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New spending bill contains Walking Horse language



The massive spending bill passed in the Congress on Monday December 21, 2020 contains appropriation language for the Horse Protection Program.  Neither the spending bill nor Covid relief legislation contained the PAST Act, the industry alternative nor any compromise of the two bills.  

As for the appropriation language contained in the bill the funding level for the USDA to enforce the Horse Protection Act doubled to $2.09 million.  The package also makes clear the authority of the USDA inspectors and urges the Secretary to implement the rule banning the use of pads and actions devices and decertifying all current Horse Industry Organizations and turning over complete enforcement to the USDA.

“Final rule on horse protection.—The Secretary is strongly urged to reinstate and publish the final rule, Horse Protection; Licensing of Designated Qualified Persons and Other Amendments (Docket No. APHIS–2011–0009), as it was finalized and displayed in advance public notice in the Federal Register on January 19, 2017, with effective dates adjusted to reflect the delay in implementation”

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act was included in the spending bills and will become law once the President signs the measure, which is expected in the next couple of days.  That bill, which was championed by many of the same groups in support of the PAST Act, bans race-day doping of horses among other items.

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