USDA-Animal Care Provides Horse Protection Act Progress Report

June 30, 2017

On June 29, 2017, Bernadette Juarez, Deputy Administrator of APHIS-Animal Care, released an open letter to the management of horse shows, exhibitions, sales, as well as Horse Industry Organizations and Associations (HIOs), and the owners, trainers, exhibitors, and custodians of horses engaged in Horse Protection Act (HPA) covered activities.

In it she provides a progress report on the efforts to strengthen the HPA inspection program, their working relationship with the industry, and HPA enforcement. She applauded the HIOs that have made refinements to their processes to achieve their new standards, including the updated inspection guidance intended to promote consistency throughout the entire industry. That inspection guidance was posted on their website, found here, along with videos that depict the inspection process.

She ended her letter by acknowledging that “A consistent and thorough inspection process coupled with management’s commitment to fulfilling its responsibilities under the HPA are essential for ensuring exhibitors have clear expectations and can confidently present horses for inspection and participate in HPA-covered events.”

On March 30, 2017, Representatives Ted Yoho (R-FL) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) re- introduced the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2015 (HR 1847) (PAST Act) in the House of Representatives.   The bill is intended to strengthen the Horse Protection Act (HPA) and prevent the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses, Racking Horses, and Spotted Saddle Horses.  The bill is supported by the American Horse Council and most national horse show organizations. The AHC urges all members of the horse industry to contact their Representative and ask them to support the bill and become a co-sponsor. 

For more information on the Horse Protection Act and the practices used to enforce it, please visit https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalwelfare/SA_HPA .

The complete letter can be read here. Please contact the American Horse Council with any further questions regarding the HPA or the PAST Act.