WASHINGTON, DC – Oregon’s Sen. Ron Wyden [D-OR] (above left) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer [D-3-OR] (above right) plan to introduce bills to require the U.S. Department of Agriculture to restore records of animal welfare inspections, removed last month, to its web page.
The department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service database went dark shortly after the Trump Administration took office but a plan to end the transparency was under review toward the end of the Obama administration, USDA said last month in explaining the move.
More than 100 members of Congress have written to the department’s acting secretary or Trump demanding that the records of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service be restored. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which relies on the records to call attention to cases of animal cruelty, and five other animal rights groups have sued in federal district court in Washington to have the records database restored.
Records collected pursuant to the Horse Protection Act called attention to the illegal injury of high-stepping Tennessee Walking Horses called soring.
Wyden’s six-page bill, filed Thursday with five co-sponsors, instructs the secretary of agriculture to “maintain and promptly make available to the public in an online searchable database in machine-readable format on the website of the Department of Agriculture information relating to the administration of the Animal Welfare Act . . . and the Horse Protection Act.”
Blumenauer’s identical bill is expected to be introduced on Monday Continue reading »
SOURCE: The Statesman Journal, by Bartholomew D. Sullivan, March 2, 2017
ABOUT HORSE SORING AND TENNESSEE WALKING HORSES
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. Source: HSUS.
THE HORSE FUND