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.
If you have no interest in phoning, scroll down to “Not Crazy About Phoning?” on how to take action online that’s fast and guaranteed.
The Bills + Talking Points
Why should our federal legislators cosponsor and vote for these bills? Here are some talking points to help you put together what you would like to say. When calling, remember to refer to bills by their alpha-numeric title.
Horse Slaughter — H.R.961 & S. 2006 (SAFE Act)
Tens of thousands of American horses are shipped each year to Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered for human consumption — a practice that 80% of American voters oppose.
American horses are not raised for food and routinely given a wide range of medications that are expressly prohibited for use in meat products.
Phenylbutazone (commonly known as “bute”) is a painkiller used legally by more than 85% of US horse owners to treat everyday soreness and inflammation, is banned completely in food-producing animals.
Even so, the problem of horses and burros being butchered for human consumption persists because “kill-buyers” can legally purchase horses at auctions or from unsuspecting owners in order to transport them to slaughterhouses across US borders.
Horse slaughter being a predatory business, various regulatory agency ID documentation systems for slaughterbound horses, including “passports” showing a horse’s origin and medical history, have all miserably failed.
The problem of tens of thousands of American horses being shipped to slaughter across our borders has persisted for far too long, despite overwhelming public opposition to this practice.
The negative food safety and animal welfare concerns associated with the horse slaughter industry are simply too great to continue to ignore.
The US has a moral obligation to outlaw the slaughter of horses for human consumption and prevent unsafe horse meat from entering the human food chain.
Horse Soring — S.1007 (PAST Act)
Horse soring still runs rampant even though laws have been on the books banning this cruel practice for decades.
S.1007 will strengthen and improve current regulations by allowing the USDA to step in since self-policing has flat out not worked over the last 20 years.
It’s companion bill passed the House overwhelmingly by a vote of 333-96.
The PAST Act is an easy, bipartisan solution that every Member of Congress should be able to get behind.
The PAST Act is supported by the American Horse Council, American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners, United States Equestrian Federation, National Sheriff’s Association, and the veterinary medical associations from all 50 States.
Not Crazy About Phoning?
No worries. We’ve got you covered. Or should we say, POPVOX does. POPVOX connects advocacy groups and the public to Congress.
POPVOX will deliver your message directly to your lawmakers. Guaranteed. All you need is to sign up with an email and password, and you can immediately start weighing in on legislation important to you. No need to keep finding your legislators. You will have that information always at your fingertips with POPVOX.
What you have to say not only goes on record with your legislators but can also be viewed by others interested in the same bills you support or oppose. POPVOX helps you keep track of the bills you are for and against. You can follow your bills’ progress, and get updates.
We contacted POPVOX co-founder, Rachna Choudry, asking for her input too.
When advocates ask me about what’s the most effective way to communicate with your lawmakers, I say in-person is the best, and then a call or POPVOX. The key is sharing a personal story about why the issue is important to you or your community. It’s easy to do that in-person, of course, but sometimes it’s more challenging on the phone.
Unlike a petition site, POPVOX allows you to write a personal letter to your lawmaker about a specific issue — but enables you to share that letter with others to inspire further action. It’s a record of your engagement on the issue, and you can then link to it with your friends or on social media.
POPVOX is also integrated with the House Democrats’ intranet system, DemCom, so not only does your letter get delivered to the appropriate Congressional office, but it is also available for staffers to read in their intranet system. (We don’t have that integration with the House Republicans because they don’t have a similar system.)
How about that?
So don’t delay. Contact your Representative to cosponsor H.R.961, the SAFE Act, and both your Senators to cosponsor (1) S.2006, the SAFE Act plus (2) S.1007, the PAST Act. Get on your phone and call or weigh in on these urgent horse protection bills via POPVOX.
And yes you can call about both bills in a single call. You don’t need to make individual phone calls for them.
Horse soring is the intentional infliction of excruciating pain on a horse’s front hooves and lower legs causing them to “snatch up” their front legs in an exaggerated gait called the “Big Lick” prized in Tennessee Walking Horse competitions. It is a vicious and ugly business.
These highly painful treatments are applied not only on competition days, but also throughout the horse’s entire competitive career.
The article opens with:
Have you seen See My Magic?
The 13 year-old Tennessee Walking Horse named See My Magic whose handling outraged horse lovers around the world, was calmly loaded into a trailer behind a pickup truck and driven to an undisclosed location last week on the morning of April 4th, neighbors report. Pierce County Animal Control, which has been involved in this case since 2012, would not give any details.
The chestnut-colored horse had been locked in a stall for at least two years wearing angled performance shoes several inches high, according to owner Ted Taylor of unincorporated Pierce County near Roy, Washington. Animal News Northwest first reported this story in January 2016.
* * * *
When See My Magic‘s story broke online, it created a furious storm across the country through every social media outlet available. Online fundraisers, together with private donors, pitched in and raised more than $20,000 in an attempt to buy the See My Magic‘s freedom. The owner would not sell, couldn’t sell — the horse himself being the evidence of the owner’s laundry list of criminal abuses.
Not surprisingly while all this was going on, the horse’s owner, Pierce County Animal Control, and local and national Tennessee Walking Horse associations remained predictably silent.
“Through it all,” the report states, “See My Magic continued standing — silent and isolated — in his stall, occasionally peering out through the barred window at the rainy world beyond.”
The Dodo reported that See My Magic had not been out of his stall “for years”.
“We suspect the horse has been in the stall for more than three years and possibly even four years without ever having been let outside,” animal activist Nicki Callahan, who lives about 50 miles away in Seattle, told The Dodo.
Suddenly, on Sunday, April 3rd, See My Magic was loaded up and driven off, never to be seen or heard of again.
What happened to See My Magic? Our guess is he was likely killed or sent to slaughter. Dead horses leave a trail. Slaughtered horses do not. They are turned into meat and other products. So slaughter would be a highly useful way for the horse’s now highly notorious owner to get rid of him.
See My Magic was living, breathing evidence of Ted Taylor’s illegal activities and law enforcement’s failure to enforce the law.
Horse soring is not just about the abuse and suffering of walking horses competing for ribbons in show rings. It is about the ongoing mental and physical suffering from beginning to end, during training and competition.
There is a bill pending before Congress, the PAST Act of 2019, that will stop horse soring dead in its tracks. It has passed overwhelmingly in the U.S. House 333-96. It now needs to pass the Senate — an even sterner challenge — difficult but not impossible task, with your help.
Will you give 10 to 15 minutes of your time right now to contact both of your U.S. Senators and ask them to cosponsor S.1007 (the PAST Act of 2019) to help Tennessee Walking Horses and put an end to the abominable practices associated with horse soring?
You can do it online very easily in a few easy steps: 1. Draft your message, 2. Find your two U.S. Senators’ contact forms online, 3. Copy and paste your message into the message box. 4. Hit send!
Your message should include, “Please cosponsor and commit yourself to voting for S.1007, the PAST Act of 2019, which will eliminate horse soring, an abusive, highly painful and sometimes crippling training regimen, used to exaggerate an already naturally, beautiful high stepping gait, for competitions.”
Some senators post e-mail addresses on their websites while others post comment forms. When sending e-mail to your senator, please include your return postal mailing address. It identifies you as a constituent.
Alternatively, you may phone the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the Senate office you request.
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?
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
FEATURED IMAGE Rodney Dick competing in the 2017 Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration on this year’s 2019 Grand Champion, I’m Mayhem. Photographer Unknown.