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PRIDE Releases Response to Rulemaking Petition



Editor's Note: The following was received on Friday, April 22, 2011, from PRIDE HIO Chairman, Sam Hamilton.

April 22, 2011
Tennessee Walking Horse Industry

Dear TWH Enthusiast:

As most of you are aware the Humane Society of the United States along with The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, The American Horse Protection Association Inc., Friends of Sound Horses Inc. and former Senator Joseph D. Tydings, filed a Petition For Rulemaking with the USDA almost eight months ago. This is just the latest and lengthiest of a consistent series of attempts by these organizations to convince the USDA into implementing more stringent rules on the walking horse industry.  The walking horse industry needs to understand that the USDA is not the enemy. Under the law, the USDA must listen to anyone who speaks out on these issues. We are going to continue to struggle until the entire walking horse industry takes a proactive stance in dealing with these issues.

PRIDE informed the industry last fall that we had submitted a lengthy detailed response to this petition to the USDA in an attempt to work these issues out. Unfortunately the USDA has continued to state that there will be “no negotiation, just litigation”. PRIDE did not make our response public in anticipation that the USDA would at some point post a notice in the federal register announcing that they were going to open the regulations up again. As expected, the USDA made that announcement last week. The official comment period runs thru June 13, 2011. In response to this announcement, PRIDE resubmitted our detailed response to the federal register to be entered in the public comments. Our official response has been attached to this letter for publication.

PRIDE, SHOW and the other HIOs are standing up for our industry and making our positions known to the USDA on these issues and we will continue to address them moving forward. The industry now has two great responses as outlines to use in developing your own responses to this petition. It is not enough for the HIOs to comment. The federal register must be filled up with comments from every owner, trainer, exhibitor, breeder, show official, charitable organization and anyone else that has an interest in the future of this industry and this wonderful horse. I challenge each and every one of you to see how many people you personally can get to comment on the register. Please do not wait to the last minute. This is the industry's time to speak up and be heard. If you fail to do so, then you have no complaint when the results are not favorable. This is serious business and I can promise you that the HSUS and their merry band of radicals are taking this very seriously. I cannot stress enough how important it is for this register to be filled with support for this horse and your rights to due process of law. Act now or it will be too late.

PRIDE is dedicated to enforcing the Horse Protection Act fairly and consistently for all exhibitors, owners and trainers. Over the next few months, you will see PRIDE continue to work with other industry organizations to help promote the Tennessee Walking Horse. We have spoken to many of you individually of our vision for where this industry should be moving forward. We will continue these discussions and we will facilitate many positive changes in this industry moving us into a new era for the Tennessee Walking Horse Industry. We want to thank everyone who has supported us so far in our efforts. We appreciate all of the constructive feedback we have received and we have listened to your concerns. We will continue to make the proper adjustments to our organization in order to serve our customers more efficiently in the future. The HIOs cannot fix the issues that the walking horse industry faces alone. There is a biblical quote that I live by, “For of those to whom much is given, much is required.”  PRIDE cannot make the changes that are required in this industry alone. Every owner, exhibitor, trainer, judge, DQP and show manager must step up and do their part to implement the changes that we will propose. I am looking forward to working with each of you to move this industry into a new era. Thank you for your cooperation and support.

Sincerely,
Sam Hamilton
Chairman, PRIDE

Click here to read PRIDE's response to the Petition for Rulemaking.

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