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SHOW Answers Petition Filed By Horse Advocates



SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – On August 4, 2010 the Humane Society of the United States along with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, American Horse Protection Association, Friends of Sound Horses and former Senator Joseph Tydings filed a legal petition with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.  The petition is seeking new regulations to strengthen APHIS’ enforcement of the Horse Protection Act.

SHOW turned the petition over to its legal counsel and did a thorough review of the materials contained within the petition.  In summary, SHOW does not agree with the petitioners on many of their requests.  In the attached legal response, SHOW sets out that petitioners would have the Department seek rulemaking to construct a system of enforcement which has absolutely no regard for the law or the constitutional rights of those it seeks to regulate.

SHOW points out that Petitioners seek rulemaking which is in direct contravention to the express authority granted to the Secretary under the HPA. 

In addition, the petitioners scheme would intertwine the USDA and the industry HIOs so closely that ultimately each HIO would be nothing more than an extension of the USDA, and therefore,  a “state actor” for purposes of due process consideration and liability.  The HPA is clear that primary responsibility for enforcement of the HPA rests with the USDA.


SHOW does not disagree with all the suggestions put forth in the petition and in fact has incorporated some of the suggested changes into its rulebook and/or protocol.  However, many of the Petitioners’ requests are simply unconstitutional and  unlawful. Consequently, SHOW has no choice but to oppose those requests.

SHOW’s rulebook, inspections and process effectuate the purposes of the Act and petitioners have failed to recognize those facts in its petition.  SHOW takes exception to being painted with the same broad brush with all other HIO’s enforcement of the HPA and is confident it has done more in 18 months to “find and eliminate the sore horse” than all other HIOs and the USDA combined have done in the 30+ years of the HPA.

SHOW does not disagree that HIOs which fail to address “instances of non-compliance” should be decertified after a full and complete hearing as required by the Horse Protection Act Regulations.  Detailed arguments regarding each of the five requests made by Petitioners can be found in the complete Response Of SHOW, Inc. To Petition For Rulemaking (click here to view).

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