The Agriculture Department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced a final rule last month that would amend regulations under the Horse Protection Act. While the agency submitted text of the final rule to the Office of the Federal Register, the rule was not officially published prior to the order from President Donald Trump, which froze new regulations for review by the new administration. Consequently, this final rule is on hold awaiting further review by the administration.
While the rule predominately makes changes specific to Tennessee Walking Horses and racking breeds, APHIS underscores and clarifies that the underlying act applies to all horse breeds. Comments AFBF submitted in October did not endorse the rule proposal. The comments highlighted numerous flaws and concerns with the proposed rule changes and asked the agency to provide clarification on several issues including inspection procedures; eligible inspectors; prohibited devices and substances; and which horses are subject to routine inspection.