APHIS may bring administrative or criminal complaints against alleged violators of the HPA. Administrative complaints may result in civil penalties of not more than $2,200 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 years for any 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.
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.