The National Hurricane Conference Executive Board presented to the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) an Outstanding Achievement Award on behalf of the Texas Horseback Emergency Response Team. This award recognizes outstanding and innovative achievement in hurricane-related activities which can serve as a model for others.

The Horseback Emergency Response Team is the first and only one of its kind in the United States. Comprised of TAHC and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) employees, the team is primarily deployed to round up, transport, and hold displaced livestock in the aftermath of natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and wildfires.

The team was organized in 2013 to help address gaps identified during responses to Hurricane Ike in 2008 and the 2011 Texas wildfires. The team can be deployed to other states, if requested. Most recently, team members have assisted in the capture of animals that have strayed into Texas from Mexico, posing disease risks to the Texas animal and wildlife industries. The Texas-Mexico border is approximately 1,250 miles long.

"We are honored to be recognized by The National Hurricane Board with this award," Dr. Dee Ellis, TAHC Executive Director, said. "We are very proud of our Horseback Emergency Response Team; they truly are one of a kind."

Founded in 1893, the Texas Animal Health Commission works to protect the health of all Texas livestock, including: cattle, swine, poultry, sheep, goats, equine animals, and exotic livestock.