HSUS applaud bid to tighten Horse Protection Act

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This is what a "sored" leg looks like after trainers have applied painful, toxic chemicals.
This is what a “sored” leg looks like after trainers have applied painful, toxic chemicals. © USDA

The Humane Society of the United States has welcomed efforts by two lawmakers to toughen the Horse Protection Act, which outlaws the cruel practice of soring.

Representative. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky, and Steve Cohen, D-Tenn, with original co-sponsors Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., and Jim Moran, D-Va., have introduced H.R. 6388, the Horse Protection Act Amendments of 2012.

This bill is intended to significantly strengthen the act, originally passed in 1970. It would end  industry self-policing, ban the use of certain devices associated with soring, strengthen penalties, and hold accountable all those involved in the illegal practice.

The society said that although the Horse Protection Act was signed into law more than 40 years ago, the systematic abuse of Tennessee walking horses had continued unabated.

“Until Congress strengthens the Horse Protection Act, we expect that unethical trainers and owners will continue their illegal ways and sore horses, in order to win blue ribbons and profits,” society president and chief executive Wayne Pacelle said.

“This legislation will make the Horse Protection Act work better, and it will fortify the existing law and outlaw training methods and devices or implements used to injure horses in these shows.”

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