This is pretty darn interesting--shows that the same questions we're asking today were being asked 13 years ago.
Eric L. Sakach, Director
The Humane Society of the United States
West Coast Regional Office
Horse Protection Act Public Meeting
August 16, 1996
Red Lion Hotel
2001 Point West Way
My name is Eric Sakach and I am Director of the West Coast Regional Office of the Humane Society of the United States.
It seems to me that there are two types of people present in this room today:
The first group consists of those people who define the pain and suffering of sored horses as a thing of beauty; who want you and the American public to believe that soring hardly exists and that self regulation is working; who are, in fact, responsible for soring horses, and who believe they will be able to continue to do business as usual if they can succeed in pulling the wool over your eyes. In fact, they think it's a "done deal".
The second group consists of people whose ranks include a growing number of exhibitors, trainers, governmental and industry officials, and others who care about horses and who believe the HPA has been gutted, those who believe the current administration is selling out the HPA and that the current situation amounts to a classic case of the "fox guarding the chicken coop", those who want soring eliminated, not regulated; and those who know that the current situation will ultimately be to the detriment of the horses and the industry itself.
I am here to tell you, that with the inevitable national media exposure that is sure to come, the walking horse industry will suffer as much as the horses it is responsible for abusing. But, in this case, the wounds will be wholly self-inflicted and they will make the CNN coverage seem like little more than a scratch!
My questions to you on behalf of the 3.2 million members and constituents of The HSUS are:
-Soring hasn't stopped in 20 years due to the administration's lack of enforcement.
What guarantees do we have that you intend to enforce the Act and finally end this cruel practice?
When will you act?
-A proposed "scar rule" has been submitted to you by the VMOs.
What action have you undertaken regarding this document?
When do you plan to act?
-Earlier, I mentioned that there were two types of people present here today. Which group do you represent?
"Today, Tennessee Walking Horses are known throughout the industry
as the breed that shows abused and tortured horses."
~ Jim Heird, Ph.D., Do Right By The Horse, February 2010
"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity,
you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men."
~ St. Francis of Assisi
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