Comments Due On Petition To Amend Horse Protection Act

The petition requests changes in regulations and policies regarding the protection of horses.

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Comments on a petition requesting changes to the Horse Protection Act are due June 13.

The petition requests that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service change its regulations and policies regarding the protection of horses from the practice of soring. The petitioners’ requests include permanently disqualifying horses that have been scarred from soring from competitions, permanently disqualifying repeat violators of the Horse Protection Act, requiring horse industry organizations to impose minimum penalties for violations and decertifying noncompliant horse industry organizations.

APHIS, which is part of the United States Department of Agriculture, noted that the Horse Protection Act does not give it the authority to implement certain requests in the petition. For instance, APHIS does not have the authority under the act to permanently disqualify horses that have been scarred from soring from competitions. APHIS also does not have the authority to permanently disqualify repeat violators of the act.

“The disqualification provisions and penalty provisions are clearly enumerated in the [Horse Protection Act],” according to APHIS.

The petition was sent to APHIS on Aug. 4, 2010, by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, The Humane Society of the United States, the American Horse Protection Association Inc., Friends of Sound Horses Inc. and former Senator Joseph D. Tydings.

APHIS reported that it is particularly interested in receiving comments regarding those areas where APHIS has existing authority under the Horse Protection Act.

Comments can be made by clicking here; Docket No. APHIS-2011-0006.

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