On February 8, 2006, USDA APHIS Animal Care will host a Listening Session from 8:30 am to 1:00 PM at the Blue Ribbon Circle Club on the Celebration show grounds in Shelbyville, TN.  This meeting will be the first of six Listening Sessions Animal Care will host in 2006 all around the country, including sessions in Springfield, MO, Chattanooga, TN, Temecula, CA, and Dallas, TX.  The purpose of the meetings are to 1) Gather public input regarding the next Operating Plan; 2) Gather public input about the future direction of Horse Protection Act enforcement; and 3) Share information with the public about past, present, and future activities of the Horse Protection program.   USDA will first present an overview of the Horse Protection Program, followed by an open microphone session for people to share information with USDA.  A transcription service will be present to capture all comments on paper, which will in turn be posted on Animal Care's Horse Protection web page.  Anyone interested in horses regulated by the Horse Protection Act are encouraged to attend and share their thoughts.

Questions about the Listening Session can be directed to:

Darby G. Holladay
U.S. Department of Agriculture
APHIS Legislative and Public Affairs
Tel:  (301) 734-3265