Horse soring inspection. HSUS image.

Trump removes Rule aimed at ending the inhumane practice of horse soring

WASHINGTON, DC — In a nightmare move for horse advocates Trump axed a Federal Rule aimed at ending the inhumane practice of horse soring. The Rule was removed just hours before it was to be published in the Federal Register.

On January 13, 2017 the The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced  “a final rule that includes changes that will help to protect horses from the cruel and inhumane practice known as soring and eliminate the unfair competitive advantage that sore horses have over horses that are not sore.

“The practice of soring is intended to produce a high stepping gait through the use of action devices, caustic chemicals, and other practices that cause horses to suffer, or reasonably be expected to suffer physical pain, distress, inflammation, or lameness while walking or moving.”

APHIS enforces the Horse Protection Act (HPA), a Federal law that makes it unlawful for any person to show, exhibit, sell, or transport sore horses, or to use any equipment, device, paraphernalia, or substance prohibited by USDA to prevent the soring of horse in such events.

“The final rule addresses recommendations made by the USDA’s Office of Inspector General following an audit of APHIS’ horse protection program, which found the existing industry-led inspection program to be inadequate for ensuring compliance with the HPA.  The rule also seeks to address the substantial noncompliance that continues to exist among Tennessee Walking Horses and racking horses and the relationship that continues to exist between the use of certain prohibited items and soring in horses, such as the use of permitted action devices alone or in conjunction with prohibited substances.”

A key provision to ending horse soring was stated in the Rule as follows:

“Beginning 30 days after the publication of the final rule, all action devices, except for certain boots, are prohibited on any Tennessee Walking Horse or racking horse at any horse show, exhibition, sale, or auction.  All pads and wedges are prohibited on any Tennessee Walking Horse or racking horse at any horse show, exhibition, sale, or auction on or after January 1, 2018, unless such horse has been prescribed and is receiving therapeutic, veterinary treatment using pads or wedges.  This delayed implementation allows ample time to both gradually reduce the size of pads to minimize any potential physiological stress to the horses and prepare horses to compete in other classes.”

Tuesday’s Horse reported that on Inauguration Day Trump signed a Memorandum Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies:

“The President has asked me to communicate to each of you his plan for managing the Federal regulatory process at the outset of his Administration. In order to ensure that the President’s appointees or designees have the opportunity to review any new or pending regulations, I ask on behalf of the President that you immediately take the following steps:

continuing in paragraph 2 with:

“With respect to regulations that have been sent to the OFR [Office of Federal Regulation] but not published in the Federal Register, immediately withdraw them from the OFR for review and approval as described in paragraph 1, subject to the exceptions described in paragraph 1. This withdrawal must be conducted consistent with OFR procedures.” [emphasis added].

Trump’s removal of the final Rule from the Federal Register signals the death of the aim of the USDA and APHIS to end the inhumane practice of horse soring.

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27 thoughts on “Trump removes Rule aimed at ending the inhumane practice of horse soring”

  1. We as advocates must speak loud enough for him to hear us. We need to be plastering walls with this and expose the cruelty that will continue to these horses. In addition, we must be loud and strong in our advocacy AGAINST horse slaughter! If we sit back and do nothing, then we might as well have the knife at horse’s throat. Speak up, speak loudly, become an advocate!

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      1. One thing we should keep in mind. I know I have way too many friends on FB; read way too much; spend way too much time. But one thing I HAVE discovered is this: We can sit back and complain all we want regarding horse slaughter, soring, our wild equines (including our donks), but unless we become totally active, contact our elected endlessly and constantly, bring education and awareness, and become a LOUD voice for the voiceless….if we sit back and just complain….then we are no better than the next person. We MUST encourage others to become active advocates as well! This has to be a ground swell! A wave! When we finally get our reps to know us by name because we contact them so much, then we can see a huge change in the welfare of our beloved equines. So, time is wasting….we have work to do. You can go to FB and get tons of info! Let’s ride!

