The United States Department of Agriculture’s proposed rule to amend the Horse Protection Act was sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for its final review on February 26, 2024. This move is the last step in the review of the proposed rule before USDA issues the final rule.

The OMB reviewed the proposed rule previously before USDA put out the proposed rule for comment. The industry, through its attorneys submitted comment on the rule during this phase but the contents of any changes made by the USDA after the comment period have still not been released.

The industry is prepared the challenge the final rule if changes were not made to the earlier released proposed rule. The proposed rule seeks to eliminate all Horse Industry Organizations, turn over enforcement of the HPA to USDA solely, ban the use of action devices, pads, and bands as well as change the language of the scar rule.  Organizations that represent both the pleasure and performance Tennessee Walking Horse opposed the rule, each citing that it would eliminate the show horse industry.

The exact time of the review at OMB is not known but could be up to 90 days. The final rule will have an effective date at some point in the future with the initial proposed rule having a 270 day period before it is effective.

Click here to view the proposed rule USDA issued for comments.

Click here to view the Industry’s full comments to the proposed rule.

Click here to view the executive summary of the industry’s comments to the proposed rule.