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USDA Extends Commenting Period on HPA Regulation Amendments


Compiled by Nancy Brannon, Ph.D.

On September 16, 2016, Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, published on the Federal Register an extended comment period for amendments to the Horse Protection Act (HPA) – from September 26, 2016 until October 26, 2016. Interested persons may submit comments by either method:

·  Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to​#!docketDetail;​D=​APHIS-2011-0009.
·  Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2011-0009, Regulatory Analysis and
Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238
Supporting documents and any comments received on this docket may be viewed at​#!docketDetail;​D=​APHIS-2011-0009

History. On July 26, 2016, USDA/APHIS published in the Federal Register (81 FR 49112-49137, Docket No. APHIS-2011-0009) a proposal to revise the Horse Protection Act regulations in 9 CFR part 11 to improve enforcement of the Act and regulations. The proposed rule provides that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will train and license inspectors to inspect horses at horse shows, exhibitions, sales, and auctions for compliance with the Horse Protection Act. The proposed rule also proposes changes to the list of devices, equipment, substances, and practices that can cause soring or are otherwise prohibited under the Act and regulations, as well as other amendments pertaining to horse inspections and show management.

This post in the Federal Register also has clarifications. “…we proposed to retitle § 11.2 as “Prohibited actions, practices, devices, and substances” and to prohibit all action devices, pads, and substances applied to a horse's limbs. Also prohibited is any practice involving a horse, and, as a result of such practice, such horse suffers, or can reasonably be expected to suffer, physical pain or distress, inflammation, or lameness when walking, trotting, or otherwise moving. These proposed changes were intended to successfully and significantly reduce the number of sored horses shown, exhibited, sold, and auctioned. In our proposed changes to § 11.2, we included provisions in proposed paragraph (a)(3) of that section stating that the use of any weight on horses up to 2 years old, except a keg or similar conventional horseshoe, is prohibited, as is the use of a horseshoe on horses up to 2 years old that weighs more than 16 ounces. In keeping with the intent of our other proposed changes, we are considering changing proposed paragraph (a)(3) to read ‘The use of any weight on horses, except a keg or similar conventional horseshoe, is prohibited.’”


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