Sen. Ron Wyden (left) and Rep. Earl Blumenuer (right).

Federal legislators plan bills to restore USDA’s animal welfare records including soring

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


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.

Image from 2015 HSUS Horse Soring Investigation.
Image from 2015  HSUS Horse Soring Investigation.

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.

The 75th Walking Horse Celebration in Shelbyville, Tennessee on August 29, 2013. HSUS.
The 75th Walking Horse Celebration in Shelbyville, Tennessee on August 29, 2013. HSUS.

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.


Fact Sheet »
FAQs »
Images »

9 thoughts on “Federal legislators plan bills to restore USDA’s animal welfare records including soring”

  1. It’s actually a nice and helpful piece of information. I am happy that you just shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.


  2. How we treat our innocent animals (who cannot defend themselves) tells a lot about what kind of a society we are. The practice of soring — or any kind of abuse, including the city carriage-horse trade — IS SHAMEFUL!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So pleased to hear a level of transparency is being restored in USA – this has got to be in the best interests of the animals – who are always the innocent victims. Thank You.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. They ALREADY SAID the regulations and web pages are being reviewed and will be replaced. EVERY SINGLE NEW ADMINISTRATION does the same thing. It is NOT a big deal. REMEMBER: If PETA is involved in something, check your wallet and the gold in your teeth before leaving


    1. PETA does a huge amount of work for the welfare of animals, worldwide. Clearly, you have no respect for what they do and one can only conclude that you regard PETA as a threat.


    2. Sorry, this is a “big deal” whether you think so or not. Try having a read about things related to this administration. If you think it has any compassion for animals you need to give your head a shake.


  5. Hopefully, this means if enough of us (US taxpayers) complain – that will push the politicians to pull back on attempting to hide the abuse & brutality done to our animals! We all need to speak up about this – as we do with all animal cruelty! The groups that promote the “big lick” and complain to their “representatives” seem to be listened to more than the rest of us. The actual TWH industry, which consists of flat shod horses & their owners, wont lose a dime when this cruelty is stopped.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s