Skip to content

CBO Issues Cost Estimate On S. 1406



The Congressional Budget Office recently completed its cost estimate on S. 1406, the PAST Act introduced by Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH).  In the report, the CBO estimated the annual cost at $1 million.  The report points out that the inspectors that would be overseen, licensed, trained and assigned by USDA as part of the PAST Act would not be USDA employees and would be paid for by private show management.

The report did not state how much the USDA would charge private show management to hire those licensed inspectors but did point out show management would be fined if they did not pay those inspectors.  The CBO also reported that currently APHIS is spending approximately $700,000 for HPA enforcement.  The basis for the cost estimate was on information provided by APHIS.

The report did not estimate the additional cost on the federal government for prosecution of those violations of the HPA that are currently adjudicated by the private Horse Industry Organizations (HIOs).  Currently the USDA prosecutes less than 2% of the alleged violations of the HPA found by USDA licensed inspectors at horse shows.  HIOs are required to prosecute 100% of the alleged violations found by their inspectors per the HPA and Regulations. 

Current HIO inspectors are licensed and trained by the USDA.  Under the PAST Act, the HIOs are abolished but inspectors are kept and licensed and trained by the USDA, however not becoming USDA employees. 

View the complete CBO report below or Click Here to view a PDF of the report.

S. 1406 would amend the Horse Protection Act of 1970 (HPA) to strengthen and expand
enforcement of current prohibitions on soring horses. Soring refers to the practice of
applying a substance or device to a horse’s limb to cause the horse pain when moving.
Although prohibited, the practice helps to achieve the high stepping gait desired for
Tennessee Walking Horses and other similar breeds. Under current law, inspectors from
the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are sent to some large horse shows, but the
private managers of each event where such horses compete usually hire their own
inspectors to detect soring and other violations of the HPA.

S. 1406 would require USDA to license, train, assign, and oversee private inspectors
qualified to independently detect and diagnose a horse that has been subjected to soring
and to inspect horses at horse shows, exhibitions, sales, or auctions, for purposes of
enforcing HPA regulations. Those independent inspectors would not be USDA employees
and would continue to be paid by the private managers of each event. The bill also would
prohibit the use of any device placed on a horse’s limb to artificially alter its gait (known as
an action device). In addition, S. 1406 would increase maximum fines and prison terms for
each violation of HPA. Upon any third or subsequent violation, the Secretary of
Agriculture could permanently disqualify a person from having any part in future horse
shows, exhibitions, sales, or auctions. Finally, the bill would impose a fine on event
managers who refuse to pay the USDA licensed horse inspectors.

Based on information from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), CBO
estimates that implementing S. 1406 would cost about $1 million per year over the
2015-2019 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts, for licensing,
training, assigning, and monitoring independent inspectors. In 2014, APHIS spent about
$700,000 for HPA enforcement.

Enacting S. 1406 would not affect direct spending. The bill could increase revenues from
penalties; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, CBO estimates that any
additional revenues from those penalties would probably be negligible.
S. 1406 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates
Reform Act (UMRA).

The bill would impose a private-sector mandate, as defined in UMRA, on some owners of
horses by expanding the prohibition on soring horses. The cost of the mandate would be the
net income forgone because of that expansion. Based on information from USDA reports
and industry sources, CBO estimates that the cost of the mandate would fall below the
annual threshold established in UMRA ($152 million in 2014, adjusted annually for
inflation).

More Stories

  • Latest_Issue_June_25_18

    Read More
  • Christmas In July schedule update

    The Christmas In July show, scheduled for July 4-5, has modified their original class schedule. Class 32 will now be Amateur Country Pleasure Western and class 9a will be Amateur Country Pleasure English. Read More
  • Supreme Court Decision Holds ALJs Must Be Appointed

    The United States Supreme Court has ruled that Administrative Law Judges must be appointed by the department head and not how they are currently retained by the agency they represent.  The case, Lucia vs. the Securities and Exchange Commission, does not deal with administrative law judges in the USDA, however the ruling could have a major impact on the enforcement scheme currently utilized by the USDA in Horse Protection Act cases. Read More
  • Obituary – Sam Hartsell

    Sam “Shot” Hartsell, age 74, of Newport, passed away Saturday, June 9, 2018, in Knoxville. He was preceded in death by his wife, Nan Hartsell and parents, Floyd and Viola McMahan Hartsell... Read More
  • WHOA announces International judging panel

    The Walking Horse Owners' is pleased to announce the three judges selected by current WHOA members. Charlie Brown, Shelli MeHaffey and Lonnie Messick will officiate the 40th Annual International Pleasure & Colt Championship.

    Read More
  • Savannah Lions Club adds classes

    The 52nd Annual Savannah Lions Club Show, scheduled for June 23 at 6:30 pm, has added two classes to their original schedule... Read More
  • Scrivner selected to judge Mid-South

    The Mid-South Walking Horse Association Show, scheduled for July 14, has selected Dickie Scrivner of Murfreesboro, Tennessee to mark the cards for this year's event. The show will be held at Pugh Bourne Park in Jackson, Tennessee.  Read More
  • Equine Obituary - Gen’s Armed & Dangerous

    The Report has recently learned of the passing of Gen’s Armed and Dangerous. The beautiful stallion was the 1994 Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champion. Read More
  • Ohio Valley adds class

    Ohio Valley Walking Horse Association show, scheduled for June 23 in Stanford, Kentucky, has added a 4 and Under Trail Pleasure to their show.  Read More
  • Walking For Hope Show updates

    The Walking For Hope show, scheduled for June 16, has selected Chris Zahnd to judge this year’s event. Originally scheduled to start at 4:00, the show will start at 5:00 pm. Read More