Federal Appeals court asked to uphold regulations protecting Tennessee Walking horses


Tennessee Walking horse watches worriedly during horse soring inspections following an undercover operation by HSUS. Photo: HSUS.
Tennessee Walking horse watches worriedly during horse soring inspections following an undercover operation by HSUS. Photo: HSUS.

Regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to prevent the cruel practice of horse “soring” are being challenged in federal appeals court, prompting the Humane Society of the United States to file a friend-of-the-court brief.

The HSUS is asking the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to uphold the regulations, which require uniform mandatory minimum penalties for violations of the Horse Protection Act. The district court in Texas previously ruled against the plaintiffs and upheld the regulations.

The Horse Protection Act prohibits the showing and transporting of horses who have been “sored,” which involves the application of caustic chemicals and other painful training methods used to force horses to perform an artificially high-stepping gait for show competitions. Horse industry organizations are the industry’s self-policing groups that operate alongside the USDA to conduct inspections at Tennessee walking horse competitions.

The USDA finalized the uniform penalties regulations in 2012 and were met with a lawsuit from a horse industry organization, SHOW, Inc., and two participants in horse shows.

The appellants in the current appeal include the individual horse show participants but not SHOW. Their arguments have already been rejected by the district court, and The HSUS’ brief makes clear that they have no legal foundation.

Photo not filed with this Release.

5 thoughts on “Federal Appeals court asked to uphold regulations protecting Tennessee Walking horses”

  1. The human monsters that cause this pain and torment to a horse need long, long prison sentences. No matter what cruelty they have done nothing is done to them other than a small fine if that. And still they fight on wanting to keep making their blood money, hoping it will all be forgot about by the a sleep at the wheel public. Its like the horse slaughter plant wackos that refused to stop until they were forced to.


  2. Just like with anyone who has been abused and injured, it depends on the extent and how long it went on for. Most sored horses are able to recover physically once the storing stops, although some will have lingering pain in the feet, legs (front and back) — wherever there is scar tissue. It is the mental scarring that is most heartbreaking to witness. They look at you with pleading eyes as if to say please do not hurt me. They are so patient while you are trying to help them. A veterinarian of course can give a detailed discussion on this. My information is from firsthand experience with rescuers.


  3. Is Help possible for the already sored horses, can the process be reversed???? Is there relief for their Pain and suffering??????????


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