Contender Farms v. USDA, No. 13-11052 (5th Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Mike McGarland and Contender Farms challenge a USDA regulation promulgated under the Horse Protection Act (HPA), 15 U.S.C. 1821-31, requiring that private entities, known as Horse Industry Organizations (HIOs), impose mandatory suspensions on those participants found to engage in a practice known as "soring." The court affirmed the district court's holding as to justiciability where plaintiffs, regular participants in the Tennessee walking horse industry, have standing to challenge the Regulation and present a ripe challenge to it. On the merits, the court held that the district court erred in concluding that the Regulation is a valid application of USDA regulatory authority under the HPA. Accordingly, the court reversed and vacated the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the USDA. The court remanded for entry of judgment in favor of plaintiffs.