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SHOW Comments On OIG Audit



SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – Earlier today SHOW HIO President Dr. Stephen L. Mullins sent a letter to USDA APHIS Deputy Administrator, Animal Care Dr. Chester A. Gipson in response to the Office of Inspector General’s Audit of APHIS.  The audit covered the years of 2005-2008 and auditors attended only four shows along with collecting data from APHIS on 31 additional shows, .002% and .0175% of all show exhibitions.  To SHOW’s knowledge no HIO was interviewed as part of the Audit.

The OIG Audit, completed in September 2010, was very critical of APHIS’ enforcement of the HPA and management of the HIOs in the industry, as well as the DQP programs of the HIO’s themselves.  In response to the audit, APHIS agrees that it will pursue Rulemaking for most of the OIG recommendations including licensing of DQPs, have responsibility for their training, and have the ability to terminate their services if they do not issue the violations APHIS finds.  APHIS also wants to dictate to the HIOs the penalties the DQP must assess. 

Under the response filed by APHIS, it will approve and oversee the hearing process and will decertify any HIO that “fails to enforce the HPA and penalties set forth by APHIS.”  Dr. Mullins clearly points out that implementing the above would result in DQPs serving as employees, agents or subcontractors of APHIS.  Under the APHIS plan, the HIOs would only pay the DQPs, and assign them. Ultimately if they are successful in Rulemaking everything else an HIO does would be governed by the USDA, or the HIO would be decertified. 

Dr. Mullins also raises several other legal and practical issues with the OIG Audit and APHIS’ response and requests that the USDA carefully review all the record of its statements, comments and findings before pursuing any Rulemaking it may be contemplating. 

Click here to view the letter from Dr. Mullins to Dr. Gipson.  For the complete audit from the Office of Inspector General click here.

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