Veterinary

UT Releases Study Addressing Barriers to Veterinary Care

The University of Tennessee — through its study group the Access to Veterinary Care Coalition — released a report that addresses problems experienced by low-income households and young pet owners when seeking care for their animals. The Access to Veterinary Care: Barriers, Current Practices, and Public Policy report serves to identify these barriers, along with veterinarian attitudes and input, with the intent of identifying solutions to allow better access to veterinary services. Unsurprisingly, the greatest barrier to care is financial concerns, with 80 percent of low-income and younger pet owners unable to obtain preventative care due to financial constraints, 74 percent for sick care and 56 percent for emergency care. The study was paid for by Maddie’s Fund, a national foundation with the mission of creating a no-kill nation where every dog and cat is guaranteed a healthy home or habitat.

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Ban on Slaughtering Horses for Meat Renewed in Congress

A ban on slaughtering horses for meat has been renewed after a group of bipartisan animal lovers in Congress included it in a massive spending bill that President Trump signed last week reports USA Today. Supporters of the legislation point to a 2012 poll conducted by Lake Research Partners on behalf of the ASPCA animal rights group that showed 80 percent of Americans opposed to the slaughter of U.S. horses for human consumption.
 
“The slaughter of horses for human consumption is a barbaric practice that must end,” said Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Florida, co-chair of the Animal Protection Caucus, a bipartisan group of more than 100 members of Congress. 
 
A temporary ban on horse slaughter was set to expire last week until the Animal Protection Caucus convinced congressional leaders to insert it at the last-minute onto page 129 of a sweeping 2,232-page, $1.3 trillion spending bill that Congress passed late last week. The House Rules Committee had earlier refused to allow a separate vote on the provision. “Our American values support the protection of these animals; our federal policies should continue to reflect that,” the caucus wrote in a December letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, and House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J.
 
The Humane Society of the United States, which has endorsed the bill, estimates that more than 100,000 horses are bought at auctions by people who transport them to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. "Slaughter is a brutal and terrifying end for horses, and it is not humane," the society says in a statement on its website. "Horses are shipped for more than 24 hours at a time without food, water or rest in crowded trucks. They are often seriously injured or killed in transit."
 
The American Veterinary Medical Association, however, does not support the ban, citing concerns over what will happen to unwanted horses if they cannot be sold for meat. "Removing slaughter as a humane option will leave many horses with nowhere to go and no one to care for them," the association says on its website. "There will likely be an acute rise in abuse, neglect, and abandonment with corresponding negative impacts on horse welfare."
 
The renewed ban on horse slaughter in the U.S. will continue at least until Oct. 1, when the just-passed funding bill expires.
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