Australian horse welfare taskforce receives federal support

A horse cast off by the Thoroughbred racing industry awaits slaughter for human consumption at the Meramist Abattoir in Queenland, Australia.

The AGE.com.au reports:

“The head of a new horse welfare taskforce, Denis Napthine, has welcomed support from federal agriculture minister David Littleproud, who has promised to make federal department resources available to the working group.

“Mr Littleproud strongly endorsed the new welfare taskforce on Friday, which has been formed to research better post-retirement outcomes for racehorses.

“This is a billion dollar industry and jurisdictions owe it to all those involved in the industry to deliver the best animal welfare outcomes for thoroughbreds.”

— Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud

“The nationally-focused initiative, which has been driven by Thoroughbred Breeders Australia chief executive Tom Reilly, and is being funded by trainers, breeders, bookmakers and race clubs, will feature a four-person panel headed by Dr Napthine, the former Victorian premier and racing minister.

“Champion trainers Chris Waller, Gai Waterhouse and David Hayes are among the industry leaders who have pledged funds towards the initiative. The taskforce plus any research they commission will cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Read more »


We Say

This all sounds very lofty, but it would not be happening at all if it weren’t for the gut wrenching undercover exposé of Australian racehorses being horribly abused then brutally slaughtered telecast by ABC 7.30 last October for the world to see.

Not surprisingly, instead of acting swiftly on this issue, these gladhanders and backslappers are going to sit back, chiefly to see how little they can get away with doing while spending as little as possible and at the same time mollifying the public. This for a “billion dollar industry” that already has its own funding, who should able to figure it out for itself, perhaps set an example, maybe even become the gold standard for the rest of the racing world who all seem to have the very same problem — sending their unwanted horses to slaughter. Instead, they set their politicians to work at taxpayer expense.

Meanwhile. Nothing has stopped. Nothing has changed. Being slaughtered for human consumption continues to be the “post-retirement outcome” for a heartbreakingly large number of Australian racehorses.

Related Post

Ex-racehorses to be rehomed rather than slaughtered under new Queensland plan, Feb. 12, 2020, Tuesday’s Horse

Related Resources

Mass slaughter and abuse of racehorses undermines industry’s commitment to animal welfare, Oct 17, 2019, ABC 7.30 (Undercover Video. Warning: Graphic Content)

Australian racehorse slaughter allegations prompt investigation, Oct 18, 2019, Tuesday’s Horse

Australia opens investigation into ‘industrial’ slaughter of racehorses, Oct 22, 2019, South China Morning Post

FEATURED IMAGE: Horses cast off by the Thoroughbred racing industry await slaughter for human consumption at the Meramist Abattoir in Queensland, Australia.


Fund for Horses Logo

Horse Soring 2019 Year in Review

Image from 2015 HSUS Horse Soring Investigation.

Horse “soring” is when humans intentionally injure horses’ hooves or legs causing them so much pain they step higher in an exaggerated gait prized in “Big Lick” show rings.


U.S. LEGISLATION — H.R.693

January 22, 2019

A strong team of bipartisan lawmakers reintroduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives (U.S. House) to end the cruel practice of “soring” Tennessee walking horses and similar breeds, H.R.693.

H.R.693 is identical to the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act that attracted overwhelming bipartisan cosponsorship from 290 representatives and 46 senators in the previous Congress. The only difference is the title.

The bill has been newly entitled the “U.S. Senator Joseph D. Tydings Memorial Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act”.

January 25, 2019

H.R.693 referred to the U.S. House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce by Committee on Energy and Commerce.

April 3, 2019

S.1007, companion bill identical to H.R.693, introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID). Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

“PRESSURE SHOD” HORSE FOOTAGE

April 19, 2019

Footage released to Animal Wellness Action from a horse owner in Alabama shows despicable and even gruesome mistreatment of horses who are the victims of “soring” — the practice of intentionally injuring the foot and lower legs of horses to achieve a high-stepping gait in horse shows known as the “Big Lick.”

The horse owner identified Joseph Abernathy as the farrier that “pressure shod” the horse by driving hot nails into the part of the hoof where it is known to be the most painful. When the owner found this horse, he was barely able to stand and drenched in sweat despite 40-degree temperatures. The horse’s muscle enzymes became elevated which led to renal failure.

See Press Release »

SAY NO TO ALTERNATIVE LEGISLATION

May 14, 2019

U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Marsha Blackburn, both Tennessee Republicans, have introduced legislation they say will protect Tennessee walking horses and the breed’s tradition. However, the truth of the matter is that they are continuing to shield long-standing abusive practices within the horse soring — or “Big Lick” industry.

