Tennessee Equine Health Advisory Commission formed

NASHVILLE – Work of the newly-formed Tennessee Equine Health Advisory Commission is underway with a group of experts in the equine industry. The commission was enacted by legislative action in 2020 and is charged with studying the status of equine health and emerging equine health issues.

“Animal health is a primary focus in agriculture,” Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said. “With this group of experts who have personal and professional knowledge in the horse industry, I’m confident animal health initiatives in our state will be even stronger.”

The nine members of the commission will work together to promote horse health and to encourage sound agricultural practices with equine activities and the breeding of equine livestock. Their first project is to develop and submit an annual report to the governor’s office on the status of equine health in Tennessee and outline action if recommended. It is important that equine diseases and trends are monitored and addressed to protect equine industries in Tennessee.

Members of the Tennessee Equine Health Advisory Committee include:

Dr. Samantha Beaty – State veterinarian and assistant commissioner for animal health, commissioner of agriculture designee

Monty McInturff – Tennessee Equine Hospital owner and practice manager, Gov. appointed

Kelly Burchett – horse owner, speaker of Senate appointed

Matthew Smith – horse owner, speaker of House appointed

David Terrell – carded horse show judge for numerous associations, Gov. appointed

Melanie Smith Taylor – equine clinician, television broadcaster for major events and judge for hunter/jumpers and hunter seat equitation, Gov. appointed

Dr. Steve Adair – UT College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Large Animal Science associate professor, Gov. appointed

Roger Elder – Elder’s Last Lap Ranch owner and member of UT Institute of Agriculture Advocacy Board for Animal Science, Gov. appointed

Matt Horsman – Williamson County extension director, Gov. appointed

McInturff was elected chairman and Smith was elected secretary. The commission is attached to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture for administrative purposes.

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