January 13, 2017–The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to offer its support of the Final Rule (Docket No. APHIS-2011-0009) issued today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) regarding the Horse Protection Act regulations. This rule is designed to eradicate the cruel practice of horse soring in Tennessee Walking Horses and racking horses. The USEF commends APHIS in its efforts to amend and strengthen previous regulations. While always supporting this rule, the USEF submitted a Comment during the proposed rule review period in an effort to prevent what would have resulted in redundant and overly broad regulation that would have unintended consequences for the 29 breeds and disciplines currently regulated by the USEF.
APHIS specifically recognized in the issuance of its final rule the USEF as setting “leading industry standards for equestrian sport” as part of the rationale for limiting the application of the proposed amendments to Tennessee Walking Horses and racking horses.
After an initial review of the APHIS’ final rule, the USEF applauds the strengthened requirements for Tennessee Walking Horses and racking horses. The USEF will continue to review the final rule in its entirety and will keep its membership informed.