Alexander and Blackburn’s bill, called the Horse Protection Amendments Act of 2019, would update the Horse Protection Act of 1970 and mirrors a House version of the bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn. The three have supported similar bills in the past aimed at blocking true anti-soring legislation — the PAST (Prevent All Soring Tactics) Act — which was first introduced in 2014.

U.S. LEGISLATION — H.R.693

May 23, 2019

Motion to place H.R.693 on U.S. House Consensus Calendar filed by Mr. Schrader.

July 19, 2019

H.R.693 assigned to U.S. House Consensus Calendar, Calendar No. 3.

July 24, 2019

H.R.693, bipartisan legislation that promises to end the inhumane practice of horse soring (which became illegal in 1970 but persists due to loopholes in the current law) garnered enough support to receive a vote in the U.S. House, culminating with 307 cosponsors.

The U.S. House Chair announced the Speaker’s designation, pursuant to clause 7(a)(1) of rule 15, of H.R.693 as the measure on the Consensus Calendar to be considered this week.

Mr. Schrader moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended. Considered suspended under the rules.

The U.S. House proceeded with forty minutes of debate.

At the conclusion of debate, the Yeas and Nays were demanded and ordered. Pursuant to the provisions of clause 8, rule XX, the Chair announced that further proceedings on the motion would be postponed at 10:44 p.m.

July 25, 2019

1:52 pm. H.R.693 considered as unfinished business.

1:59 pm. H.R.693 passed the U.S. House 333-96. Roll call vote no 510 (See http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2019/roll510.xml).

This victory marks the first time Congress has moved to strengthen laws against soring since the practice was first banned, states Congressman Ted Yoho. Read more at https://yoho.house.gov/media-center/in-the-news/horse-soring-bill-faces-monumental-vote-supporters-fear-tennessee

U.S. LEGISLATION — S.1007

August 2019

Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association encourages members to contact their U.S. Senators to urge them to sign on as cosponsors of the PAST (Prevent All Soring Tactics) Act (S.1007), stating that on the heels of the recent victory in the U.S. House of Representatives, it is important to keep the momentum going to help pass this critical legislation into law. S.1007 has 31 cosponsors at the time of writing.

CELEBRATION PROTESTS

Citizens Campaign Against “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty advocates rally on the courthouse lawn at the Shelbyville – Bedford County Town Square. NewChannel 5 WTVF-TV (CBS) Nashville, and the Times Free Press (Chattanooga) newspaper covered the historic event.

The group protested outside the grounds of the Celebration several other nights throughout the competition, which ran through Saturday, Aug. 31.

NATIONAL CELEBRATION WINNER A “DICK”

September 5, 2019

On Saturday, the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville crowned its “Big Lick” World Grand Champions — Rodney Dick and “I’m Mayhem.” Although he’s been a serial violator of the Horse Protection Act (HPA) for decades, Dick was allowed to compete on the main stage for a shrinking and increasingly uninteresting event.

It turns out that Dick has very recent violations of injuring the feet of horses — a practice known as horse “soring” — but USDA still allowed him to compete.

Dick will serve a federal suspension for violating the HPA beginning October 1st — with the punishment conveniently taking effect after he got to show his horse at the industry’s main event. The consent decision that Dick agreed to with USDA was signed on December 20, 2018, and it’s a travesty that the suspension was delayed for nearly nine months to allow him to appear at The Celebration so that he was able to participate in the high-profile showring event.

Poor enforcement and delayed sentencing seem to be the new normal at USDA. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and his own Office of Administrative Law Judges have agreed to dozens of consent decisions with serial violators of the Horse Protection Act. Some of the key players in the industry have been cited but their suspensions don’t take effect until 2022! Justice delayed, as the old saying goes, is justice denied.

Read More »

Natalie Jackson-Pritchard shows the horse Champagne Watchout in the World Grand Championship class on the final night of this year’s Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, held in Shelbyville, Tenn., on Saturday night. Champagne Watchout was the only flat-shod (wearing no pads) horse to compete in the class.

NATIONAL CELEBRATION ATTENDANCE HITS 50 YEAR LOW

September 5, 2019

Attendance at Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration fell to a shocking 50 year low — fewer than 25,000 actual attendance (persons occupying seats at the Celebration events).

Based on eye-witnesses and photographs, the 2019 Celebration attendance was under 25,000 for the ten (10) nights of the event.

A lifetime Celebration patron said, “A ten night event has essentially now become a one night horse show.” The 2019 Celebration actual attendance was paltry, except for the first Saturday and the second Friday and Saturday.

