Horse industry, Senate allies urge USDA to reinstate horse protection rule

The anti-soring rule, initially passed in 2017, was suspended by the previous administration.
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The horse industry and its allies in Congress are lobbying the new Administration to bring back the 2017 Horse Protection Act (HPA) rule promulgated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to end the practice of soring. In early 2017, the outgoing Obama Administration issued a final HPA rule to stop the practice of manipulating a horse’s limb to induce an accentuated gait. The rule mirrors the industry endorsed “Prevent All Soring Tactics” (PAST) Act by taking common sense measures to protect certain Tennessee Walking Horses and Racking Horses from this type of mistreatment. Unfortunately, the Trump Administration suspended the HPA rule four years ago and never reinstated it.

Highly stylized image of a Tennessee Walking Horse

The 2017 Horse Protection Act (HPA) rule aimed to end the the practice of soring—manipulating a horse’s limb to induce an accentuated gait.

In early March, the horse industry and its allies launched a campaign to urge U.S. senators to contact USDA Secretary Vilsack by signing a letter advocating for reinstatement of the 2017 HPA rule. The American Horse Council (AHC), to cite one example, initiated outreach to its grassroots, which delivered more than 650 letters to the Senate during a four-week period. Within the context of the final letter, a bipartisan group of 48 senators went on the record on April 29 to request that Secretary Vilsack bring back the 2017 rule.

“I support the humane treatment of all animals and the responsible training of horses,” said Sen. Crapo (R-ID), a long-time champion of the horse industry. “That’s why I’m proud to lead a group of bipartisan senators in urging the USDA to use their rulemaking authority and protect horses from this inhumane treatment.” To view a copy of the bipartisan letter to USDA, please click here: https://www.horsecouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/HPA-horse-soring-letter-Senate-4-29-21.pdf

About the American Horse Council
As the national association representing all segments of the horse industry in Washington, D.C., the American Horse Council works daily to represent equine interests and opportunities.

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