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Republican Politician Wants to Stop Miniature Horses From Being an ADA MandateRepresentative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) has proposed an amendment to the rule in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), that says that businesses must allow customers to enter their establishments with their trained miniature horses. Miniature horses are used as an alternative to other service animals by persons who are blind or by wheelchair users. They are seen as a better alternative because they are stronger, have a longer life-span, are more aware of dangers, and have better stamina and memory. The ADA only limits the use of these horses if their size presents significant safety concerns.
Chaffetz feels that this is a "ridiculous mandate". He says this is too much to ask of small business owners and they should be able to make these decisions independently on a case by case basis. He says this mandate will add to the 1.65 million lawsuits filed each year for violations of federal regulations. $1.75 trillion dollars was spent in 2008 on federal regulations.
Chaffetz said, "That's a massive drag on the US economy. With an average of nine new rules appearing in the Federal Register every day, small businesses with fewer resources struggle to keep up with an ever-changing regulatory environment."
In an interview last week with Fox news he said, "What I object to is the Department of Justice forcing businesses and restaurants.... think about airplanes. Look, even the Miniature Horse Association — and I know, Luke, you subscribe to their monthly magazine — even they have come out and said, look, you can't potty train, for instance, a horse to the same degree you can a canine. And so it just seems like the federal government, the Department of Justice, is going overboard in issuing a rule. Sure enough, they issued a rule, March 15th, and within a week, restaurants being sued in California for not allowing horses into their restaurant. It just seems absurd, just over the top."
The American Miniature Horse Association says 'The American Miniature Horse can be readily trained to be lead or driven, but, in most cases, it would not make a suitable replacement for an animal such as a guide dog'." But in an article written by Andi Mills, a former horse-rider who later became blind, she speaks of many significant advantages miniature horses have over dogs including the ability to be calm in loud or frenzied situations, the ability to see nearly 360 degrees, and the ability to be trained to eliminate at specific times.
Chaffetz amendment was submitted to the Commerce, Science, and Justice appropriations bill to possibly repeal the mandate. The bill has passed in the House and has moved on to the Senate.
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