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Oral Arguments Granted In Appeal



The United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit has granted oral arguments in the appeal of the Minimum Penalty Protocol lawsuit originally filed by SHOW HIO and Contender Farms versus the United States Department of Agriculture.  Judge Terry Means in the Fort Worth district originally ruled in favor of the USDA. 

The oral arguments are scheduled for the week of September 1, 2014.  Judge Means ruled in the original case on July 29, 2013 (click here to view that decision) and as a result the SHOW HIO accepted the Minimum Penalty Protocol mandated by the USDA.  The Minimum Penalty Protocol has been enforced by the SHOW HIO since Judge Means ruling.

After accepting the ruling and instituting the Minimum Penalty Protocol in its rulebook, the SHOW HIO received a decertification notice from the USDA for not enforcing the Minimum Penalty Protocol mandated penalties for violations during the time period they were introduced and the ruling by Judge Means.  During the duration of the lawsuit, the SHOW HIO enforced the penalties in their rulebook that were approved by the USDA prior to the March 1, 2013 deadline imposed by the USDA.

The granting of oral arguments by the court gives a sense of optimism that a reversal of Judge Means decision may be in order.  Funding for the appeal has been supplemented with donations from The Foundation for the Advancement and Support of the Tennessee Walking Show Horse (FAST) and the Performance Show Horse Association (PSHA).  The Report will update the appeal as more information becomes available.
 

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