Skip to content

Chairman Rogers Disappointed In APHIS



Agency Continues to Ignore Directives In Appropriations Bill

By Jeffrey Howard

Kentucky Congressman Hal Rogers (R-KY), Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, recently wrote a letter to Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) Administrator Kevin Shea expressing his disappointment in APHIS’ lack of constructive communication with the industry.  The letter pointed out that the last five appropriations bill enacted by Congress contained directives for APHIS to meaningfully engage with the industry.

As Rogers’ letter points out, APHIS has not abided by the directives in good faith and in fact has been accused of using intimidation policies and actions that have created a “completely adversarial regulator-regulated environment”.  Chairman Rogers’ letter requested that APHIS produce documented evidence of all physical threats in the last five years against APHIS personnel, provide the number of APHIS personnel that attended each Tennessee Walking Horse event in 2015 and thus far in 2016, including armed or unarmed security and provide the total amount APHIS obligated during fiscal year 2015 on security for APHIS personnel attending Tennessee Walking Horse events.

In addition, Chairman Rogers asked Shea to provide the total amount APHIS obligated in fiscal year 2015 and thus far in 2016 for all contractors and non-government entities or personnel providing services for APHIS that are a part of Tennessee Walking Horse events.

The letter also speaks to the current proposed rule by APHIS that would enact the PAST Act or portions of it through rulemaking.  Rogers points out that the proposed rule was developed without any interaction or engagement with the industry, despite “clear direction from Congress to the contrary.”  In conclusion, Rogers asked Shea to certify to him that APHIS has not consulted with or engaged with any non-governmental entity in any aspect of developing, drafting or commenting on the proposed rule prior to its publication in the Federal Register.

During the Ethics Investigation into Kentucky Congressman Ed Whitfield, documents released confirmed that the staff of Whitfield, along with the HSUS wrote the PAST Act.  The documents released included emails from Sara Amundson with the HSUS identifying Rachel Cezar, Horse Protection Coordinator with USDA-APHIS, as the HSUS “insider contact” at the USDA.

Rogers asked Shea to reply to him with the information by June 15, 2016.

More Stories

  • Germantown Charity cancels annual show

    It is with heartfelt disappointment that the Germantown Charity Horse Show must announce the rescheduling of our June 2-6, 2020 show. Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, the 72nd Annual Show is rescheduled to June 8-12, 2021. Read More
  • Obituary – Jim H. Ellis, Jr

    Mr. Jimmy "Jim" H. Ellis, Jr. age 50 of Orrville, passed away on April 1, 2020 at Vaughan Regional Medical Center in Selma. He was born February 2, 1970 to the late Jimmy H. Ellis, Sr. and the Mildred Martin. Read More
  • A letter from the TWHBEA President

    First, let me say how proud I am to be part of this industry and Association. From the trainers along with Tony Edwards and others setting up and feeding those affected [by] the tornado in Nashville, to FAST providing gift boxes to our friends in the medical field... Read More
  • **Updated Horse Show Schedule

    The Walking Horse Report will provide daily updates to the list of canceled and postponed horse shows... Read More
  • Medical Professional Salute: Joyce Marie Claxton

    The Walking Horse Report would like to thank you for your service to our nation, our communities and our Walking Horse Industry as we all try and deal with this pandemic that our country is facing... Read More
  • Obituary – Ruby Bilbrey

    Mrs. Ruby Bilbrey passed from this life on Wednesday evening, surrounded by her loving family. She was born in Overton County, Tennessee on November 21, 1931 to the late Charlie & Hessie Stover Parrott. Ruby was a 1953 graduate of Livingston Academy and a member of the Free Communion Church of Christ.  Read More
  • ReporTV broadcast schedule

    ReporTV will be streaming the 2019 Woodbury Lions Club, on Saturday April 4, beginning at 6:00 PM... Read More
  • Upper Cumberland cancels show

    The Upper Cumberland Walking Horse Show, scheduled for May 9, at Hyder-Buks Pavilion in Cookeville, Tennessee, has been canceled. TTU has canceled all events at Hyder-Burk’s through the middle of May. Read More
  • Derby Classic postponed

    The Derby Classic, scheduled for May 2, in Harrodsburg Kentucky, has been postponed due to COVID-19. They hope to reschedule later this year. If you have already sent in sponsorship money, it will go toward the newly scheduled Derby Classic.   Read More
  • We salute our Tennessee Walking Horse medical family

    We want to hear from those on the front lines! Read More