Representative Scott DesJarlais (R-TN-4) has reintroduced his bill to amend the Horse Protection late last week. The bill, H.R. 6341, would eliminate the current inconsistent and subjective inspection methods and replace them with objective, science-based inspections. Rep. DesJarlais previously introduced legislation to amend the HPA in 2015, 2017 and 2019. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) first introduced similar legislation in 2014 when she represented Tennessee’s 7th district in the House of Representatives.

Rep. DesJarlais bill is an alternative solution to the PAST Act that has also been reintroduced in this Congress.  However, Rep. DesJarlais’ bill does take into account suggestions made in the National Academies of Science study, a joint study funded by the industry and USDA, calling for changes to be made to the inspection protocols performed on Tennessee Walking Horses during inspection.  The independent study pointed out several flaws in the current protocols and the persons carrying those protocols out and called for, among other things, more scientific inspection methods to be utilized.

The new protocols for inspection under Rep. DesJarlais’ bill would be based upon expert veterinarian input and be administered by a single enforcement entity under the HPA. Currently the HPA is enforced by multiple HIOs that all have different rules and enforcement guidelines.  Rep. DesJarlais’ bill also calls for increased penalties for any violator of the HPA.

Rep. John Rose (R-TN-6) worked closely with Rep. DesJarlais on the new bill and will be an initial co-sponsor of H.R. 6341

To read the full text of the bill click here.