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Celebration Pleased With Fifth Circuit Ruling



The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration is very pleased with the unanimous decision released last week from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  In the decision the court found in favor of Contender Farms and Mike McGartland and reversed and vacated the district court’s ruling.  The Celebration was a plaintiff in the original suit in district court.

“In the opinion, the Fifth Circuit states that the USDA cannot force HIO’s to adopt mandatory minimum penalty protocols nor can the agency make such protocols a condition of certification or participation in a DQP program,” stated Celebration CEO Mike Inman.  The courts action answers legitimate concerns of stakeholders as the 2015 show season begins. 
   
The Celebration has been a proponent of objective inspection protocols and at this year’s show introduced some of those protocols as part of the Veterinary Advisory Committee.  The Fifth Circuit agreed with the Celebration stating in their opinion, “As the record indicates, inspections are far more art than science.  In many cases, inspectors, veterinarians, and other professionals will disagree as to whether a horse is actually sore.” 

“We have felt strongly for some time that objective, science-based inspection protocols should replace the highly subjective inspection protocols in place today.  We at the Celebration are appreciative of the Fifth Circuit’s decision and endorsement of objective inspections,” concluded Inman.
 

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