"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, June 16, 2011

NEWS and HOW YOU CAN HELP - New Bill S. 1176 Presented to Senate; SHOW Wants HIO Changes

Two issues for the TWH in this post--the bold text indicates the separation between issues.

New Bill S. 1176 Presented to the Senate June 9, 2011

Good news for the sound horse! In spite of Rep. Rogers' attempts to thwart the HPA, a new bill has been introduced the Senate that is going to help with stopping soring and horse slaughter in the U.S. S. 1176: American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011 has some changes that although small, will make it easier for the USDA to detain and inspect sore horses. Plus, the new bill will change the current $500,000 budget to $5,000,000! Click here for the bill's website and click Text to read what the changes are going to be.

The bill was presented to the Senate on June 9, 2011. So it's time to write to your Senators! This is a bit easier since there aren't nearly as many Senators as there are Reps. Go to www.senate.gov, then click on Senators in the upper left area. Choose your state, and then your Senators will come up. Click on their contact links to write to them or call them. A few sentences is enough, and be sure to be reasonable and factual in your letter/phone call. Your message can reflect that per the OIG Report and the AAEP's White Paper, there is clearly a need for a serious change in the HPA to protect the horse and uphold the law. But please write or design your own message--each message needs to be individual to really make an impact.

SHOW Wants Changes to the HIO Groups

From the Walking Horse Report, here is the latest in SHOW's continued attempts to treat any HIO that doesn't inspect the Big Lick like crap. My comments following.


SHOW Seeks Changes to HIO Working Group
Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Editor's Note: The following letter was sent from SHOW HIO President Dr. Stephen L. Mullins to Horse Protection Coordinator Dr. Rachel Cezar. The letter seeks changes to the HIO Working Group based upon the differences in disciplines inspected by the HIOs, HIOs that don't actively check horses and those represented by special interest groups.

Rachel Cezar, DVM
Horse Protection Coordinator
4700 River Rd, STE 6D03
Riverdale, MN 20737

Dr. Cezar,

As we discussed with you and Dr. Gipson on March 9th 2011 in our meeting in Washington, D.C., SHOW believes that it would be appropriate to disband or at a minimum reconstruct the HIO working group. Currently there are 12 identified HIO's. Of those there are several that do not inspect performance/padded show horses. Of the remainder SHOW, PRIDE, HOA and KWHA are the only HIO's that have not accepted the "mandatory" penalties and that affiliate, predominantly, the TWH performance/padded show horse. Also of the remaining HIO's several are utilized by "special interest advocates" who are opposed to the performance/padded show horse and despite clear evidence to the contrary, continue to force their own agenda of improper Rulemaking with the clear intent of eliminating the performance padded show horse. As you are well aware Lori Northrup, representing FOSH, Robin Lohnes representing AHPA (as well as the current secretary or coordinator of the HIO working group), and Keith Dane from HSUS and who provided an affidavit, have all been involved with and/or participated in the HIO working group, and of course signed or provided input to the HSUS Petition for Rulemaking.

In the last several years the overwhelming discussions by the USDA and the HIO Working Group have been regarding issues that affect the TWH performance/padded show horse. This has been nowhere more apparent than in the lst 2 Rulemakings that focus the "mandatory" penalties and possible decertification on the above performance/padded HIO's. As was pointed out and referenced in the latest USDA Rulemaking which states:

"However, if these regulatory changes and the resulting changes in the Horse Protection program do not result in the elimination of soring, we will seriously consider taking substantially more restrictive action, including, but not limited to, prohibiting the use of all action devices and pads, to accomplish the goal set forth by Congress in the Act."

It is therefore extremely clear that the APHIS is completely focused on the TWH performance/padded show horse. Based upon all the above we would request, that in order to facilitate any open and transparent discussions regarding ongoing industry self-regulation, with an effective DQP program, the HIO Working Group should be modified to eliminate any HIO that does not inspect and affiliate more than 25 horse shows. In addition we would propose that a combined Working Group could be effective regarding general matters that affect ALL HIO's, but that a smaller HIO Working Group be formed that inspects and affiliates predominantly the TWH performance/padded show horse - those being SHOW, PRIDE HOA and KWHA only.

We are happy to discuss the above at your convenience but as we discussed and you indicated your understanding, SHOW, thinks it is highly inappropriate to hand an HIO Working Group that is comprised of HIO's whose attendees are merely a facade and place holder for "special interest advocates" against the performance/padded show horse, and any advocate or signatory/participant to the HSUS Petition given the false and inflammatory information that was provided and utilized to skew the facts and data in that Petition.

Dr. Stephen L. Mullins


I really don't understand this particular plea. Of course, they're trying to shut down any HIO that is sound--that's obvious. But they also seem to want to make themselves the only ones who inspect BL horses. This is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard come from the industry. It's feeble and childish. It kinda sounds like a company that makes trucks and cars bitching about other companies that only make cars. What difference should it make to SHOW what HIOs inspect what kinds of horses? Attacking other groups does not make you look good, SHOW--it makes you look like big babies. Do you really think the USDA is going to go OH! THAT'S IT! THAT'S the solution to this mess! Let's give SHOW all the power so they can continue everything and keep those HPA violations a-comin'! PLEASE. If the USDA does any changes to the HIO structure, I imagine they will get rid of HIOs altogether and require only VMOs to be inspecting horse shows. While we know that soring will continue with this as soring at the outlaw shows will be rampant, this will at least put money back into the USDA to continue their work, and it would make it a lot harder to have a sore horse in the ring at major/pointed shows. It would also probably make soring a bit pointless since the horse can't be sore when shown at major shows. Which of course shouldn't be happening anyway, but we are all well aware that it is.

Plus there's this: "It is therefore extremely clear that the APHIS is completely focused on the TWH performance/padded show horse." Um, if you had read the text CAREFULLY, you would see that the APHIS said they would consider " prohibiting the use of all action devices and pads." This includes chains, rollers, and ANY height of pad. This is not targeting the BL horse specifically. The USDA knows that Plantation and Park horses are probably just as sore if not more sore than the BL horses. I would hope they would ban bands and heavy shoes as well.

You know, SHOW, you could make this really easy on yourselves: GET RID OF SORING. You can do it, you just refuse not to. I guess you're not going to go down without a fight, but no one wants to watch a guy with a broken nose and a swollen face flail his arms about like a madman when the audience knows he's lost. How about you just stop soring now and get out with some dignity. Remember: YOU are running yourselves into the ground by continuing to be resistant to the changes. You're not willing to cooperate with the USDA--that's been proven time and time again. Buck up and admit that you need to make some serious changes if you want to keep your precious mechanical machines in the show ring.


Dutch Henry said...

Thank you for your efforts! Soring & pads must be stopped.

Dutch Henry said...

Please check out Mary Ann Kennedy, too on facebook. and her web www.maryannkennedy.com She is very involved in FOSH.

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