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It's disgraceful. Despite that regulations have been put in place regarding the humane treatment of show horses, trainers continue to shirk the laws and utilize a painful practice called horse soring. Soring involves whipping, kicking, and shocking Tennessee walking horses' forelegs in order to achieve a high-stepping gait. To relieve pain as a result of the harmful abuse, horses walk with a higher gait that's highly coveted by show trainers.
Soring has been illegal for the past 40 years under The Horse Protection Act. But trainers are still getting away with it. Soring can produce long-term physical damage, such as abrasions, swelling, and extreme prolonged pain.
Sadly, horse soring is yet another case where the desire for profits and recognition is winning out over simple humanity. Press the USDA to stop allowing corrupt trainers to get away with such cruelty — and prosecute them to the fullest extent under The Horse Protection Act.
Dear Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack:
If you think that all show animals in the US are well-cared for and treated humanely, think again. In fact, some show horses are suffering immense pain and distress from a practice called horse soring.
Soring is utilized by trainers of Tennessee walking horses in order to obtain a higher gait that wins prizes at shows. The gait is procured by cutting, hitting, shocking, and chemically burning the horses' forelegs to get them to raise their walking stance. It can cause painful abrasions and long-term physical damage. These horses live anything but 'winning' lives.
Horse soring has been illegal under The Horse Protection Act for over 40 years, but its use is still widespread among Tennessee walking horse trainers. These trainers never have to answer for their actions. It's time they take responsibility for their practices, and it's time we start enforcing the law without exception.
Please begin enforcing the regulations as outlined by The Horse Protection Act. It's about humane treatment of animals — and it's the law.