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House Members Seek Extension to Comment Period

The USDA proposed a rule to amend the Horse Protection Act on July 26, 2016.  The rule would devastate the Tennessee Walking Horse industry, along with the Racking Horse, Spotted Saddle Horse and other related breeds.  The proposed rule would eliminate Horse Industry Organizations and put in place a system of USDA certified and licensed inspectors driving the cost up substantially on show management.  The rule would also ban the use of pads, action devices and hoof bands.

Because of the devastating nature of the rule to the citizens and economies of Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia, representatives of those states sent a request to USDA seeking a 60 day extension to the comment period.  The current comment period ends on September 26, 2016.  If the extension were granted by USDA, the comment period would go through November 26, 2016.  The letter also stated as a reason for the request, "APHIS had little, if any, contact, with members of the industry in an effort to develop the proposed rules before their publication."

The members signing the letter included Scott DesJarlais, Marsha Blackburn, Diane Black, John Duncan, Stephen Fincher, Phil Roe and Chuck Fleischmann from Tennessee.  Andy Barr and House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers signed on from Kentucky and Bob Goodlatte did so from Virginia.

Click here to view the complete letter.

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