Skip to content

Rep. DesJarlais Reintroduces Bill to Amend HPA



Representative Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) reintroduced a bill, H.R. 1338, on March 2, 2017, to amend the Horse Protection Act (HPA) that would eliminate the current inconsistent and subjective inspection methods and replace them with objective, science-based inspections. Rep. DesJarlais’s bill mirrors the bill he introduced in the previous Congress, which was originally introduced by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-7).

The new protocols for inspection would be based upon expert veterinarian input and be administered by a single enforcement entity under the HPA. Currently the HPA is enforced by multiple HIOs that all have different rules and enforcement guidelines.

The current bill kept the same original list of co-sponsors, Phil Roe (R-TN-1), Jimmy Duncan(R-TN-2), Chuck Fleishmann (R-TN-3), Diane Black (R-TN-6) and Blackburn from Tennessee. Hal Rogers (R-KY-5) and Andy Barr (R-KY-6). There are two new co-sponsors from Kentucky, James Comer (R-KY-1) and Brett Guthrie (R-KY-2). Comer replaced Rep. Ed Whitfield in the new Congress.

The inconsistency in inspections, conducted by both the USDA Veterinary Medical Officers and industry Designated Qualified Persons, has severely damaged the Tennessee Walking Horse industry. At the 2016 Celebration, USDA Veterinary Medical Officers disagreed 22% of the time on whether a horse was compliant or not and 52% of the time the VMOs disagreed on their inspection finding.

In a 2015 opinion against the rulemaking efforts of the USDA, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals pointed out this fact calling inspections, “more art than science,” and acknowledging that current inspection protocols lead to many false positives.

The new bill would enact protocols that are “conducted using only inspection methods based on science-based protocols (including swabbing or blood testing protocols) that – 
(A) have been the subject of testing and are capable of producing scientifically reliable, reproducible results;
(B) have been subjected to peer review; and
(C) have received acceptance in the veterinary or other applicable scientific community.”

The HIO formed by the legislation will issue policies requiring any person licensed with the HIO or an immediate family member of such person to be free from conflicts of interest or any association with the industry.  The HIO would be governed initially by a board consisting of the following:
(A) Two individuals each appointed by the Commissioners of Agriculture of Tennessee and Kentucky
(B) Two individuals representing the industry by the above four persons in consultation with the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association
(C) Not more than three individuals shall be appointed by the six individuals above
 

More Stories

  • Disposition and versatility on display

    Four winners from the second annual Take A Ride on multi-World Champion Line Item Veto Facebook contest traveled to Midland Equestrian Center for an enjoyable visit and rides on Veto... Read More
  • Live from Money Tree Fall Classic & PC Splash

    ReporTV will be live from the Money Tree Fall Classic on Friday, September 22nd, beginning at 6:00 pm and on Saturday, September 23rd for the PC Splash Classic, beginning at 5:00 pm. Highlights from both shows will be posted the following day. Read More
  • Thomas earns Pleasure Horse Trainer of the Year award

    The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association Board of Directors decided to add a well-overdue and deserved category to their list of awards last year. The Pleasure Horse Trainer of the Year is voted on by their peers and must demonstrate positive attitude, dedication, motivation, is a team player, and an ambassador to their breed. Read More
  • Deadline for Fall Stallion Issue

    The annual Walking Horse Report World Champion Sire Summary and Fall Stallion issue will be the October 2, 2017 issue. The advertising deadline for the issue will be Wednesday, September 27, 2017 and the issue will mail on Friday, September 29, 2017. Read More
  • Obituary - Howard Creed

    Howard C. Creed, 83, of Springfield, Missouri, passed away September 19, 2017. He was born July 29, 1934, in Springfield, Missouri, and graduated Sr. High School in 1952. He served in the Army where he learned his lifetime trade of horse shoeing, which he did for 57 years... Read More
  • Maverick fights his way to the top

    He’s had a solid, steadily upward moving career that’s landed him so close more than once. Finally, the nine-year-old stallion — with the help of his tenacious owners, a dedicated trainer, and a supporting staff of many — earned the roses. Read More
  • Obituary - James Robert "Bob" Nelms

    Mr. James Robert “Bob” Nelms, age 67, of College Grove, Tennessee, died Monday, September 18, 2017 at his home in College Grove.  Read More
  • Honors loves all

    A huge crowd met Honors and Larry Edwards at the Celebration Saturday evening, Sept. 2, 2017, at the meet and greet for 2016 WGC Honors in front of the Blue Ribbon Club on the final night of the Celebration. Read More
  • WGC A Gin To Win visits TN State Fair

    Friday, September 15th, Abernathy Stables traveled to the Tennessee State Fair to exhibit current Three-Year-Old World Grand Champion, A Gin To Win. The Tennessee State Fair has been going on for more than 150 years and this year the Fair’s theme is “Tennessee Proud.” Read More
  • Celebration announces host hotel for Tunica Fall Classic

    The Celebration is pleased to announce that they have selected The Gold Strike Resort and Casino to again serve as host hotel for the Tunica Fall Classic, scheduled for November 2-4, 2017.  Read More