Self-policing in walking horse industry a myth; reform bill necessary
It is amazing how much money can be made from the torture of Tennessee Walking Horses. Pam Rogers is spot on. An industry where so much is being made off of soring, is one that cannot be self-regulated. The PAST Act is necessary to get control away from criminal enterprises and back to those who truly value the horse. ~ HfH
From: Lexington Herald Leader Letter to the Editor
By: Pam Rogers: HSUS Kentucky Director
Jim Cortner’s March 16 column, “Walking horse industry committed to self-policing animal abuse,” is mere rhetoric. Horse abuse is indefensible, so he’s trying to feed the public lines about how this abusive part of the industry is cleaning up — but no one’s buying it.
Bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate have signed on to co-sponsor the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 1518/S.1406, which will finally eliminate the cruel methods of soring horses used to achieve the big lick gait.
The USDA’s Office of Inspector General, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, and many others agree that self-regulation in this industry has been a complete failure and should be abolished.
The industry’s “compliance” numbers are bunk: they’re manufactured results from inspections conducted by individuals with conflicts of interest, and they don’t reflect what goes on at shows or in the training process.
Dr. John C. Haffner, a long-time veterinarian who spent a career treating performance walking horses, wrote in a letter to Rep. Ed Whitfield, “The fact is the big lick can only be accomplished by soring. When one soring technique becomes detectable, another one is developed.”
The big-lick faction supports Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s alternative bill because it codifies the corrupt status quo.
The PAST Act’s meaningful reforms are needed to crack down on criminal activity perpetrated by the dark side of this industry — those who profit from abuse at the expense of the welfare of the horses.