Skip to content

AHPA Files Suit to Stop Operating Plan 2001-2003



Posted January 10, 2001
The American Horse Protection Association (AHPA) filed suit on January 8, 2001, in the US District Court for the District of Columbia to prevent the USDA from implementing the 2001-2003 operating plan. The basis of the suit is the AHPA's belief that the Horse Protection Act does not permit the USDA to delegate its authority for enforcement of the act to HIOs or to any "private parties."

Dr. Ron DeHaven, deputy administrator for animal care at the USDA, said that APHA filed a motion for a temporary restraining order, which was heard today, Jan10. The district court judge denied the request but the lawsuit will proceed.

According to the AHPA, the suit charges that the Horse Protection Act does not give “private parties,” (for example, HIOs) the authority to enforce the act or to impose penalties on people alleged to have violated the act. AHPA believes that such authority belongs only to the Secretary of Agriculture or the Attorney General in the case of criminal prosecututions. AHPA further states that nothing in the HPA authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to delegate his enforcement authority to HIOs.

AHPA is also concerned about several points in the proposed operating plan, particularly since the plan would be in effect for three years. Two areas of concern are “private sanctions” imposed by HIOs and the conflict resolution process. AHPA states that the proposed operating plan for 2001-2003 “in part, substitutes private sanctions based on HIO disciplinary rules for the civil penalties (fines and suspensions) normally imposed by APHIS pursuant to the Act.” In other words, in part, the plan allows the HIO to determine what punishment it will dispense instead of imposing the fines and suspensions based on the HPA that are normally imposed by the USDA. The plan also provides for ‘conflict resolution’ that AHPA believes essentially eliminates the USDA’s ability to punish violators if a DQP disagrees with a VMOs findings that a horse is sore.

WHR is attempting to contact NHSC attorney Niels Holch, executive director of the AHPA Robin Lohnes, and Dr. DeHaven.

Further information will be posted on this site as it is available.

More Stories

  • Stinnett featured in local newspaper

    Canton native Lexie Stinnett and her horse, Smoky Mountain Strong, won a two-year-old World Grand Championship in Shelbyville, Tennessee in August. It was the latest chapter in the team’s remarkable story... Read More
  • Riders' Cup showcased on Friday evening!

    Since it’s inception in 2005, the Riders’ Cup program has grown to be a highly competitive and respected program. To date, close to $1,000,000 has been paid out to dedicated trainers who continue to bring top horses to shows all across the country... Read More
  • Relationships Matter: Dr. Goldentyer addresses trainers introducing herself

    The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association held their annual membership meeting on December 13th at the Cool Springs Marriott. President Bill Cantrell opened the meeting with a silent moment of prayer for trainer Joe Martin, who is battling illness... Read More
  • 2019 WHTA Auxiliary Awards

    The presentation of the WHTA Auxiliary awards was moved to Friday evening. Auxiliary President Sarah Smith greeted all the recipients on the stage with their awards... Read More
  • Yoho announces retirement from Congress

    Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL-3) announced he will not seek reelection and will retire from Congress in January 2021.  Yoho pledged to only serve four terms and that eight-year run will conclude at the end of this 116th Congress... Read More
  • KWHA honors all HIOs

    The Kentucky Walking Horse Association, KWHA, is a high point Association that puts on The Kentucky Celebration and a yearly awards banquet. An opportunity to affiliate with KWHA will be sent out in early January to show managers... Read More
  • An Interesting Year

    The year 2019 has been an interesting one to say the least. For the past several years we have produced an issue dedicated to reviewing the news of the year that has shaped the industry or changed it in some significant way... Read More
  • TWHBEA elects first woman President

    A momentous and noteworthy occurrence in the history of the association’s storied existence – the first woman was elected President of the 84-year-old breed registry. Margo Urad, of Rockwall, TX, took the reins as the incoming top officer... Read More
  • Birth Announcement – Lane Cooper Price

    Lane Cooper Price was born Sunday, November 3, 2019, to Nice Price and Molli Hobgood of Fairmount, Georgia. He weighed 7 pounds 5 ounces and was 21 inches long. Proud grandparents are Alan and Cindy Price and Kerry and Penny Hobgood. Nick is trainer at Price Stables and Molli teaches 3rd grade in Fairmount, Georgia.  Read More
  • TWHBEA embraces change as new faces join the TWHBEA EC for 2020

    On the heels of Friday’s general membership meeting, the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association annual directors meeting mirrored yesterday’s meeting in tone and efficiency as about 70 of the group’s leaders gathered at 10 a.m. for a heavy load of business with the election serving as the pleasant shake-up of the day. Read More