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OMB's Unified Agenda Outlines Proposed Rulemaking

Proposed Rule Will Address Inspections, Equipment and Show Management

The Office of Management and Budget, as part of its Unified Agenda, released yesterday additional information regarding APHIS’ proposed rulemaking.  The abstract listed as part of their released described the proposed rulemaking this way:

“This rulemaking would amend training and licensing requirements mandated by the horse protection regulations. We are also proposing several changes to the responsibilities of show management of horse shows, horse exhibitions, horse sales, and horse auctions, as well as changes to the list of devices, equipment, substances, and practices that can cause soring or are otherwise prohibited under the Horse Protection Act and regulations. Additionally, we are proposing to amend the inspection procedures. These actions are intended to strengthen existing requirements intended to eliminate soring and promote enforcement of Horse Protection Act and regulations.”

The timeline for the proposed rulemaking to be published is listed as July 2016 with an expected end to the comment period coming in September 2016.  Both proponents and opponents to the proposed rule will be able to submit comments and it is possible that APHIS will hold listening sessions similar to what they did prior to the minimum penalty protocol rule making.

Since learning of the proposed rulemaking, initially made public by the Humane Society of the United States, speculation has centered around what portions of the PAST Act, introduced by Rep. Ted Yoho and Senator Kelly Ayotte, would be included as part of the rulemaking.  From the description released by OMB, it appears that most of the PAST Act will be included which would eliminate industry self-regulation through Horse Industry Organizations, eliminate the use of pads or action devices and turn over complete enforcement of the Horse Protection Act to the USDA.

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