WHTA Meets With USDA's Dr. Behre

    Walking Horse Trainers Association President David Landrum, along with a group of trainers from the WHTA board of directors, met with Dr. Todd Behre, USDA APHIS Horse Protection Coordinator, Monday. Dr. Behre agreed to meet and address any questions or concerns the 22 trainers in attendance had
regarding the industry.
    "We had a broad spectrum of trainers attend the meeting to voice their concerns about the industry and Dr. Behre was kind enough to answer the questions," said Landrum. "We had a good exchange of communication regarding some of our concerns and Dr. Behre answered a lot of our questions. Hopefully we will continue to hold similar meetings in the future."
    Dr. Behre said he was pleased about his invitation to join the meeting.
    "I would like to thank David Landrum for inviting me to come and spend some time with several representatives of the Walking Horse Trainers Association this week,² said Behre. ³A lot of information was exchanged between all parties. This type of informal meeting is a great way to clarify what everyone's concerns and objectives are with regard to enforcement of the Horse Protection Act, and to find ways to work together to find solutions. I have asked the WHTA to consider having similar meetings on a monthly or quarterly basis, and I encourage any other organizations within this industry to hold meetings with a similar format.
    "As was done in 2004, USDA will be hosting a number of Public Meetings in 2005, the dates and locations of which are yet to be determined. While the turnout for some of the meetings in 2004 was less than I had anticipated (47 attendees in Murfreesboro, TN), I am hopeful that more interested parties will take the time to attend a meeting held near them this year. Open communication and outreach to the regulated industry are very high priorities for USDA's Horse Protection Program, and the WHTA meeting this week proved to be another valuable event for everyone."