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Bill Reinhart - Letter to the Editor

Copyright WHR 2007

August 7, 2007

Attn: Christy Parsons

The 2007 Walking horse show season in Tennessee has been very successful. Large number of horses have been shown with minimal non compliance with the Horse Protection Act under the inspection system of the National Horse Show Commission. In the last week of Fayetteville, Belfast, and Wartrace shows with federal inspectors present the compliance rate with the Horse Protection Act was roughly 99%.

This record of accomplishment by the Walking horse industry needs to be acknowledged. The appropriate way this needs to be recognized would be a statement from the Secretary of the USDA which factually proves that the inspection system between the USDA and the industry has worked.

In addition to the statement from the Secretary of the USDA, I believe it is the right time for the USDA to broaden its mission and go beyond mere inspection of horses.

There are many ways the USDA could help this industry to recover from a protracted and uneven inspection system which has done great damage to the perception of the Tennessee Walking Horse.

Nothing in the Horse Protection Act was intended by Congress to do damage to the Walking Horse industry but through regulation to improve it.

In addition the USDA was created to promote and help the agricultural industries to survive and prosper. The department spends billions of dollars through subsidies and promotional activities on behalf of American Agricultural interest.

The Walking Horse industry needs to develop a positive program with cooperation from the USDA to continue to advance the Walking Horse industry. Truly the most American agricultural activity.

Money from the USDA will be needed, but this can be accomplished if a good program can be developed.

William J. Reinhart

Shelbyville, TN

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