The AVMA has produced an educational video, in cooperation with the American Association of Equine Practitioners and Department of Agriculture, to provide an overview of soring of gaited show horses and help practitioners identify signs of this abusive practice.
Soring, illegal for more than 40 years, is the intentional infliction of pain in gaited horses such as Tennessee Walking Horses to force them to exaggerate their high-stepping gait while competing in shows. Methods of soring include applying chemical irritants to the feet or pasterns, inserting broken glass between the shoe pads and sole, and using metal hoof bands that are too tight.
"It's time for this egregious form of animal cruelty to end," said Dr. René Carlson, AVMA president. "It is going to take a team effort to put an end to the inhumane practice of soring horses, so America's veterinarians stand in support of government regulators and the walking horse industry in their horse protection efforts."
The new video on soring includes an interview with Elizabeth Graves, a licensed Tennessee Walking Horse judge and a trainer of gaited horses, and Dr. Nat Messer, a member of the AVMA and AAEP animal welfare committees.
The video and additional resources on soring are available at www.avma.org/soring.
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