REPEAT SUSPENSIONS

September 11, 2019

ALL top three Celebration Trainer BOYZ — Mr. Rodney Dick, Mr. Herbert Derickson and Mr. Gary Edwards — are about to go on USDA Federal Suspension for alleged “HORSE SORING” (“Big Lick” Animal Cruelty to “Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horses), along with the Walking Horse Trainers Association “Trainer Of The Year”, Mr. Phillip Trimble, it sure looks like the whole bowl is chock full of “bad apples”. Seay reported earlier on Rodney Dick (see above).

World Grand Champion “Big Lick” Trainer BOYZ Mr. Rodney Dick upholds “Tennessee Tradition” of going on the USDA federal suspension list for alleged “horse soring” shortly after the conclusion of this year’s Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. (via Clant Seay / BillyGoBoy.com)

MYSTERY DISAPPEARANCE

September 15, 2019

A network of local citizens, referred to as “Theta Net” provided Mr Seay’s publication with classified information that the “Big Lick” World Grand Champion — “I’m Mayhem” — was going to arrive under a veil of secrecy at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, September 13, 2019, for the express purpose of Trainer BOYZ Mr. Rodney Dick exhibiting him at the Tennessee State Fair at 7:00 p.m. sharp.

Then, for whatever reason, “I’m Mayhem” was not exhibited, and a truck and trailer hauled him back to Finish Line Farm at Unionville, Tennessee, which is a suburb of Shelbyville. (via Clant Seay / BillyGoBoy.com)

JUST SAY NO MR MAYOR

September 25, 2019

Almost 5,000 persons have signed a Change.Org Petition in the past three days asking 36 year old Mayor Chaz Molder to take down a picture of a “Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horse that he approved being hung in the Columbia City Hall in mid-August 2019.

Molder had approved City Manager Tony Massey hanging a picture of a “Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horse on the wall at Columbia City Hall about 30 days ago. (via Clant Seay / BillyGoBoy.com)

MEMBERSHIP DOWN

October 17, 2019

The “TWHBEA Chickens” all came home to roost on Friday, October 17, 2019, when the 2019 TWHBEA Director Election Results were posted on the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders & Exhibitors Association Facebook page. The key statistic is the number of “Ballots Mailed” — 3,027.

“This number conclusively proves that the continued decline and demise of TWHBEA (TN Walking Horse Registry) is solely due to it being in the clutches of the ‘Big Lick’ Animal Cruelty Racket”, writes Clant Seay.

In 2013, there were 6,955 TWHBEA members. The dramatic loss of 3,923 persons is a 56% decline in voting eligible members since 2013.

Seay contends, “The shocking decline of TWHBEA can be directly laid at the feet of Mr Steve Smith and his close associate Mr. Walter Chism. They totally own this disastrous situation. They took over TWHBEA in December 2013 thinking that they would go back to the ‘Big Lick’ glory days. They were 100% wrong.”

TWHBEA is denied membership in the prestigious American Horse Council. (via Clant Seay / BillyGoBoy.com)

TAKEN DOWN

October 20, 2019

The city of Columbia, TN chooses the “right side of history” by removing a picture of a “Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horse from City Hall wall. (via Clant Seay / BillyGoBoy.com)

U.S. LEGISLATION

December 30, 2019

S.1007, the U.S. Senate version of the anti horse soring PAST Act (identical to H.R.693), closes the First Session of the 116th Congress with 51 cosponsors.

View Cosponsors here »


SUMMARY— NOT “A FEW BAD APPLES”

Clant Seay reminds everyone that it’s not “a few bad apples”; rather the entire barrel of apples is rotten.

The “Big Lick” is no better than dog fighting and cock fighting. All who practice or support it are guilty because animal cruelty is absolutely necessary to create and maintain the “Big Lick” gait.

Horses do not have a voice, so we protest for them until “Big Lick” animal cruelty no longer exists.

“I have never been more proud of the Citizens Campaign animal welfare advocates, and all the people throughout America and around the world who support them, than I was this year at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. “WE, The People” — CCABLAC are clearly winning for ‘The Horses’. It’s truly heart warming to experience.”

(via Clant Seay / BillyGoBoy.com)

Clant Seay is the founder and leader of “Citizens Campaign Against Big Lick Animal Cruelty” and a major mover and shaker in the campaign to eliminate horse soring.


JOIN THE BATTLE

What You Can Do

Senators Mitch McConnell and Marsha Blackburn will be employing their full arsenal of tricks to defeat S.1007 and keep the “Big Lick” alive.

They can be defeated, but it will “take a nation”. We are that “nation”.

Contact your two U.S. Senators today and ask them to cosponsor and remain steadfast in their support of S.1007 by promoting and voting for its passage.

