January 25, 2017
Recently, President Trump ordered a government wide freeze on all new federal regulations pending review. This order has put an indefinite hold on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) final regulations governing enforcement of the Horse Protection Act (HPA).
On January13, 2017, USDA had announced a final HPA rule. However, the final rule was not published in the Federal Register before President Trump issued his order to all federal agencies to withdrawal all regulations that had not yet been published pending review.
The final rule would have made several major changes to current HPA regulations with the goal of ending soring.
It will now be up to the Trump administration to decide whether or not to finalize the HPA rule. There is no timeline for review of the rule and the new administration could decide to issue a final rule at any time or withdrawal the rule completely. The HPA enforcement program will continue to operate under the current HPA regulations.