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Critical Information Regarding the Horse Protection Act

Critical Information Regarding the Horse Protection Act

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing amendments to the horse protection regulations section of the Horse Protection Act. The proposed changes can be found at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/newsroom/news/SA_By_Date/newsroom-2016/SA-07/hpa-changes . 

The Horse Protection Act covers all breeds, although violations have typically been associated with Tennessee Walking Horses and Racking Horses. The proposed changes are being evaluated by the VHC for impacts to Virginia horsemen and the horse industry in Virginia.

The Significant Changes and Impacts Identified Thus Far Include:

  • APHIS would assume responsibility for training, screening and licensing horse inspectors.  The new cadre of inspectors would be veterinarians and veterinary technicians… (emphasis added)
  • APHIS would ban the use of all action devices, pads, and foreign substances at horse shows, exhibitions, sales, and auctions, for Tennessee Walking Horses, Racking Horses or related breeds (emphasis added)
  • Additional costs to horse shows for additional inspectors, a farrier, and record keeping
  • An “Identification Card” will be required for all horses presented for inspection   


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