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OMB Concludes Final Review of USDA Rule

The Office of Management and Budget has concluded its review of the USDA's proposed rule that would eliminate the pads, action devices, and hoof bands as well as eliminate the Horse Industry Organizations and turn enforcement of the Horse Protection Act over to USDA.  The change in status of the rule means the review is complete and now the wait begins for the final rule to be published in the Federal Register.  To view this status change click here.

The proposed rule had 11,000 comments submitted to USDA for review.  After reviewing those comments, USDA submitted a final rule to OMB for its review on December 9, 2016.  What changes, if any, to the rule were made by USDA are unknown until the final rule is published.  The proposed rule can be viewed here.

The rule being finalized in the last hours of the Obama administration is no surprise as the Humane Society of the United States has pushed USDA hard on this issue during the Obama administration.  The close ties of the HSUS to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack are well-known and HSUS has let it be known that the rule needed to be finalized while they are still in office.

The industry has prepared for the rule to be finalized and will be ready to respond appropriately when the rule is published in the Federal Register.  In addition, the House of Representatives passed legislation last week that should prevent rules such as this from being implemented in the last days of the administration.  The rule far exceeds the $100M economic impact required, yet USDA continues to promote that this rule has little economic impact.  

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