To recess or not to recess; to call or not to call

US Capitol Dome and Flag.
US Capitol Dome and Flag. Click to donate to The Horse Fund. Thank you.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — August is typically a time when Congress adjourns for the month and lawmakers return to their constituencies — or in other words, go home.

This is not a typical Congress and August it seems will not be a typical month. Senators are probably the least likely to get out of town even though they seem hard to find except for Sen. Mitch McConnell who is probably afraid to go home.

It may not seem like a good to call. Anytime is a good time!

Offices continue to be staffed regardless of our lawmakers’ whereabouts, so please continue to call. If you cannot connect with anyone at your lawmakers’ D.C. offices, then please call them at their local office nearest you.

Look up your two U.S. Senators here »

Look up your U.S. Representatives here (need your zip +4 code) »

Please continue calling the U.S. House to end horse slaughter »

Join the Horse on the Hill™ Gang »

In the meantime, D.C. appears to be melting down quicker than the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz.  And not from the heat outside.

The Washington Post reports:

Talks between the White House and the Senate’s top Republican and Democrat broke up Tuesday with no progress on raising the country’s debt ceiling, an impasse that threatens a financial crisis if left unresolved.

The Senate and House have 12 joint working days before Sept. 29, when the Treasury Department says it would no longer be able to pay all of the government’s bills unless Congress acts. A default would likely set off a major disruption to the world financial system, with a stock market crash and surging interest rates that could send the economy into a recession.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has urged Congress for months to raise the debt limit, but the White House has lacked a unified message and run into resistance on Capitol Hill, where Democrats and Republicans are at odds on key tax and spending issues.

Diversionary Tactic?

This is possibly a diversionary tactic so we worry while certain among them go about their dirty work unnoticed.

Stay Focused

Do not let this allow you to take your eye off the ball. Keep the pressure on legislators. Don’t let them get away with a darn thing.

Calling all Americans to call their lawmakers in Washington to take a strong stand on behalf of American horses. Photographer unknown.
Calling all Americans to call their lawmakers in Washington to take a strong stand on behalf of American horses. Photographer unknown.

Online Contact

We are not unsympathetic and realize there are some of you who do not feel comfortable making phone calls.

This is a good time to use your lawmakers online contact form. Use the “Look up …” links above to find them. Tip: Write up what you want to say. Review it until you are comfortable. Copy and paste!

Our Legislative Wish List

Here are a few items on our Legislative Wish List for horses. We feel they are all reasonable and doable. What do you want? Add yours in comments.

  1. We want horse slaughter banned.
  2. We want the export of horses for slaughter banned.
  3. We want federally protected wild horses and burros left on public lands to live out their lives at liberty, unharassed by the federal government, as the original law intended.
  4. We want a humane plan developed and implemented to relocate wild horses and burros currently stockpiled  by the federal government and its contractors back to their original lands, or lands similar to the ones they were taken from.
  5. We want our wild horses and burros made safe from any form of human use or interference.
  6. We want the Horse Protection Act strengthened so there is not a single loophole wherein serial animal abusers can get away with the obnoxious and grossly cruel practice of horse soring.
  7. We want a federally appointed Commissioner of Horse Racing to govern what has become a massively abusive and murderous industry rife with drugging and cheating who is also empowered to work with federal authorities to send its culprits to jail for race fixing among other egregious crimes.

What would you like to see? Join us in comments.

Take Action in Your State

Action at the State level concerning slaughter and live export for slaughter is also critical in case we have any sort of failure at the Federal level.

Learn how here »

Thank you everyone. You are massively important to the success of these campaigns and we appreciate your efforts.

Take action against Big Lick Animal Cruelty

HORSE SORING — Calling all advocates against horse soring. Please help sored horses by joining a protest, signing a Petition against it and contacting federal legislators to endorse the PAST (Prevent All Soring Tactics) Act which will close the loopholes in the current law exploited by “Big Lickers”.

What is Horse Soring?

Horse soring is a painful practice used to accentuate a horse’s gait in competitions for big prizes. This is accomplished by irritating the feet and forelegs through mechanical irritants or the injection or application of chemicals.

