• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Tales of the Red Tape #6: Equine Equality Under the ADA

    Every business must comply with a mind-boggling range of regulations, but the latest regulatory “guidance” on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may be the last straw—literally.

    Hotels, restaurants, airlines and the like must now modify “policies, practices, or procedures” to accommodate miniature horses as service animals.

    The new guidelines, effective March 15, elevate the regulatory standing of the pygmy ponies over chimps, pigs, goats, iguanas, birds, and rats—all of which have been claimed as service animals by their owners but are not now formally recognized as such by the government.

    According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), which administers the ADA, miniature horses are a “viable alternative” to dogs for individuals with allergies or for observant Muslims and others whose religious beliefs preclude canine accompaniment.

    In determining what constitutes “reasonable accommodation” of an equine, business owners may inquire whether the service horse is “housebroken.” According to the DOJ, horses can be trained through “behavioral reinforcement,” although the agency also recommends that the animals be kept outdoors when not performing tasks—just in case it reverts to natural behavior, evidently.

    Interested in more unbelievable Tales of the Red Tape? Be sure to read the following:

    #1: We See Dead People

    #2: The EPA Is Fueling Nonsense

    #3: Don’t Touch That Dial!

    #4: The Unwitting Peddlers of Toxic Tomes

    #5: Calorie Counts Forced Down Our Throats

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to Tales of the Red Tape #6: Equine Equality Under the ADA

    1. Chris in N. VA says:

      So, in case of a potential tie, would undesireable "emissions" be ruled by — and potentially overrule — any ADA considerations?

      I suppose that's a service horse of another color! (or, should we say pigmy-tation?)

      It could make shopping cart races more interesting, though. Conjurs up images of Ben Hur's most famous action sequence.

      Love all these alphabet-soup agencies. ABCDE goldfish? L, MNO golfish. SMR!

    2. Helen Hackett, 5636 says:

      I know you're not a printing company, but I believe that the Understand America Series would be a wonderful tool for the Tea Party to buy and pass out. I know that I would be willing to buy these booklets and pass them on to others.

    3. West Texan says:

      Down in my rural surroundings, horses are part of the landscape. Seems natural to have them hanging around. They're great listeners too. Especially after both of you downed a few. Cheer up! It can't be all that bad.

    4. Peter Sellers says:

      "or for observant Muslims and others whose religious beliefs preclude canine accompaniment."

      Now when I think of the ADA I'll imagine a blind woman in a burkha riding a pony down the frozen food aisle at Safeway.

    5. Roger S., Mass. says:

      Which only goes to prove: The "dog and pony show" will never end! We're doomed!

    6. Bobbie says:

      Disgusting government overreach and wasted spending of time and money! If this was a free country, it would be the decision and permission of the business owner.

      No government interference or it's expense to ridiculous regulations, are necessary.

      This smells of a "special interest" that with bias the government supports. The government's role of conduct is suppose to be without bias in America. It isn't their role or business to accommodate allergies or beliefs this is the responsibility of the individual and another act of abuse of authority and for government to impose irrational regulations on people who aren't interested or aren't benefited from it but burdened by it, is unAmerican. Where is the line drawn?

    7. Wes in cincy says:

      I sortof suspect a horse's rear-end came up with this idea.

    8. John M Newport Beach says:

      I mourn for my nation when I see this. And I see no evidence that anyone in Congress opposes this or any of a myriad of other petty leftist tyrranies. This overreach is repeated daily in every sphere of life (latest I heard is cheerleaders must cheer at equal numbers of men's and women's games and must cheer with equal enthusiasm). How does one defeat this? Who will stand up and not only say "No More," but "Let's roll this back." Most congressional Republicans don't have the will to rule in the majority, much less to get out of bed some mornings. Republicans all seem to fear criticism from the media and nonprofit world more than they fear their own constituents. What do we do?

    9. Pingback: The State Department’s Passport Inquisition | The Foundry

    10. Pingback: CARE Act Would Rob Wineries of Commerce Clause Protections | The Foundry

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.