USDA EXTENDS COMMENT PERIOD ON PROPOSED CHANGES TO HPA REGULATIONS
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced it is extending the public comment period on proposed changes to the Horse Protection Act (HPA) regulations for 30 days.
On July 26, 2016, the USDA published proposed changes to the regulations governing enforcement of the 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.
This is a proposed rule only and USDA will now be accepting comments now until October 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 will be submitting comments to USDA in the coming weeks.