Finding cooperation among the USDA and the groups certified by the agency to conduct inspections to enforce the Horse Protection Act and eliminate the soring of Tennessee Walking horses can be a big challenge.
Currently the USDA is forced to use outside inspectors because they are undermanned and underfunded.
In an OpEd for The Tennessean, the writer states:
- “The U.S. Department of Agriculture has wisely taken the first step toward decertification of three organizations that are supposed to regulate the walking horse industry. It should not let any outlandish claims from the foot-dragging groups distract it from this path.
“SHOW Inc. is one of the three, out of 12 horse industry groups, who did not submit amended rule books to federal officials by a July 9 deadline. The rule changes focus on implementing tough mandatory penalties for soring and other abuse of show horses.
SHOW responds in a recently released statement:
“SHOW … has enforced stricter penalties than even the federal government, but this rule was written in a way that allows soring trainers to continue showing their horses, something to which we are totally opposed,” the statement said, quoting SHOW’s Dr. Stephen Mullins.
The OpEd, addressing this, responds:
- “There’s a term for this sort of logic: gaslighting. The USDA accuses you of being lax on soring? Just turn the tables; accuse the USDA of being lax … maybe it will stick.”
- In a few weeks, the biggest event of the year, the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, starts in Shelbyville. SHOW will be there, but so will federal inspectors. If, as SHOW suggested this week, the success of the Celebration will be affected, it will not be because of federal intervention, but because industry groups have had most of a year to do something about horse abuse, and failed miserably.
There’s more to this story, including a lawsuit filed by SHOW against the USDA alleging “the minimum penalty requirement is unconstitutional”.
Interesting in comments is a question I think anyone seeing the undercover footage by the HSUS of Jackie McConnell abusing and beating horses the Tennessee Walkers he trains. Why did it take the corporatized mega animal rights’ group a year to release it?
” . . . the people I have talked to said they would have called the authorities right then instead of waiting a year. After all didn’t Keith [Dane] say what he did was about the horses and they were being tortured every day and then knowing he had video that could stop it he waited a year before he released it.
Chemical soring is the process of putting acidic products and irritating chemicals on a horse’s legs causing pain so the horse lifts his or her legs in an exaggerated fashion commonly called the “Big Lick”.
Mechanical soring includes the use of pressure shoeing causing pain to the bottom of the horse’s feet, again so the horse will lift his or her legs higher.
The practice of soring is most commonly found among gaited horses such as the Tennessee Walking Horse.
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