“USDA video reveals that soring still a problem for walking horses” says the headline of an AVMA Press Release. Whatever the video reveals, we are not able to see it.
The links in the AVMA press (see below) are dead. The links are dead because the video was removed by user — the AVMA in this case, at the request of the USDA. We left the dead links in the press release.
In the meantime, HorseTalk NZ reports:
The AVMA posted the video on its YouTube channel on Friday, then later took the video off-line.
The Tennessean reported that an AVMA media contact had confirmed that the USDA had allowed the AVMA to put up the video.
“After it went up, they requested we take it down.”
AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION PRESS RELEASE
SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Aug. 30, 2013 — /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has released U.S. Department of Agricultural (USDA) video footage of their veterinarians inspecting a horse to determine if it has been subject to the abusive practice known as soring at a recent walking horse event.
Soring, illegal for more than 40 years in this country, is the harmful act of intentionally inflicting pain on Tennessee Walking Horses and other gaited breeds through the use of chemical and physical means, such as hard acrylic wedged in between a horse’s shoe pads and sole, the application irritants like kerosene or cinnamon oil, or overly tight metal hoof bands. The extreme pain caused by these caustic agents and/or physical devices induces the horse to lift its legs faster and higher, increasing its chance of winning in competitions.
The video, shot earlier this month, shows USDA inspectors testing for and apparently finding evidence of soring.
Recently, the AVMA praised Congress for introducing legislation, the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act (S. 1406), which gives the USDA greater authority to enforce regulations and penalize those involved in the inhumane act of soring.
“This USDA video underscores the concern that the cruel and illegal practice of soring is still a big problem in the walking horse industry. This is why the AVMA fully supports passage of the PAST Act,” says Dr. Ron DeHaven, CEO of the AVMA. “Despite the fact that soring has been illegal for more than 40 years under the Horse Protection Act, we are still seeing these inhumane practices inflicted on the nation’s walking horses. This new USDA video footage illustrates the need for the PAST Act to strengthen the USDA’s ability to prevent soring and the resulting suffering of the horses who are victims of this practice.”
SOURCE: American Veterinary Medical Association
WHAT IS HORSE SORING?
Soring involves the intentional infliction of pain to a horse’s legs or hooves in order to force the horse to perform an artificial, exaggerated gait. Caustic chemicals—blistering agents like mustard oil, diesel fuel, and kerosene—are applied to the horse’s limbs, causing extreme pain and suffering.
A particularly egregious form of soring, known as pressure shoeing, involves cutting a horse’s hoof almost to the quick and tightly nailing on a shoe, or standing a horse for hours with the sensitive part of his soles on a block or other raised object. This causes excruciating pressure and pain whenever the horse puts weight on the hoof.
Soring has been a common and widespread practice in the Tennessee walking horse show industry for decades. Today, judges continue to reward the artificial “Big Lick” gait, thus encouraging participants to sore their horses and allowing the cruel practice to persist.