H.R.6388 - To amend the Horse Protection Act to designate additional unlawful acts under the Act, strengthen penalties for violations of the Act, improve Department of Agriculture enforcement of the Act, and for other purposes.112th Congress (2011-2012)
Summary: H.R.6388 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)
Introduced in House (09/13/2012)
Amends the Horse Protection Act (HPA) to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to prescribe regulatory requirements for the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to license, train, assign, and oversee persons who are to be hired by the management of horse shows, exhibitions, sales, or auctions and are qualified to detect and diagnose sore horses or otherwise inspect horses at such events. (The soring of horses refers to the application of blistering agents, burns, lacerations, sharp objects, or other substances or devices to a horse's limb to produce a higher gait by making it painful for the horse to step down.)
Replaces the current horse inspector appointment process under which the management of a horse show, exhibition, sale, or auction appoints inspectors with a new process requiring the Secretary to assign USDA-licensed inspectors after receiving notice that management intends to hire such inspectors.
Specifies that the term "management" includes sponsoring organizations and event managers.
Directs the Secretary to disqualify a horse the Secretary determines is sore for specified minimum time periods that increase after the first, second, and third instance.
Prohibits a person from causing or directing a horse to become sore for the purpose of any horse show, exhibition, sale, or auction or allowing any such activity respecting a horse which is sore by the owner of such horse.
Expands a list of activities designated as unlawful conduct under such Act to include a prohibition on showing, exhibiting, selling, or auctioning a Tennessee Walking, a Racking, or a Spotted Saddle horse with: (1) an action device; or (2) a weighted shoe, pad, wedge, hoof band, or other device or material if it is constructed to artificially alter the gait of such horses and is not strictly protective or therapeutic.
Defines "action device" as any boot, collar, chain, roller, or other device that encircles or is placed upon the lower extremity of the leg of a horse in such a manner that it can: (1) rotate around the leg or slide up and down the leg, so as to cause friction; or (2) strike the hoof, coronet band, fetlock joint, or pastern of the horse.
Increases the maximum criminal penalties and maximum civil liability penalties to the United States for certain HPA violations.
Expands the categories of activities the Secretary may disqualify a violator of such Act from participating in to include: (1) transporting or arranging for the transportation of a horse to or from a show, exhibition, sale, or auction; (2) personally giving instructions to an exhibitor; (3) being knowingly present in a warm-up area, inspection area, or other area that spectators are not permitted; or (4) financing the participation of other individuals.
Permits the Secretary to permanently disqualify a person with at least three violations after notice and an opportunity for a hearing.