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Enforcement Actions

If an HIO fails to impose the proper penalty for a violation of the HPA, APHIS may bring administrative or criminal complaints against the alleged violators. Administrative complaints may result in civil penalties of not more than $3,000 for each violation, and an order disqualifying the violator from showing or exhibiting horses or otherwise participating in any horse event except as a spectator. Periods of disqualification are determined on a case-by-case basis but must be no less than 1 year for the first violation and no less than 5 yearsfor subsequent violations. Civil penalties of up to $3,300 can be assessed for a violation of an order of disqualification. The Act also authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to provide for the settlement of cases by way of consent decisions.

Criminal proceedings may be initiated against individuals who knowingly violate the Act. Criminal penalties include fines of up to $3,000 and 1 year in prison for a first offense. Each subsequent violation may result in fines of up to $5,000 and imprisonment for up to 2 years.

Types of Enforcement Actions

Horse Protection Database Reports

DQP Show Report

Responsible Parties for Horse Found in Violation



Affiliated Show List

HIO Suspension List

Scar Rule Violations (pdf)

Complementary Content