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Tennessee and Kentucky Senators Seek Extension to Comment Period

Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker from Tennessee and Senator Rand Paul and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from Kentucky, sent a letter to Dr. Kay Carter-Corker, Assistant Deputy Administrator with APHIS seeking a 60-day extension to the comment period on the proposed rule issued by APHIS.  The letter specifically states, "It is our understanding that APHIS has used limited input in developing the proposed rule."

Due to the serious nature of the consequences of the proposed rule in Tennessee and Kentucky the senators have asked for the extension.  "The notice of proposed rulemaking invites data submissions on proposed provisions that require significant time to accurately compile.  For these reasons, it is critical that APHIS provide the necessary time for stakeholders to gather evidence and information to submit substantive responses."

The USDA proposed a rule to amend the Horse Protection Act on July 26, 2016.  The rule would devastate the Tennessee Walking Horse industry, along with the Racking Horse, Spotted Saddle Horse and other related breeds.  The proposed rule would eliminate Horse Industry Organizations and put in place a system of USDA certified and licensed inspectors driving the cost up substantially on show management.  The rule would also ban the use of pads, action devices and hoof bands.

Senator Alexander has written and introduced legislation that would amend the HPA to include objective, science-based inspections conducted under the oversight of an independent Horse Industry Organization led by independent, expert veterinarians.  The USDA under the proposed rule would eliminate industry oversight and turn over all enforcement to USDA, driving the costs to show management up substantially.  The shows, regardless of pleasure or performance horses, would cease to exist under the proposed rule eliminating the millions of dollars raised for charity across Tennessee and Kentucky through horse shows.

Click here to view the letter

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