Welcome to Habitat For Horses!|Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Senate, House walking horse soring bills have a chance 

Trainer Jackie McConnell, here seen at Shelbyville’s Tennessee Walking Horse Nation al Cele bration, has been banned from the industry for soring horses. (Photo: File / The Tennessean)





Any bill that leaves the oversight in the hands of the soring industry is not one that will stop the torture of the Tennessee Walking Horse. The poor excuse that this will devastate the industry’s economy should not be an issue. Torture of any animal cannot be tolerated. ~ HfH

From: The Tennessean
By: Scott Stroud

Trainer Jackie McConnell, here seen at Shelbyville’s Tennessee Walking Horse Nation al Cele bration, has been banned from the industry for soring horses. (Photo: File / The Tennessean)

Trainer Jackie McConnell, here seen at Shelbyville’s Tennessee Walking Horse Nation al Cele bration, has been banned from the industry for soring horses.
(Photo: File / The Tennessean)

Tennessee Walking Horses aren’t especially rare, but you don’t see them too often in New Hampshire.

That might explain why the effort to regulate horse soring more vigorously suddenly has a fighting chance.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a New Hampshire Republican, pushed a bill on soring — the practice of inducing the high-stepping “big lick” by pouring caustic chemicals on horses’ hooves or putting painful devices there — through the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation earlier this month.

Her bill bears an uncanny resemblance to legislation offered in the House by Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky. Both are much more aggressive about inserting the federal government into regulating the Tennessee Walking Horse business than the counterproposal offered by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Brentwood.

But here’s the news that jumped off the page the day Ayotte’s bill moved forward: She says her bill had 50 Senate co-sponsors, while Whitfield’s has 268 in the House.

Those are big numbers. And that’s a serious threat to the folks who thought it was safe to go back to letting the walking horse industry regulate itself.

Ayotte didn’t name the co-sponsors, but Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee clearly isn’t one of them.

Tennessee’s senior senator is working on alternative legislation that takes Blackburn’s proposal — which leaves the power of regulation largely in the hands of folks in the walking horse industry — and strengthens it in three ways: 1) by requiring equine veterinarians to be given an advisory role on testing methods and procedures and to have them certify test results; 2) by establishing suspension periods for horses found to be sored; and 3) by requiring term limits for a newly created oversight board.

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