More Soring Changes in 40 Days Than in Last 40 Years

Following a disgusting video on soring horses that was part of ABC’s television’s May 18 “Nightline,” several  positive steps have been taken that offer hope of finally putting an end to the animal abuse that has for far too long been a part of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry.

We’ve seen more public furor in the past 40 days about eliminating soring than since the 1970 passage of the Horse Industry Act to eliminate equine cruelty.

In early June, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued stronger federal rules that impose serious penalties against anyone found to be soring horses. There will now be mandatory minimum penalties for violating the law.

Over the years, industry inspectors had cited some trainers for soring, but penalties were not consistent and provided no incentive to stop the abuse.

Even politicians are finally weighing in. As one example, Tennessee state representative Janis Sontany wrote in The Tennessean that “Soring has been a well-kept dirty secret in this industry and it’s time for this nonsense to end.”

Vets Ready For Change

In mid-June, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) called for a ban on the use of action devices and performance packages that can be used to intentionally inflict pain in order to accentuate a horse’s gait.

While illegal act for over 40 years, AVMA president Rene Carlson says soring continues to plague the industry. “America’s veterinarians are asking the USDA to prohibit the use of action…

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Frank lessiter

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has spent more than 50 years in the agricultural and equine publishing business. The sixth generation member to live on the family’s Centennial farm in Michigan, he is the Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal.

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