• Chemical Soring

Chemical soring involves using agents such as mustard oil, diesel fuel, kerosene, salicylic acid, crotonal or croton oil, collodion, and others, on the pasterns, bulbs of heel, or coronary band of the horses.

The resultant burning or blistering causes the horse to snatch up his front legs, accentuating his gait.

These chemicals are harmful, toxic and sometimes carcinogenic. Trainers must use a brush and wear gloves when applying them. The area may then be wrapped in plastic while the chemicals are absorbed.

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

• Mechanical Soring

Mechanical soring can be just as painful chemical soring. Stacks up to 5″ high and filled with a variety of substances for added weight, are attached to the front hooves, causing the horse to stand perpetually in an elevated, unnatural position. This type of shoeing causes chronic, constant pain.

Known as “action devices,” chains worn around the pasterns can range from the mildly annoying to the extremely painful. Alone, the six-ounce chains accepted in the show ring may not harm the horse, but horses sored with heavy chains or chemicals prior to the show date can suffer intense pain in the ring as the lighter chains repeatedly bang against the sore area.

Tennessee Walking Horse with stacks and chains, part and parcel of Big Lick animal cruelty.
Tennessee Walking Horse with stacks and chains, part and parcel of Big Lick animal cruelty. Photographer unknown.
Horse soring radiograph. USDA image.
Horse soring x-ray. Some 49 nails were used to hold the pads together on this Tennessee Walking Horse. USDA image.

New Methods

The above are the most common examples. However, over the years more types of soring designed to be harder to detect have been invented. So the treachery and cruelty surrounding these beautiful and gentle animals continues and all to win big prizes in brutal and ugly competitions.

Horse Soring in Action

Protest

If you are willing to protest horse soring at an upcoming event, please text Clant Seay at 662-380-3367 for further information such as locations and meet up times. Contact him right away. There may be one near you soon. Bring your friends. T-shirts for everyone!

Petition and Support the PAST Act

• Go here to sign the Petition »

• Go here to learn how you can support the PAST Act, H.R. 1847 »

FEATURED IMAGE
The Big Lick performed at the 75th Walking Horse Celebration in Shelbyville, Tennessee on August 29, 2013. HSUS image.

Support HR 1847 a bill closing loopholes in US anti horse soring law

WASHINGTON, DC — On January 13, 2017 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 Trump Administration removed the Rule just hours before it was to be published in the Federal Register.

On March 30, 2017, in response to this move, Rep. Ted S. Yoho [R-FL-3] , joined by 208 originating co-sponsors, introduced HR 1847 — called the PAST Act — “To amend the Horse Protection Act to designate additional unlawful acts under the Act, strengthen penalties for violations of the Act, improve Department of Agriculture enforcement of the Act, and for other purposes.”

HR 1847 is written to close the loopholes in the Horse Protection Act of 1970 that have enabled the cruelty of horse soring to persist.

Identical to the bill of the same name introduced two years ago, the PAST Act contains the reforms that are so urgently needed to crack down on soring – the intentional infliction of pain on the legs and hooves of Tennessee walking horses and related breeds to create the exaggerated gait known as the “big lick.”

HR 1847 will end the corrupt and failed system of industry self-policing and ban the devices used in, and integral to, the soring process.

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

TAKE ACTION

PopVox

POPVOX is our preferred method of contacting U.S. Legislators.

There are many reasons. Chief among them are that POPVOX is used by Congressional staff and lawmakers to see who supports bills, which means you are assured they have received your message and that your voice is counted.

You will also be able to see how well a bill is supported throughout the country, watch who is co-sponsoring it, view comments other constituents are making and more.

All it takes to become part of the PopVox community is to sign up with an active email address and password. Sign up or sign in to PopVox.com and make your voice heard in support of HR 1847.

Check out HR 1847 right now on POPVOX to see how it’s doing.

Congressional Offices Online and by Phone

You can also contact your U.S. Representative via House.gov. Find your U.S. Representative with your 4+ zip code and use their contact form to ask them to co-sponsor HR 1847.

