USDA Proposal to Strengthen Horse Protection Act

Dan Agri-Business, Equine, Legislative, Livestock, Regulation, This Land of Ours, USDA-APHIS

A proposed rule to strengthen horse protection. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.

horse protection
Flat-shod horse performing the running walk
By DanDee Shots – Milton Horse Show 0206, CC BY 2.0/Wikipedia image

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) seeks public input on a proposed rule to strengthen Horse Protection Act (HPA) requirements.

Announced last week, the proposed changes aim to eliminate horse soring, a practice that gives horse owners and trainers an unfair advantage in walking horse competitions. Walking horses are known for possessing a naturally high gait, but to be more successful in competitions, some owners and trainers use improper training methods to exaggerate a horse’s gait. The methods may cause the horse to suffer from physical pain, distress, inflammation, or lameness while walking and moving.

USDA’s Jenny Lester-Moffitt says, “By strengthening the HPA regulations, we can all work to eliminate soring, which will improve the welfare of horses competing in these shows and level the competitive playing field.”

You can submit comments by searching for the proposal at

APHIS will consider all comments received on or before October 20, 2023.

From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting.

Listen to Sabrina Halvorson’s This Land Of Ours program here.

USDA Proposal to Strengthen Horse Protection Act

Sabrina Halvorson
National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.

Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She primarily reports on legislative issues and hosts The AgNet Weekly podcast. Sabrina is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.