United States Department of Agriculture
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
4700 River Road, Riverdale, MD 20737
July 19, 2012
Re: Final Rule, Docket #: APHIS-2011-0030
Dear Horse Industry Organizations and Associations:
On July 9, 2012, the final rule requiring horse industry organizations and associations (HIOs) to assess and enforce minimum penalties under the Horse Protection Act (HPA) became effective. APHIS notified the HIOs on June 8, 2012 that they must adopt the minimum penalty protocol as well as the appeals process described in this final rule and submit evidence of their compliance no later than July 9, 2012.
As of today, the following HIOs have submitted amended rulebooks showing that they will be following the new regulations: Walking Horse Owners Association (WHOA), National Walking Horse Association (NWHA), FOSH (Friends of Sound Horses), Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association (MFTHBA), International Walking Horse Association (IWHA), Oklahoma Walking Horse (OKA), Western International Walking Horse Association (WIWHA).
APHIS has not received amended rulebooks from the following HIOs: Sound Horse, Honest Judging, Objective Inspections, Winning Fairly (SHOW), Professional Regulation and Inspection for Dedicated Equestrians (PRIDE), Spotted Saddle Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association (SSHBEA), Heart of America Walking Horse Association (HAWHA), Kentucky Walking Horse Association (KWHA). Until the decertification process set forth in 9 C.F.R, § 11.7(g) is completed for the noncompliant HIOs, affiliation with them will not increase show management's liability. Please be advised, however, that USDA will continue its own efforts to enforce the HPA by conducting unannounced inspections at horse shows and focusing its inspection resources at unaffiliated shows and oversight of HIO Designated Qualified Persons (DQPs) that pose an increased risk of noncompliance with the HPA.
Chester A. Gipson
Cc. Dr. Rachel Cezar; National Horse Protection Coordinator