If you know who your U.S. Representative is but you are unable to contact them by online form, the Clerk of the House maintains addresses and phone numbers of all House members and Committees. Call (202) 225-3121 for the U.S. House switchboard operator.

Current Co-Sponsors

HR 1847 currently has 218 co-sponsors. See if your U.S. Representative has co-sponsored HR 1847 here.

If your U.S. Representative has already co-sponsored HR 1847 please let them know you also support it and thank them for co-sponsoring this bill and ask them to please use all their influence to get HR 1847 passed.

There are a total of 535 Members of Congress. 100 serve in the U.S. Senate and 435 serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Endorsing Organizations

The American Veterinary Association (AVMA)
The American Horse Council (AHC)
The Horse Fund

THANK YOU

Please take the time right now to go online and support HR 1847.

With opportunities like PopVox and House.gov you can help and support legislation beneficial to horses virtually anytime day or night. And speak out against the ones that are not.

Thank you for taking action and giving a strong voice to our horses.

HORSE SORING RESOURCES

• Fact Sheet »

FAQs »

• Images »

Roy Exum on Horse Soring: Obama, Hear Our Plea

Updated

ROY EXUM. Source image.
ROY EXUM. Source image.

via THE CHATTANOOGAN

A COUPLE OF weeks ago a letter bearing the signatures of 175 very furious members of Congress was delivered to our nation’s Office of Management and Budget.

It asked that the OMB review a rule amending the federal Horse Protection Act so the Obama administration could kick the shiny stuffing out of the slime that plagues the Tennessee Walking Horse industry.

Right now there is a third try of the PAST Act (Prevent All Soring Tactics) craftily log-jammed in Congress (it has 255 sponsors) and the Senate (49 sponsors).

Both bills are stalled because the slime (that would be the sickening morons who derive pleasure from sadistically torturing horses so they will dance “The Big Lick”) has used a big wad of PAC cash to influence every Republican senator and Congressmen from Tennessee and Kentucky to block it.

A trio of federally elected Big Lick animal cruelty supporters. L to R: Sen. Mitch McConnell, Rep. Marsha Blackburn and Sen. Lamar Alexander.
A trio of federally elected Big Lick animal cruelty supporters. L to R: Sen. Mitch McConnell, Rep. Marsha Blackburn and Sen. Lamar Alexander.

So here come 175 bipartisan members of Congress who are trying to circumvent people like Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander and Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell who blatantly put cash before integrity.

Is this a great country or what? Who would have ever thought President Obama would need to ask the Department of Agriculture to eliminate the “Big Lick” from policing themselves and banning incentives, like stacks on front hooves, chains and the like, because our Senate and Congress can’t get it done?

Tennessee Walking Horse  with stacks and chains, part and parcel of Big Lick animal cruelty.
Tennessee Walking Horse with stacks and chains, part and parcel of Big Lick animal cruelty.

The whole thing is so preposterous you want to gasp.

Last August, at what is now called the World ‘Sore-abration’ in Shelbyville, a stunning 87.5 percent of randomly selected horses showed signs of having being sored.

Louts who have been caught in previous years have testified in Chattanooga’s federal court that the sickening “big lick” dance can’t be achieved without brutalizing the animal.

There is no way it is natural, but it is so very lusty to the perverts that [a] sored Walker’s front hoof actually flew off at a Florida show a few years back.

All the PAST Act wants to do is close in on the cheaters. The Horse Protection Act was written 46 years ago, yet – get this – less than a year ago at the world grand national show there were 87.5 percent of horses that were picked that were hot?

What I can’t get my arms around is the fact that in Tennessee animal abuse is a felony. Where was the Shelbyville sheriff when this was uncovered and, after it was proven, what did that Barney Fife pray about in church?

John Boehner.
John Boehner.

Think about this when you vote in a national or state election.

The PAST Act had more than enough signatures to pass in the last session of Congress, but House Speaker John Boehner, such a bastion of democracy from Ohio, suddenly had such a mad rush of campaign contributions from known “Big Lick” disciples that the bill was never called to the floor. Imagine that.

