The Horse Protection Act (HPA) amendment, which covered training and licensing of inspectors to enforce the law, and banned chains and large stacked shoes, is one of a number of rules put on hold by the White House on 20 January, Trump’s first day in office.
Soring, the inflicting of pain by chemical or physical means to exaggerate the horses’ gait, making them lift their front legs higher in what is known as “the big lick”, was described by US representative Steve Cohen as “truly one of the worst practices”.
The HPA already bans showing or selling horses who have been sored and prohibits certain equipment, and it was hoped the amendment would mean it was consigned to the history books.
It was due to be published in the US’ federal register yesterday, 24 January, which would have meant its coming into effect.
But the White House issued a memo for all unpublished rules to be withdrawn and sent back to the relevant agencies for review.
“Bureaucratic bungling scuttled a rule that policy makers and executive agencies agreed was the right thing,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.
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“Now only the Trump administration can revive this long overdue rule, which enjoyed enormous bipartisan congressional backing by 224 senators and representatives, and generated more than 100,000 public comments in support.
“We urge the Trump administration to take an honest look at the issue and to publish the rule and adopt it.”