USDA Urged to Enforce Horse Protection Act at Horse and Livestock Auctions

horse soring

From: Humane Society of the United States

Sored Horse Sold in Violation of Federal Law
horse soring (July 23, 2014)—The public sale of horses bearing evidence of soring is prohibited by federal law, but The Humane Society of the United States has found evidence that some horse and livestock auctions are not abiding. The HSUS urges the U.S. Department of Agriculture to pursue meaningful penalties against auctions that facilitate the sale of sored horses in violation of the Horse Protection Act.

As described in a letter sent to the USDA, The HSUS and Omega Horse Rescue recently rescued an abused Tennessee walking horse from a livestock auction. The horse, now named Dutch, arrived at the auction still wearing tall, heavy stacked shoes used on Big Lick walking horses and with pasterns visibly scarred from years of soring abuse. Following an investigation into the case, the USDA issued letters of warning to several of the individuals who permitted Dutch to be put up for sale illegally. However, The HSUS urges the USDA to make auctions aware that the sale of sored horses is illegal and will not be tolerated, and to prosecute those that fail to comply.

Read the full letter here.


AUTHOR: Amber Barnes
  • arlene

    Once a horse has been sored Is this reversible, can the horse be normal again!!?????????

    July 23, 2014
  • Mary Anne Gardner


    July 23, 2014
  • judye michaels

    Give me a break! At auctions, horses who are lame, blind, emaciated, heavily in foal, just weaned, etc., all get sold and for slaughter. Does anyone REALLY believe anyone associated with the auctions and slaughter pipeline is going to worry about sored horses???
    It’s all about the money and nothing else!!
    Pass the PAST Act and pass the SAFE Act!!!!

    July 24, 2014
  • Maggie Frazier

    They sent him to the auction with the STACKS? Was it possible to locate the owner who did this? Wouldn’t he have papers? Seems to me an owner would pull the stacks & shoes before selling him – but then would it be possible for this poor horse to even WALK? At least he is in a better place now.

    July 24, 2014
  • Robynne Catheron

    I don’t think I understand. Does this mean that previously sored horses will never have the opportunity to be rescued at auction? Not that I want ANY horse to go through auction, but what if it’s the owner’s only option? Please don’t hammer me, I’m just asking. I am die-hard anti-slaughter and anti-soring.

    July 24, 2014