Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced proposed changes to the regulations governing enforcement of the Horse Protection Act (HPA). The HPA was passed in 1970 to stop the cruel practice of “soring” horses that was occurring in some sectors of the Tennessee Walking Horse, Racking Horse and Spotted Saddle Horse industry.
The proposed rule would make several major changes to current HPA regulations with the goal of ending soring. The AHC is currently reviewing the proposed rule to determine its impact on the horse industry. After the AHC has had the opportunity to analysis the details of the proposed rule we will follow up with additional information. The AHC Horse Show and Animal Welfare Committees will also be convening to discuss the proposed rule.
This is a proposed rule only and USDA will be accepting comments until September 26, 2016. USDA will then have to review all comments and release a final rule. The proposed rule has been published in the Federal Register and can be viewed here: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/07/26/2016-17648/horse-protection-licensing-of-designated-qualified-persons-and-other-amendments
The AHC opposes soring and continues to strongly support the PAST Act (S. 1121/ HR 3268) that will strengthen the HPA and finally end the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses, Racking Horses and Spotted Saddle Horses.