal welfare officer training $3,000 – Mid Atlantic Equitation Festival (Prince George’s County/Statewide) –...

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Who’s Who in the Maryland Horse Council

First published in the February 2018 Equiery The Maryland Horse Council is the umbrella organization for all horse organizations in Maryland and recently, purchased The Equiery magazine. The Board of Directors consists of one representative from each member organization, as well as Directors-at-Large who represent individuals, farm and business memberships, and youth groups. The board of directors, which meets quarterly, elects the officers and the Executive Committee. The executive committee serves as the steering committee for the council, meeting monthly and conferring regularly to oversee housekeeping and planning issues for MHC. Here is a look at the current MHC executive committee. For more information on MHC, click here. To become a MHC member, click here. President: Neil Agate Neil Agate is the founder of Four Gates, LLC, a business and technology services firm that works with early stage companies in Healthcare IT. He is a board member of the British-American Business Association and co-chair of the association’s communications committee. While Neil enjoys all horse activities, he is an avid polo player. In addition to playing polo, he has announced many charity polo matches up and down the East Coast. Originally from England, Neil has lived with his wife Kathy and two daughters in Darnestown for the last 20 years. Vice President: Steuart Pittman, Jr. Steuart Pittman, Jr., and his siblings are the eighth generation of his family to own...

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2,600 More Acres of Maryland Ag Land Preserved!

First published in the December 2017 Equiery In November, Governor Larry Hogan announced that the Board of Public Works approved the purchase of 16 easements protecting 2,618 acres of prime Maryland farmland in 11 counties for $9,223,273 in state funding. This approval brings the total farmland protected in perpetuity or approved by Board of Public Works by the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) to 316,101 acres. The Board is comprised of the Governor, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp, and Comptroller Peter Franchot. “Maryland has one of the strongest agricultural land preservation records in the nation. Each easement purchase proves our commitment to keep farming a viable and profitable industry in our state,” said Governor Hogan. “Working together, we can ensure a sustainable environment for future generations, preserve open space, and maintain the agricultural heritage of our state.” Created by the General Assembly in 1977, MALPF purchases agricultural preservation easements that forever restrict development on prime farmland and woodland, and has permanently preserved land in each of Maryland’s 23 counties, representing a public investment of more than $645 million. With county and other state preservation programs, more than 800,000 acres of farmland and resource land are protected by easements in Maryland. This is the greatest ratio of farmland preserved to total landmass of any state. And here is a fun fact…the legislator who penned the bill that became MALPF was...

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WANTED: Manure Management Technology And that is no BS!

First published in the December 2018 Equiery Do you have, or do you know of, technology, equipment, infrastructure or services than can improve manure management? Do you have a new idea for a project? If so, the Maryland Department of Ag has some seed money for you. Maryland’s Animal Waste Technology Fund is a grant program that provides seed funding to companies that demonstrate innovative technologies to manage or repurpose manure resources. The program is a key component of Governor Larry Hogan’s broader Agriculture Phosphorus Initiative to improve water quality, strengthen agriculture and bolster rural economies. The fund has...

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