Can you see why 175 members of Congress – in a way that flies in the very face of true democracy – has to request the Obama Administration to order the Office of Management and Budget to review a rule so the Department of Agriculture can make things right? Wow! Go out a vote for Do-Nothing Chuck.

I’m serious. This isn’t a far reach at all. Think about how Hitler was able to manipulate good and decent German people to do the most despicable things to other human beings because of how they prayed. Now think about the two Republican senators and the seven members of Congress from Tennessee.

 Sen. Bob Corker.
Sen. Bob Corker.

I don’t think Bobby Corker has much room to allow for horse abuse, yet he hasn’t the hand to sign a bill [that] 49 other senators have.

Lamar Alexander has been our governor and the president of Tennessee, but I will never look at him without knowing he is well aware of an evil and, far worse, that he has actively helped perpetuate it. (Steven B. Smith, the head of the “Big Lick” is Lamar’s campaign treasurer in the state.)

The Republican members of Congress are not evil and wicked. But just as the Germans desecrated the Jews, the blood of thousands of Tennessee Walking Horses, most dying far earlier than they should, lies at the feet of David “Phil” Roe, John “Jimmy” Duncan Jr., Charles “Chuck” Fleischmann, Scott DesJarlais, Jim Cooper, Diane Black, and most especially Marsha Blackburn.

Don’t you see? They know it! Yet not a one signed the letter that had 175 signatures from Congress two weeks ago. I’m mad enough to say I believe such shameless unity would have made the Fuhrer giggle.

You say, Roy, that is so low. You cannot dare compare gassing defenseless Jews with putting acid on a defenseless horse’s forelegs! That’s over the line. Oh?

Study after study shows that torturing animals that you “dearly love” is just one of the last stops in a very sick chain. So when our elected politicians show up in Shelbyville for their envelopes, you might want to try to connect the dots once more.

Last week the “Dirty Lickers” got together in Lewisburg and the writing was on the wall. Registry revenue is down $45,000 and membership cash is down $17,000 from a year ago. All the good horse people are gone; today there are less than 5,000 members in the Breeder’s and Exhibitor’s Association and the public’s wrath for the putrid soring methods will never be restored.

US House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky.
US House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky.

Kentucky Congressman Hal Rogers, a “Dirty Lick“ favorite who is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, is banging on the USDA pretty hard.

Rogers ripped Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services Administrator Kevin Shea in such a flagrant way not long ago you wonder how anyone in the Bluegrass State would vote for such a person; the dolt spends more time supporting horse abuse than he does his own constituents. You can’t make this stuff up.

Mr. Obama, on behalf of the majestic Tennessee Walkers, please turn Tennessee’s Republican delegation in Washington into the jerks they most assuredly appear to be.

TAKE ACTION — PAST ACT — H.R. 3268/S. 1121

Please make a brief, polite phone call to your U.S. Representative and your two U.S. Senators to put an end to soring.

You can say: “I’m a constituent, and I urge you to cosponsor the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 3268/S. 1121. If you’re already a cosponsor of the bill, thank you for your support and please do all you can to get this made into law.”

Look up your legislators’ phone numbers »

Calling is a crucial component of taking part in the legislative process. Be influential. Give your voice to these horses. Call today.

PLEASE RE-TWEET

Please go to our Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/horsefund and retweet this message.

RELATED READING

Groups look to Obama to end “soring” of Tennessee Walking Horses; The Tennessean; by Michael Collins via USA Today; June 5, 2016.

MORE FROM OUR WEBSITE

• Horse Soring Fact Sheet
http://www.horsefund.org/horse-soring-fact-sheet.php

• Horse Soring FAQs
http://www.horsefund.org/horse-soring-faq.php

• Horse Soring Images
http://www.horsefund.org/horse-soring-images.php

IMAGE SOURCES

Featured Image, HSUS; Roy Exum, The Chattanoogan; McConnell (politico.com), Blackburn (huffingtonpost.com) and Alexander (washingtontimes.com); Stacks and chains, Unknown; John Boehner, salon.com; Bob Corker, cnbc.com; Hal Rogers, politico.com.