"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

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


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Edited 8/7/13: The new number for the bill in the Senate is S 1406.  PLEASE visit POPVOX to show your support of this bill!  https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/113/s1406

The American Horse Council has announced that HR 1518 has been introduced to the US Senate!  Click here for the webpage.  Copied and pasted below.

We need you to call and write your senator to tell them to please pass this amendment!  This is HUGE!  Use all the evidence you can in your letter: the support from other horse associations, AVMA and AAEP; the settlement of the lawsuit in favor of the USDA; the video of McConnell and his sentencing; the subsequent arrest of Wheelon; EVERYTHING you can think of!  Make it short but sweet, and don't be rude or use harsh language.

To find your senator, go to www.senate.gov and click the Find your Senators choice in the upper right hand corner.  If you want to make sure your message gets to Senators in other states, go to MelissaData and use the Lookups section to find zip codes in other states.

WE MUST BEAT THE LICKERS!  They will be out in force fighting to get this turned around.  LET'S SAVE THE HORSE AND STOP THE ABUSE!


JULY 31, 2013

Copyright © 2013 American Horse Council
Legislation to Eliminate Soring Introduced in the Senate  
On July 31, 2013, Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced the Senate version of the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2013 (PAST act).  The bill is intended to strengthen the Horse Protection Act (HPA) and prevent the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses, Racking Horses, and Spotted Saddle Horses.   Congressmen Ed Whitfield (R-KY) introduced the House version of this bill earlier this year. The AHC supports this bill.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which enforces the HPA, deems soring to involve the use of action devices, chemicals, pads, wedges or practices like trimming a horse's hoof to expose sensitive tissue, so that it causes pain in the horse's forelegs and produces an accentuated show gait for competition.  According to the USDA, soring has been primarily used with Tennessee Walking Horses, Racking Horses, and Spotted Saddle Horses and continues despite the existence of a federal ban for over forty years.
The horse show industry has been regulated by the HPA for over 40 years.  However, the trigger for USDA enforcement of the HPA is the showing, exhibition, auction or transport of a sore horse.  For this reason USDA has focused its efforts on those areas of the show community that involve breeds and activities that are most frequently involved in soring.  If a breed, discipline, or activity is not soring its horses to exaggerate their gaits, then as a practical matter the HPA has likely not adversely affected them and the PAST act, if passed, will not affect them any more than current law.
The bill would amend the HPA to prohibit a Tennessee Walking Horse, a Racking Horse, or a Spotted Saddle Horse from being shown, exhibited, or auctioned with an "action device," or "a weighted shoe, pad, wedge, hoof band or other device or material" if it is constructed to artificially alter the gait of the horse and is not strictly protective or therapeutic.  These new prohibitions would not apply to other breeds and would not prohibit the use of therapeutic pads, or bell boots or quarter boots that are used as protective devices. 
The legislation would also increase fines and penalties for violations for soring, including the potential for a lifetime ban for repeat offenders. 
The bill would create a new licensing process for horse show inspectors, eliminating the current program that uses industry-affiliated designated qualified persons (DQPs).  This program has received criticism because these DQPs are often not independent of the industry they are inspecting.  USDA would be required to train and appoint the new independent inspectors for shows and other HPA-regulated activities that wish to hire an inspector.  Licensed or accredited veterinarians would be given preference for these positions.  The decision to hire an inspector, however, would still be up to the show, sale or auction.  It would not be made mandatory.  Shows or sales that employ DQPs now would begin using USDA-selected inspectors.  Shows or sales that choose not to use DQPs now would not be required to use them should the bill pass.
The AHC supports this legislation, as does the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the American Quarter Horse Association, the American Paint Horse Association, the American Morgan Horse Association, the Pinto Horse Association of America, the Arabian Horse Association, the American Saddlebred Horse Association, the United Professional Horsemen's Association, the Appaloosa Horse Club, Maryland Horse Council, the American Veterinary Medical Association and other groups.  Various efforts have been made since enactment of the HPA forty years ago to stop the soring of horses and they have not worked.  This bill is focused on the problem it is intended to solve and does not adversely affect other segments of the show industry that are not soring horses and have no history of soring horses.    

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