Lawmakers silent on horse bill

US Rep Marsha Blackburn regarding anti-soring bills says: “…and could potentially eliminate the entire industry and thus the entire breed.” What a ridiculous statement. The silence of our US Lawmakers allows hers to be the only voice heard. Call your US Representative, comment on our website, share this story – let *your* voice be heard. – HfH
From: The Tennessean
By: Editorial Opinion

US Rep Marsha Blackburn says anti-soring law will eliminate Tennessee Walking Horse breed.

US Rep Marsha Blackburn says anti-soring law will eliminate Tennessee Walking Horse breed.

A bill that would greatly reduce animal abuse and strengthen the show-horse industry was brought to the U.S. House of Representatives last week. That only one member of Tennessee’s congressional delegation has shown support for the measure is a sad statement about who is looking out for the interests of this state in Washington.

HR 1518, the Prevent All Soring Tactics bill, was introduced by U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., and is intended to augment the existing Horse Protection Act of 1970. That law did much to improve conditions in the walking horse industry. But it has not kept up with illicit practices now found in some portions of the industry.

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, is a co-sponsor with 216 other lawmakers of the new bill, which would boost the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s inspection and enforcement capabilities at horse shows. And it would expressly forbid use of weighted shoes, hoof pads and chains to force a horse to step higher for competitions.

Animal-rights groups say pain inflicted on show horses through these devices, along with caustic chemicals applied to the animals’ legs, and physical abuse continue despite proven cases of abuse.

Also supporting the bill are W. Ron DeHaven, CEO of the American Veterinary Medical Association, who describes a “culture of abuse” in the industry; and Marty Irby, past president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association, who says, “I have observed more corruption with this industry than I have seen anywhere on Earth.”

They know what is going on, and that it must stop. But people like U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn stand in the way. She claims the bill “imposes excessive regulatory burdens” on the industry “and could potentially eliminate the entire industry and thus the entire breed.”

That’s bunk, and Rep. Blackburn could do better than play the overregulation card. Enforcement and rules to cover new devices are exactly what is needed to save the industry. To say it will eliminate the breed — what does that say about the owners of these horses?

But at least Blackburn has a position, even if it’s the wrong one, and Cohen is on record. Tennessee’s other seven representatives and Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker are silent, even though it affects their state more than any other. Embarrassing.

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  • karen

    I hope any and all reporters who are compiling the ten stupidest statements by politicians in 2013 see her statement. What burden is there in letting your horse be barefoot? Give me a break.

    November 20, 2013
  • Marge

    Well know it makes sense….she is a blonde!!

    November 20, 2013
  • Jade Hawks

    Rep. Blackburn is an idiot OR she’s getting kickbacks from those in the “culture of abuse” to pay for her inane remarks. How disgusting!

    November 20, 2013
  • Margaret

    Can we sore her? Implant heel spurs into the bottom of her feet. Mine look like those old can openers with the hooky thing on them. Mine point downwards towards the ground. Both feet. And when they go bad IT HURTS.

    Make her run around barefoot with them. And put those nasty chemicals on her. Wrap her ankles with tight chains. And force her to stand while she does her work. If she sits she gets whipped in the face or hit with a hotshot.

    There should be no charges filed against those who participate in this.we are after all only exposing her to what in essence she is doing to the horses.

    Heel spurs are not even remotely as bad as the stacks they encase the hoof to. Those stacks weigh between 10-12 lbs each. It is absolute agony for the horse. Horses have been known to literally pull their foot from the hoof wall. Think Barbaro when Dr. Richardson did that hoof wall resection. Only difference is Barbaro was sedated for the operation and given post op meds. These horses aren’t.

    Since I can’t think of a way to encase a human with the stacks they subject the horses to I use heel spurs.

    November 20, 2013
  • LuAnn Keller

    I thought Blackburn was smarter than that. She is very uninformed or stupid. She defiantly does not care if animals are tortured and abused.Alexander and Corker I hope will be voted out. People are sick and tired of them. They need to smarten up and vote against this very unnecessary horse abuse and torture.

    November 20, 2013
  • Cindy Sawwyers

    I thought this was banned years ago. Why do we let it continue? Please stop this cruelty to horses.

    November 20, 2013
  • Michelle

    I heard about this bill and e-mailed my U.S. rep and I hope everyone else who reads about this bill does the same. I am also planning to write to Marsha Blackburn. What an idiotic statement, obviously from an ignorant woman.

    At least that POS Jackie McConnell was charged with a felony and can’t own or train any more horses for 20 years, at which time he will be 81. I just hope he can’t get around that somehow by using other people to do his so-called training for him.

    I’d also encourage everyone to write to the TWH National Celebration in Shelbyville, TN. I did and they ignored me. I only asked them about the fact that most of the horses at the celebration were disqualified for soring in the last two years (since McConnell was convicted) and why was that? Why hadn’t they cleaned up their act yet? Also, interesting to note, Shelbyville held a $100 per person reception in Marsha Blackburn’s honor – no wonder she is against the bill!

    Hopefully H.R. 1518 will pass since the industry’s claims of cleaning this up from the inside certainly isn’t working out for the horses.

    November 24, 2013