"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, January 1, 2013

NEWS and RESEARCH - USDA Horse Program Activity Report 2012

We start off the new with the list of inspections performed and violations found by the USDA for 2012.  Click here for the link.  Below is the final page of the report.

What this shows is the number of horses inspected at each show the USDA attended, and then the resulting violations.  It is not a representation of all the horses shown at each show, nor is it a representation of all the horses shown in TWH shows across the country.  The USDA inspected 9,962 horses in 2012 and found 582 violations.  If we take the numbers as is, then this is means that with horses inspected by the USDA and violations found, we have a 95% compliance rate.  (Huh.  Now where's that 98% compliance coming from again?)

Now, I went through and made some changes to the report in red text to show some different types of numbers.  Click here to see the entire PDF file with my changes in red text.  Below is the final page of the PDF with my edits.

I went through all the shows with zero violations and I red-lined the shows that were flat shod only.  The only show I did not red line was the SSHBEA show, and that is because it is common for horses to be sored at SSHBEA shows; this is where Barney Davis showed most of the time.  This removed eight shows from the list, bringing the total amount of horses inspected to 9,199.  This leads to a compliance rate of 94% for 2012.

It's too bad we can't know which inspected horses were BL and which ones weren't.  That would help in our research a lot.  But of course the industry isn't going to let us have THAT information.  It would expose those pesky things called FACTS that totally mess up their lies!  It might be available through the USDA, though, so hopefully I can find that information.

I'm not sure if I posted this information on the blog before, but I thought it was very important to note this information from the USDA concerning the 2012 Celebration.  Click here for the link.

2012 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration Results

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) enforces the Horse Protection Act (HPA) to prohibit horses participating in shows, sales, exhibitions, or auctions from being subjected to soring. To facilitate enforcement of the HPA, USDA established the Designated Qualified Persons (DQP) program. Through this program, show or sale managers hire accredited veterinarians with equine experience or other knowledgeable horsemen who have been formally trained and licensed by USDA-certified horse industry organizations or associations to physically inspect every Tennessee walking horse before being shown. USDA also attends some horse shows unannounced to serve as a second line of defense in detecting sored horses. Working together, USDA and DQPs strive to ensure that only sound and healthy horses participate in shows.

Given the interest in the enforcement of the HPA at this year's Celebration, USDA wanted to post preliminary inspection results now, rather than at the end of the year. This year, USDA and DQPs inspected 1,849 horses and found 166 violations - an approximate 9% violation rate. This rate is slightly lower than the 9.5% violation rate from the 2011 Celebration, during which 2,143 horses were inspected and 203 violations were found.

So, here are the facts:

  • Soring is still going on, and it is not at the supposed 98% compliance rate the industry wants us to believe.
  • When we remove the flat shod only horse shows, the numbers clearly change.
  • The number of violations are just barely decreasing.
  • Between the 2011 and 2012 Celebration, 294 less horses were shown, with 37 less violations.

So if the number of violations are just barely decreasing, where's all of that amazing work the industry has been doing to clean this up?  Shouldn't they be nearly non-existent at this point?

In my truly honest opinion, there is no excuse for these numbers to have to continue.  There should be zero violations every single year.  This is not just a few bad apples or they'd have been caught 40+ years ago.  This is all the same shit, just a different year.

I have some ideas in the works we want to implement starting this month to raise awareness and support for the horses.  So hopefully we will see some real changes this year, if not the end to pads and chains.


Lisa Norman said...

Use FOIA to get BL data. Hope this abuse against the TN Walking Horse ends in 2013 and those that play fair are the winners.

For the Tennessee Walking Horse said...

Thanks very much, Lisa. That's what I was thinking of doing. It can take a while for that process to go through, but it's still worth trying. Appreciate your support!

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