Over the last few days various equine news outlets such as Horse & Hound have begun to report that Trump has put a stop to these changes, implying with their headlines, perhaps inadvertently, that this is a targeted stop to this specific new regulation.
But don’t panic yet!
What Trump has done is to freeze all pending regulations. Any new regulations – of which there are thousands – that had been forwarded to the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) are to be sent back to the relevant agencies to be looked over before being (hopefully) re-submitted for publication.
This is actually completely normal for a new President and Obama did exactly the same when he took office in 2009. When a new President takes office, new people are appointed to various department positions. Withdrawing pending legislation from the OFR allows these new appointees a chance to go over what has been submitted by the previous administration. In this specific case, the US Department of Agriculture will have to review the regulation again. And it will fall to the new Secretary of Agriculture to approve the Big Lick regulation. It will then be forwarded to the OFR again and they will publish it as part of the Code of Federal Regulations which makes it ‘officially’ part of the law.
Trump has nominated Sonny Perdue to be the new Secretary of Agriculture. Perdue has a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and worked as a vet before becoming involved in politics. While serving as the 81st Governor of Georgia, he made dogfighting a felony and outlawed the use of gas chambers to put down animals at shelters.
So while this might cause a delay, it’s not over yet! There is a petition to ask for the review process to be as quick as possible. At the moment there is no reason to believe it won’t pass in due course.