STATEMENT MADE BY DR. FRANK DWAYNE MARCUM, DVM, TO THE KENTUCKY HOUSE

FEB. 17, 2010, IN SUPPORT OF HB 398

Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen:

On behalf of my colleagues, horse owners and caretakers, and horses
themselves, I would like to express our thanks for the opportunity to be
part of this process.

The issue of health and welfare of the horse needs to be addressed.

As we all know, Kentucky has long been identified as the “Horse Capitol of
the World”.  The horse has been our Commonwealth’s trademark.

Kentucky has done an excellent job in celebrating the horse in multiple
venues attracting hundreds of thousands of horse lovers annually.  Its
diverse breeds are the source of income, security, and pleasure for many
families across the state.

With that, Kentucky should be the leader in ALL matters relating to the
overall well-being and humane care of this animal.

Yet the horse itself has never been the beneficiary of a secured life of
dignity.

Unfortunately and likely magnified by current economic landscapes, we now
need to face the more grim side of our moral and ethical obligation to be
proper stewards of the animals that were once our beasts of burden in
everyday life and war.

This dilemma is not unique to Kentucky and the horse is not unique to
Kentucky.

But Kentucky is unique to the horse.

Kentucky is positioned to be both the lightening rod and flagpole as the
Horse Capitol of the World.

Seldom a week goes by that animal abuse and neglect issues are not profiled
in the media. While these stories are difficult to watch and read, they are
stories that should be told, exposing a problem that must be acknowledged
and addressed, from safety, misfortune and disease.

It is our mission to do everything possible to avert these unfortunate
events and reverse the course to presenting a positive image in our concern
for the horses’ well being, its health and welfare.

By taking an organized, proactive approach, through the formation of this
board, we begin to address issues that are of immediate need as well as
looking ahead for problems that may arise.

In so doing, we will become the leader in developing a template for other
states to follow.

If we act, Kentucky has the opportunity to take the lead in equine health
and welfare.

We become the first state in the Union to make a commitment in solving these
issues.

As in the tradition of Kentucky basketball, we want this Commonwealth to be
number one.

In this matter, we cannot afford to be number two.

Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for our time and consideration.

We look forward to working with you to advance this noble mission.

With kindest and respectful regards,

Frank Dwayne Marcum, DVM
Representing the Equine Health and Welfare Alliance, Inc.

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