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Whitfield (R-KY) Pushes Elimination of Walking Horse Industry and Risks Ethics Violation



Shelbyville, TN – Today, the Performance Show Horse Association (PSHA) reacted to misleading and inaccurate testimony given by U.S. Representative Ed Whitfield Tuesday to the Rules Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.  Whitfield was pushing to add an amendment to the Farm Bill that would destroy the walking horse industry, an industry that generates hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity each year and tens of millions of dollars to charities throughout the country. In addition, the Whitfield Amendment would add millions of dollars to the cost of the Farm Bill to taxpayers by forcing the U.S. Department of Agriculture to hire hundreds of new inspectors and other personnel.

On Tuesday Whitfield told the Members of the Committee, during a discussion of proposed amendments to the farm bill, that the amendment would only change the industry’s self-inspection process.  What Whitfield failed to tell his fellow Members of Congress is that:

• The amendment eliminates a total division of the equine breed, impacting more than 10,000 horses that would be deemed no longer fit for their intended purpose;
• Take from hard-working taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars of investments and income without cause or any scientific evidence;
• Eliminates the Horse Protection Act’s self-regulation, which is far superior to that of the federal government and which does not need the hundreds of new federal employees required by Whitfield’s amendment;
• Eliminates self-regulation that is far superior than that of the federal government whose services he wants to expand; and
• Creates a federal bureaucracy that will result in a huge cost to taxpayers by increasing the agency’s budget in order to do the same thing that the industry does today at minimal cost to the taxpayers.

One other important fact Mr. Whitfield failed to tell his fellow Members is that he is sponsoring this amendment because his wife is a paid lobbyist for the Humane Society Legislative Fund, one of the main advocates for this amendment.  This action by Mr. Whitfield would appear to be a violation of the House Code of Official Conduct and a violation of House Rule 25, Clause 7.

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