The Free-Roaming Horse Taskforce, established by the 2016 Kentucky legislature, has been extended into 2017. Three meetings of the taskforce were held, each one featuring testimony from a range of people including the State Vet’s office, the Tourism Office, Equine Humane/Rescue organizations, horse owners, Judge-Executives, the Kentucky Horse Council, coal industry representatives, etc.
The taskforce members quickly realized the complexity of issues involving the free-roaming horses, from horses that are owned and cared for by their owners to abandoned horses that are on their own. Coal reclamation properties being grazed down to dirt while reclamation bond funds are tied up; public safety issues when horses wander into the roads; outsiders taking horses with the intent to sell them for slaughter, etc.
Because of the complexity, the taskforce voted unanimously on December 20, 2016 to continue its work on discussing the situation.
Appalachian Horse Center Executive Director, Ginny Grulke, is on the task force representing the Kentucky Horse Council.