|Horse Protection Act Petition Filed|
Saturday, August 14, 2010
A petition for rulemaking under the Horse Protection Act was filed last week with the United States Department of Agriculture alleging the USDA has failed to enforce the Act and requesting a number of immediate regulatory changes.
The petition was submitted by The Humane Society of the United States, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, The American Horse Protection Association, Friends of the Sound Horse and former (1965-1971) Maryland Senator Joseph Tydings. The petition requests the following immediate regulatory changes:
1. Permanently disqualify scarred horses from participation in all horse showing activities;
2. Require HIOs to adopt a minimum penalty structure for violations of the Act;
3. Incorporate certain Points of Emphasis into the regulations;
4. Permanently disqualify individuals who have repeatedly violated the Act;
5. Decertify HIOs after their failure or refusal to correct instances of non-compliance with the Act
There has been no official industry response and similar petitions have been filed in the past. The two affidavits included in the petition were from Keith Dane and Lori Northrup and they were both given in April, four months ago.
The long-term effect of the petition is difficult to know. The SHOW HIO has worked with several of the petitioners regarding initiatives for the overall welfare of the horse.
|Butt, TWHBEA Endorse Humane Petition|
Sunday, August 15, 2010
After declining to issue a statement in response to the recently filed petition to the USDA by various humane groups, the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association's Executive Director Stan Butt has been quoted in Horse magazine in support of the petition.
There were several requests made for the TWHBEA to issue a statement correcting the misinformation and general slandering of the breed contained in the petition while pointing out the significant progress made by the SHOW HIO and trainers in enforcing the Horse Protection Act. The TWHBEA has refused to issue any statement in support of SHOW or the trainers and were reportedly not going to make a statement
of any kind.
Unfortunately Butt's remarks as TWHBEA Executive Director have become the official position of the Association until he issues a retraction or another statement is released. Butt's remarks clearly undermine the significant progress that has been made and reinforces the accusations in the petition.
Butt's quote was in an article entitled "GROUP SEEKS STIFFER ANTI-SORING RULES" by Pat Raia of Horse magazine as reads as follows: "As the international breed registry for the Tennessee Walking Horse, we are always concerned about the care and well being of our horses, support any and all HIO's that work to make things better for all show horses."
Some TWHBEA Executive Committee members had requested a conference call earlier to discuss the petition but were denied by President David Pruett. There are reports that some of those same members are attempting to schedule an Executive Committee conference call as soon as possible, although it will not be an official meeting and no action can be taken.
A number of prominent owners and trainers are demanding a retraction from Butt and the TWHBEA but as of yet no such statement has been issued. President Pruett and Vice President Dee Dee Sale have been largely unavailable and have issued no public statements on behalf of the TWHBEA.
Stan Butt, Executive Director of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association, is being widely criticized for two recent decisions that have embroiled the TWHBEA in a major controversy. Butt’s supposed endorsement of the recent petition filed with the USDA by various humane groups and the barring of padded show horse pictures in the VOICE magazine have created a firestorm and the blame is being placed squarely at his feet.
But wait a minute! Stan Butt is a staff member and doesn’t have the authority to make those decisions, or at least he shouldn’t. From all indications, the Executive Committee not only did not make those decisions, they were unaware of them and had an emergency conference call last night to discuss them.
All that leaves is TWHBEA’s top two elected officers – President David Pruett and Senior Vice President Dee Dee Sale – with the authority to make those decisions. Butt’s job is to carry out policy, not make it and it appears he is being made the fall guy for two misguided decisions.
TWHBEA will reportedly be making a statement his afternoon based on last night’s conference call and hopefully will clarify who made these two decisions and the reasoning behind them.
If Stan Butt made them on his own, he should be replaced.
In light of questions from some in our industry regarding a recent “quotation” attributed to Executive Director, Stan Butt, in print, elaboration is in order.
As it always does in occasions requesting quotations, TWHBEA expressed its support of those in the industry who obey existing federal law regulating the inspection of show horses, whether they are flat shod or performance horses, and TWHBEA continues to support the expansion of all disciplines within our breed.
It should be noted to our members that TWHBEA has since learned of the recent private petition to the USDA urging, among other things, more stringent inspection of show horses. In fact, the petition came to light, as far as TWHBEA was concerned, only after the “quotation” was offered, and the “quotation” therefore is misapplied as a reference to the petition.
TWHBEA has the petition under review and expects to participate side by side with the leading Tennessee Walking Horse industry groups uniting to respond to the petition. TWHBEA has appointed its Vice President By Laws and Georgia director, Loyd Hall Black, Jr., to serve as its liaison to the industry groups.
The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders'and Exhibitors' Association held a lengthy conference call last night to deal with the repercussions of two recent actions. The call dealt with Stan Butt's endorsement of the recently filed Humane petition to the USDA and the policy change barring pictures of padded show horses in the September issue of the VOICE.
SHOW Responds to Humane Petition
Monday, August 16, 2010
The SHOW Horse Industry Organization is well aware of the recent petition filed with the United States Department of Agriculture by several humane groups. We take issue with a number of allegations in the petition and intend to issue our response at an appropriate time.
Presently our principal focus is on preparations for the upcoming Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration and our commitment to work with the United States Department of Agriculture and the industry to have the best show humanly possible. Additionally, we have a number of individuals reviewing the petition, checking its facts, documenting its inaccuracies and preparing a full and complete response.
We are disturbed by the petition’s timing and believe it was held until just before the show in an effort to negatively impact The Celebration, to create negative press coverage and to possibly influence the USDA’s inspections at the show. While we believe portions of the petition have some validity, we are disappointed with several organizations and individuals joining in the petition without our input as they have worked with SHOW this year in a joint effort to enforce the Horse Protection Act.
We specifically take exception to a number of the criticisms of SHOW in the petition. In addition SHOW’s experience with the Department is contrary to their allegations and we are committed to continue our open dialog and working relationship with the USDA.
We are appreciative of the letters and comments issued by a number of respected “non” Walking Horse people who have traditionally been critical of the breed. Hopefully we will be able to share those comments in our response.
We appreciate the support of owners, trainers and exhibitors during this very challenging year and we look forward to continuing that cooperation at The Celebration.
I guess what really bothers me is that this is so ridiculous. It's like a child throwing a tantrum. Why can't this industry just stop soring the horses? Why do they continue to fight a losing battle? The rest of the world knows that you are soring your horses, or that you allow sore horses at your shows: we're not stupid. Eventually you are going to be forced to end this, so why can't you throw in the towel now and save face? You'll look a lot more stupid if you don't change yourselves and the USDA has to do it for you.
Here are some of my favorite quotes:
"We are disturbed by the petition’s timing and believe it was held until just before the show in an effort to negatively impact The Celebration, to create negative press coverage and to possibly influence the USDA’s inspections at the show."
WAAAAA! Do we need to call the waaa-mbulance?
"While we believe portions of the petition have some validity, we are disappointed with several organizations and individuals joining in the petition without our input as they have worked with SHOW this year in a joint effort to enforce the Horse Protection Act."