"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

Thursday, May 5, 2011

NEWS - TWHBEA's Petition Response


TWHBEA released their response to the petition on Tuesday, May 3. I don't have the online link to the response in front of me, but I will post it once I get it. Below is the information from TWHBEA via the Walking Horse Report.


TWHBEA Files Response To Request For Comment

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association (TWHBEA) has filed its response to the request for comment with the United States Department of Agriculture. The USDA posted its notice in the Federal Register regarding the petition for rulemaking and the official comment period runs through June 13, 2011. Anyone can file comments, including individuals.

The TWHBEA Executive Committee voted yesterday, May 2, 2011, to file and release the following response drafted by Tom Kakassy and others from TWHBEA. TWHBEA also decided to file its response individually and not in conjunction with other industry associations. TWHBEA feels strongly it should make clear its position as the official breed registry yet welcomes other associations and individuals to review its response and use it to formulate their own response or comments.

The original petition for rulemaking was filed by the Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the American Horse Protection Association, Inc., Friends of Sound Horses, Inc. (FOSH) and former Senator Joseph D. Tydings.


Now I have to give TWHBEA credit on this one: their response is well written. They also don't affiliate themselves with any HIO, which I also believe is a very good choice.

But, as we can tell, their petition does cater to those who continue to allow soring at their venues. Again, TWHBEA has not chosen to support the new mandatory penalties, and therefore they are also encouraging people to blatantly ignore the law. They also the HSUS in particular in the conclusion of their petition based on conjecture on their part. They say that disqualifying scarred horses for life is an "apparent attempt to stop the showing of padded performance horses," which is absolutely not true--we all know that flat shod horses can be just as susceptible to scarring as stacked horses can as chemical soring is also used on them. Plus they are basing this conclusion on speculation yet again. I can't imagine the USDA would be all that upset if the stacked horse went away; perhaps then some of this nonsense would stop.

TWHBEA also claims that implementing required minimum penalties and permanent disqualification would be "an excessive use of authority." I don't see how the USDA can possibly be excessive in their authority when they've allowed soring to continue for the past 40 years. A sudden change where the USDA is actually using their authority will be a shocker since they've been so complacent in the past. It's kinda like a teenager with a cell phone whose parents pay the bill and he's racked up all kinds of texting charges. The parents try grounding him, talking with him, reasoning with him, all to no avail. Finally, they take away his phone completely, and the teenager freaks out. He's used up all his chances, and the parents have tried to be reasonable. Now it's time to take action so the abuse of this privilege ends.

Overall, it's impossible to trust groups like TWHBEA, SHOW, PRIDE, and all the other HIOs who still have soring violations every year because they are so resistant to ending it. It is possible to end if it the HIOs would stop fighting and start taking the law seriously.

Again, be sure to get your comments in so the USDA can know where we stand and why we want to see a true change to end soring forever!

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