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APHIS Releases 5 Year Strategic Plan

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) has released their five-year strategic plan for enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act and Horse Protection Act.  “Our focus over the next five years is simple,” said Bernadette Juarez, deputy administrator, USDA Animal Care. “We will build strong and trusting relationships to promote the humane treatment of vulnerable animals regulated under the Animal Welfare Act and Horse Protection Act – as well as animals affected by emergencies and disasters. 

“By fostering a high-performing workforce, and enhancing communication and relationships with regulated entities, stakeholders and the general public, we will be the ‘go to’ source for animal welfare information, expertise and collaboration.”

In the plan, objectives were laid out to eliminate soring, which included:

·         Finalize amendments to the HPA regulations to better position AC (Animal Care) and the industry to eliminate soring.

·         Continuously improve and optimize the processes and procedures used to detect soreness in horses to promote thorough, consistent examinations that ensure only sound horses participate in HPA-covered events.

·         Implement joint learning opportunities for AC VMOs and persons qualified to detect soreness in horses to ensure full alignment in inspection processes and procedures, and promote consistency of inspection results, regardless of who conducts the inspection.

·         Pursue disqualification for persons who are qualified to detect soreness in horses and who fail to perform their duties in accordance with the HPA and regulations.

·         Maximize inspection resources and pursue swift enforcement action to deter the inhumane practice of soring and create an environment that promotes fair competition.


Click here to view the entire Strategic Plan

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