The proposed rule to amend the Horse Protection Act that USDA sent to the Office of Management and Budget was released by OMB on August 10, 2023. The proposed rule was sent to OMB on September 2, 2022 for its review. The new rule has not yet been released publicly but should be in the next several days.  Until the public release, the contents of the rule remain unknown.

After USDA releases the rule, they will provide for a comment period, most likely to be 60 days.  The comment period on the withdrawal of the old 2017 rule closes on August 21, 2023 and should ultimately result in the formal withdrawal of the old rule.  This withdrawal was opposed by the Humane Society of the Unites States, however the district court allowed the USDA to formally go through the withdrawal process upon remand.

During its request to withdraw the old rule, USDA consistently claimed that a new, more effective rule would be forthcoming, so this is the expected timeline of the public release.  After the comment period closes, USDA will take time to review the comments, make any necessary changes and then will be required to send the rule back to OMB for a final review.  Once the rule becomes final, it will contain the final changes to the current Horse Protection Act and Regulations.  In that final release the timeline for implementation would also be specified.

The industry organizations will review the proposed rule when it is released publicly and file formal comments with regards to the contents and validity of the rule.  The industry has already retained counsel, Ellis George Cippolone out of Washington, D.C., to help with the filing of the comments.  This same firm is handling the comments on the withdrawal of the 2017 rule currently in the comment period.