"Today, Tennessee Walking Horses are known throughout the industry
as the breed that shows abused and tortured horses."
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Monday, May 30, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
HIOs Reach Penalty Recognition Accord
by: Pat Raia
May 16 2011, Article # 18251
Horse Protection Act (HPA) violators who do not complete all phases of penalties levied against them could be disqualified from exhibiting animals at Tennessee Walking Horse and other gaited horse shows under an agreement reached by a group of Horse Industry Organizations (HIOs).
The HPA prohibits "soring," the deliberate injury of a horse's feet and legs to achieve a high-stepping so-called "big lick" gait. The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service enforces the Act, certifies HIOs that sponsor horse shows, and trains Designated Qualified Persons (DQPs) who are hired by HIOs to inspect horses presented for exhibition at the horse shows they sponsor.
The International Walking Horse Association; National Walking Horse Association; Spotted Saddle Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association; Sound Horses, Honest Judging, Objective Inspections, Wining Fairly; Kentucky Walking Horse Association; Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association; Western International Walking Horse Association; Heart of America Walking Horse Association; Oklahoma Walking Horse Association; Walking Horse Owners Association; Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH); and Professional Regulation and Inspection for Dedicated Equestrians (PRIDE), all agreed to mutually honor fine penalties issued for HPA violations, said FOSH president Lori Northrup.
Under the agreement, the 12 HIOs will all consider an individual on suspension until all fines connected to the violation are paid. The USDA's HPA violators database will be used as a source for penalty information, Northrup said.
The agreement is intended to prevent HPA violators from exhibiting animals until they have completed all phases of penalties levied against them.
"Some HIOs issue a fine and a suspension for HPA violations, but some people will just complete the suspension phase of the penalty and not pay the fine," Northrup said. "This closes that loophole."
Sue Hamilton, director of PRIDE, views the agreement as a positive step toward promoting HPA compliance.
"We're going to have to work together if we want to make progress," Hamilton said.
David Sacks, APHIS spokesman, said the agency welcomes the HIOs’ decision to collaborate.
“By agreeing to honor each others' Horse Protection Act penalty actions, the HIOs will further assist in our combined efforts to prohibit sored horses from participating in shows, sales, exhibitions, or auctions,” Sacks said.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
TWHBEA Files Response To Request For Comment
Tuesday, May 03, 2011
The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association (TWHBEA) has filed its response to the request for comment with the United States Department of Agriculture. The USDA posted its notice in the Federal Register regarding the petition for rulemaking and the official comment period runs through June 13, 2011. Anyone can file comments, including individuals.
The TWHBEA Executive Committee voted yesterday, May 2, 2011, to file and release the following response drafted by Tom Kakassy and others from TWHBEA. TWHBEA also decided to file its response individually and not in conjunction with other industry associations. TWHBEA feels strongly it should make clear its position as the official breed registry yet welcomes other associations and individuals to review its response and use it to formulate their own response or comments.
The original petition for rulemaking was filed by the Humane Society of the
Now I have to give TWHBEA credit on this one: their response is well written. They also don't affiliate themselves with any HIO, which I also believe is a very good choice.
But, as we can tell, their petition does cater to those who continue to allow soring at their venues. Again, TWHBEA has not chosen to support the new mandatory penalties, and therefore they are also encouraging people to blatantly ignore the law. They also the HSUS in particular in the conclusion of their petition based on conjecture on their part. They say that disqualifying scarred horses for life is an "apparent attempt to stop the showing of padded performance horses," which is absolutely not true--we all know that flat shod horses can be just as susceptible to scarring as stacked horses can as chemical soring is also used on them. Plus they are basing this conclusion on speculation yet again. I can't imagine the USDA would be all that upset if the stacked horse went away; perhaps then some of this nonsense would stop.
TWHBEA also claims that implementing required minimum penalties and permanent disqualification would be "an excessive use of authority." I don't see how the USDA can possibly be excessive in their authority when they've allowed soring to continue for the past 40 years. A sudden change where the USDA is actually using their authority will be a shocker since they've been so complacent in the past. It's kinda like a teenager with a cell phone whose parents pay the bill and he's racked up all kinds of texting charges. The parents try grounding him, talking with him, reasoning with him, all to no avail. Finally, they take away his phone completely, and the teenager freaks out. He's used up all his chances, and the parents have tried to be reasonable. Now it's time to take action so the abuse of this privilege ends.
Overall, it's impossible to trust groups like TWHBEA, SHOW, PRIDE, and all the other HIOs who still have soring violations every year because they are so resistant to ending it. It is possible to end if it the HIOs would stop fighting and start taking the law seriously.
Again, be sure to get your comments in so the USDA can know where we stand and why we want to see a true change to end soring forever!
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