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  2. Reblogged this on Busenkelt! and commented:
    Många av oss hästälskare hoppades på att en av västvärldens mest drabbade showhästar äntligen skulle få skydd mha Obamas lag om att soaring inte skulle få förekomma på amerikanskt territorium. Vi ropade hej för tidigt. Nu är lagen pausad och vad som händer sen – det får vi se. Risken är mycket stor att hästarna i USA fortsatt kan utsättas för att få frätande syror på sina fötter och få sina ben ihopkedjade – allt för showens skull. Ett riktigt bakslag för hästarnas väl och ve.

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  3. Trump is moving forward like a mega bull dozer… Plowing everyone 2-legged & 4-legged that gets in his way. This is unforgivable as he really does not care about our horses & their welfare. We all have to stick together here. This will be the end of the “Safe Act”… & horses being sent to Mexico & Canada for slaughter from the U.S. What about the Wild Horses & Burros becoming extinct, Thanks to him & the misguided agency, namely the BLM… I am furious here!! He knows absolutely nothing about the “Soring Issues” at hand, nor does he care anything about the welfare of the innocent ones & the slaughter houses from hell…. Once again, the US Government is determined to destroy the Native American’s land & their heritage, along with their treasured horses. I feel very angry here… Where is the outrage??? Thanks for listening here. He is CLUELESS!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. He doesn’t care about anyone but himself and his ego: this man has no empathy for anyone or anything.

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  4. I would suggest to you that this may not be
    a deliberate act on the part of McConnell. We don’t know that to be a fact, or do you have evidence to indicate it is? I believe it is simply a part of the transition process, as I described in my previous post. I have some insight as I work for the federal government.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Don’t agree that this is the end of the rule.
    This action is designed to allow incoming cabinet members to have a chance to review and decide on rules submitted by their predecessors in the Obama Admin. There is still a chance that the new Secretary of Agriculture may decide to resubmit it. Perhaps we need to lobby for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I respect your thought Linda but that is not what is happening here. That may be what it is designed for but not exactly what it is being used for. Trump has been sitting in the Oval Office acting like a heat seeking missile destroying one thing after another across the board.

      If Perdue, who was only recently nominated to head up Ag, is appointed there is no reason to expect him to be sympathetic to the recent Federal Rule outlawing pads and chains and re-entering it. McConnell will make sure of it. Look at the Committees McConnell, particularly the Senate Ag Cmte where he wields a lot of power. https://tuesdayshorse.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/sen-mitch-mcconnells-committee-power/.

      Plus Perdue is pro horse slaughter, supports factory farming and so forth. Not encouraging, is it?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Believe we need to go where the facts lead and not be swayed by emotion. Why don’t we wait to see what happens and act accordingly?

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        1. No one at Tuesday’s Horse is being swayed by emotion and we are following the facts. And waiting to “see what happens”? It’s all boots on the ground.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Perhaps you should listen to someone who works in the government. I would bet my next paycheck that the President has no time to deal with an issue that is this far down in the weeds. If McConnell did this, and I have no doubt that he may have, I bet he did so without the knowledge of the President.

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        3. I have been a registered lobbyist for 12 years. I politely decline the invitation to listen to you in this instance. Thank you anyway.

          Liked by 1 person

        4. Why don’t you meet with APHIS and find out what is going on? Then you can inform us of the facts and recommend some actions. Does that fall in the job description of a lobbyist?

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        5. Linda – the new administration’s picks for cabinet secretaries foreshadow exactly what is going to happen. We should not “wait and see”.

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  6. I think Senator McConnell had Trump do this . He has always stopped any law against soring as he gets donations from the TN Walking Horse Breeders Assoc. Evidently neither he nor Trump have any compassion .
    Now the SAFE Act has been introduced as H.R. 113 to stop horse slaughter.. Wonder what will become of it. Big Ag and Farm Bureau are for horse slaughter IMO. Money is all some care about. I hope Karma gets them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a limited and uninformed comment. You are blessed to live in America. Planned Parenthood has helped women and their families all over the world, particularly in countries where women are chattel and forced to bear baby after baby. This also has nothing to do with horse soring and animal cruelty. I had hoped that animal cruelty would be a bi-partisan issue withe universal support. Humans aren’t the only species on the planet even though those with IQ’s in the 60 range may like to think so.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would like to see some specific recommendations on what ordinary people like me can do. I like Linda Dudine’s ideas. Why don’t we start there?

        Like

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