Need help? Get it right here on Tuesday’s Horse. https://tuesdayshorse.wordpress.com/2019/12/05/lets-get-rid-of-big-lick-animal-cruelty/

Thank you everyone.

Quote of the Day

I'm Mayhem competing in the 2017 Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration.

It’s not “a few bad apples”; rather the entire barrel of apples is rotten. The “Big Lick” is no better than dog fighting and cock fighting. All who practice or support it are guilty because animal cruelty is absolutely necessary to create and maintain the “Big Lick” gait. Horses do not have a voice, so we protest for them until “Big Lick” animal cruelty no longer exists.

— Clant Seay


TAKE ACTION

Contact your two U.S. Senators and ask them to please cosponsor S.1007 — The PAST Act.

Calls are superior. The Capitol Switchboard number is (202) 224-3121. The operator will put you through. Have the name of the Senator you are calling ready!

Not super comfortable about phoning? That’s okay. Our experience is that the following online legislative service is every bit as good. Perhaps even better!

Take action via PopVox. All you need to sign up is an email and password. Your message to your lawmakers is guaranteed seen and counted! Not sure what to say? Get talking points on S.1007 on The Horse Fund’s PopVox Stakeholders Page »

Don’t want to phone? You don’t need to. POPVOX will deliver your message directly to your lawmakers. Guaranteed! No kidding.

It’s great using our talking points but please add how you feel personally about this issue. That really gets lawmakers’ attention.

CLANT SEAY

Clant Seay is the founder and leader of  Citizens Campaign Against Big Lick Animal Cruelty and the main mover and shaker behind the success of the House version of this bill which passed 333-96. Learn more at Clant Seay’s website » See Clant Seay’s Facebook page here »

IMAGE
I’m Mayhem competing in the 2017 Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration. Photographer unknown.

More “Big Lick” trainers suspended; take action

I'm Mayhem competing in the 2017 Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration.

In a commentary published on June 10, 2019 in The Daily Herald Newspaper of Columbia, TN, CCABLAC (Citizens Campaign Against “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty) Founder Clant M. Seay writes concerning flagrant horse soring in Tennessee Walking Horse competitions:

It’s not “a few bad apples; rather the entire barrel of apples is rotten. The “Big Lick” is no better than dog fighting and cock fighting. All who practice or support it are guilty because animal cruelty is absolutely necessary to create and maintain the “Big Lick” gait. There was no truce over Civil Rights in America, nor will there be a truce over “Big Lick” animal cruelty. Horses do not have a voice, so we protest for them until the “Big Lick” animal cruelty no longer exists.

More recently, in a post published on September 11, 2019, Seay informs us:

ALL top three Celebration Trainer BOYZ — Mr. Rodney Dick, Mr. Herbert Derickson and Mr. Gary Edwards — are about to go on USDA Federal Suspension for alleged “HORSE SORING” (“Big Lick” Animal Cruelty to ‘Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horses), along with the Walking Horse Trainers Association “Trainer Of The Year”, Mr. Phillip Trimble, it sure looks like the whole bowl is chock full of “bad apples”.

Seay had already reported Dick’s suspension:

World Grand Champion “Big Lick” Trainer BOYZ Mr. Rodney Dick upholds “Tennessee Tradition” of going on the USDA federal suspension list for alleged “horse soring” shortly after the conclusion of this year’s Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.

In the face of the continued failure of the current law to effectively protect the Tennessee Walking Horse from soring, how can the U.S. Senate fail to pass current legislation that will effectually end it?

S.1007 — The PAST Act of 2019

S.1007 currently has 45 cosponsors. We need a minimum of 60 to give this bill a glimmer of hope. More would be a huge advantage. Why?

A U.S. Senator (possibly more than one; the Clerk wouldn’t specify) has put a “hold” on S.1007 in order to prevent the bill from getting a vote. 60 Senators are required to invoke cloture, a procedure used to break a hold and get a bill its rightful vote by the full Senate.

Action to Take

Type up what you want to say. Go to Senate.gov and find your two Senators. If you don’t know who they are there’s a drop down box where you can sort by State. Click on their links to go to their pages. Click on the email link. Copy and paste your message. Send.

Alternatively, you may phone the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. You will need to know your Senators’ names before calling.

Speak from the heart. This will impress your lawmakers more than anything else. If you have any questions email us at info@horsefund.org or ask us in comments below.

The House version of this bill passed 333-96 due to your participation and hard work. Let’s rid these horses of the extreme cruelty of soring.

Thank you.


FEATURED IMAGE
Rodney Dick competing in the 2017 Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration on this year’s 2019 Grand Champion, I’m Mayhem.  Photographer Unknown.