"Today, Tennessee Walking Horses are known throughout the industry
as the breed that shows abused and tortured horses."

~ Jim Heird, Ph.D., Do Right By The Horse, February 2010

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity,
you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men."

~ St. Francis of Assisi

Sunday, November 20, 2011

NEWS and ARTICLES - HPA Enforcement Receives Additional Funding and is Approved by Obama

BREAKING NEWS!  The USDA has been granted more money to enforce the HPA!  The final bill was signed by President Obama this week, so the approval has come down from the top!  The final decision was to split the difference between the Senate and the House bills.  This is a big deal considering that major cuts were made across the board with the USDA.  But in those cuts it seems that enforcing the HPA won out among a lot of people who want to keep things status quo!

Click here to see the entire Act, H.R. 2112.   Page H.R. 2112 states as follows:

For necessary expenses of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, including up to $30,000 for representation allowances and for expenses pursuant to the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (22 U.S.C. 4085), $816,534,000...of which $696,000 shall be for activities under the authority of the Horse Protection
Act of 1970, as amended (15 U.S.C. 1831).

We need to thank all of the people who worked so hard to get this passed and won the bipartisan support of 125 reps and 34 senators, especially since one of them is from Kentucky and two are from Tennessee!  The list of people to thank that worked so hard are as follows:

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.
Sen. David Vitter, R-La.
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.
Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky.
Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn.
Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn.

Also, don't forget to send your letters to the USDA to congratulate them AND to ask them to put this money to good use!  We need to see more of these cases brought to court, so also send your request to the OIG to get them to do more work like they did in the Davis et. al. case.

Below is an except from this article from the Humane Society Legislative Fund.  This is wonderful news that is going to help save the Tennessee Walking Horse!  THE SOUND HORSE WINS!


There was, however, great news for horses also contained in the committee’s bill: Congress is poised to increase funding for enforcement of the decades-old Horse Protection Act, which has been stuck at the woefully inadequate ceiling of $500,000 since 1976. The minibus provides $696,000 for the Horse Protection Act—almost a 40% jump, and a very important signal that USDA needs additional resources to step up its enforcement of this federal law against widespread cruelty to show horses. (The conferees split the difference, since the Senate bill had $891,000 and the House bill had $500,000). The Horse Protection Act combats the criminal act of “soring” horses, the intentional use of caustic chemicals and sharp objects on horses’ hooves and legs to make it painful for them to step down and give them an artificial, high-stepping gait in show competitions—in other words, deliberate, illegal infliction of severe pain in order to cheat and win prizes.

In fact, in a very tough budget climate, with so many lawmakers focused on deficit reduction this year, we fought hard to keep funding levels strong for a range of animal welfare programs. The HSUS and HSLF worked with Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and David Vitter, R-La., and Reps. Chris Smith, R-N.J., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., to mobilize a sign-on letter, and won the bipartisan support of 125 representatives and 34 senators requesting modest funding levels that are critically needed to implement and enforce the Animal Welfare Act, the Horse Protection Act, the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, the federal animal fighting law, and programs to help prepare for the needs of animals in disasters and to address the shortage of veterinarians in rural and inner-city areas and public health practice. We also worked with Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Reps. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., Phil Roe, R-Tenn., and Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., to push specifically for the increased funding to crack down on horse soring.

Many programs were competing for dollars, and USDA and its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service took sizable cuts overall ($350 million and $47 million, respectively), as did many individual accounts. But, even within this broader political landscape, we were able to maintain consistent or increased funding levels for most animal welfare programs.

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