"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

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

NEWS and ARTICLES - AVMA & AAEP Release Joint Statement

The AVMA and AAEP released a joint statement today announcing their full support of HR 6388!  The press release can be read here.  I've copied and pasted the article below.

I also found out that at Shelbyville show over the weekend, a BL horse's hoof was sheered off while in the ring.  This can be caused by the band being too tight and the package being too heavy.  The horse was bleeding everywhere, and the rider didn't get off at first and rode the horse into the lineup, then waited for the groom to come help her.

The worst part?  NO ONE DID ANYTHING.  The horse's hoof was bandaged and he was seen limping back to his trailer.  On the thread I was reading, people were saying it was no big deal and a new hoof can be made out of epoxy while the old one grows back.  They were saying it wasn't unusual for this to happen, and lots of people have witnessed it.

Look, I don't know about you, but I once slammed my finger in a car door.  My entire nail down to the nail bed came off.  And it HURT, and I CRIED, and there was lots of blood.  And I don't even walk on my fingers the way a horse has to walk on its hoof.  I can only imagine the agony this poor animal was in, and having to continue to carry his rider to boot...at least in the racehorse world with horses like Eight Belles and Barbaro, the jockey came off as fast as possible and stopped the horse from continuing to run.

This is just another example of why we need the pads and bands out of the show ring. While nothing can be done about this situation legally, there is no reason why it should be happening in the first place.

This is another excellent opportunity to contact your Congress person and ask them to support HR 6388.  Go to www.senate.gov and www.house.gov and go to the upper right corner to find your Congress person. Feel free to include the link to the press release so they can see that not only do groups like the HSUS support this, but true veterinarians do as well.  If vets are saying it's time to get rid of stacks and chains, then that's what we need to do.  And if you've already contacted them, contact them again, especially now that the elections are over with. Make your voices heard when the horses can't!


AAEP, AVMA Call for Passage of H.R. 6388 - Amendments to the Horse Protection Act
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November 19, 2012
Today the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Equine Practitioners issued a joint statement of support for the Amendments to the Horse Protection Act, H.R. 6388.

“Soring is an unconscionable abuse of horses that is used to produce a high-stepping gait—the “Big Lick”—and gain an unfair competitive advantage in the show ring. For decades we’ve watched irresponsible individuals become more creative about finding ways to sore horses and circumvent the inspection process, and have lost faith in an industry that seems unwilling and/or unable to police itself. The AVMA and AAEP are committed to strengthening the USDA’s ability to enforce the Horse Protection Act and ending this abuse for good. We strongly encourage everyone who cares about the welfare of horses to contact their member of Congress and urge them to pass H.R. 6388,” said Dr. Doug Aspros, AVMA President.

Specifically, H.R. 6388:

  • Makes the actual act of soring, or directing another person to cause a horse to become sore, illegal;
  • Requires the USDA (rather than the industry) to license, train, assign and oversee inspectors enforcing the Horse Protection Act;
  • Prohibits the use of action devices (e.g., boot, collar, chain, roller, or other device that encircles or is placed upon the lower extremity of the leg of a horse) on any limb of Tennessee Walking Horses, Spotted Saddle horses, or Racking horses at horse shows, exhibitions, sales or auctions and bans weighted shoes, pads, wedges, hoof bands, or other devices that are not used for protective or therapeutic purposes;
  • Increases civil and criminal penalties for violations, and creates a penalty structure that requires horses to be disqualified for increasing periods of time based on the number of violations; and
  • Allows for permanent disqualification from the show ring after three or more violations.

"The passage of H.R. 6388 will strengthen the Horse Protection Act and significantly increase the effort to end the abuse of the Tennessee Walking Horse," said AAEP President Dr. John Mitchell. "The AAEP encourages all veterinarians to contact their legislators to voice support for the bill and help end the cruel soring of these beautiful animals."

For more information on the AVMA and AAEP’s efforts to stop this egregious abuse of horses, visit the AVMA's Soring Resource Page.

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The American Association of Equine Practitioners, headquartered in Lexington, Ky., was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse.  Currently, the AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its nearly 10,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.

The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 82,500 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities. For more information, visit www.avma.org.

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