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Michael San Filippo
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 USDA video reveals that soring still a problem for walking horses

(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) August 30, 2013—The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has released U.S. Department of Agricultural (USDA) video footage of their veterinarians inspecting a horse to determine if it has been subject to the abusive practice known as soring at a recent walking horse event.


Soring, illegal for more than 40 years in this country, is the harmful act of intentionally inflicting pain on Tennessee Walking Horses and other gaited breeds through the use of chemical and physical means, such as hard acrylic wedged in between a horse’s shoe pads and sole, the application irritants like kerosene or cinnamon oil, or overly tight metal hoof bands. The extreme pain caused by these caustic agents and/or physical devices induces the horse to lift its legs faster and higher, increasing its chance of winning in competitions.


The video, shot earlier this month, shows USDA inspectors testing for and apparently finding evidence of soring.


Recently, the AVMA praised Congress for introducing legislation, the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act (S. 1406), which gives the USDA greater authority to enforce regulations and penalize those involved in the inhumane act of soring. 


“This USDA video underscores the concern that the cruel and illegal practice of soring is still a big problem in the walking horse industry. This is why the AVMA fully supports passage of the PAST Act,” says Dr. Ron DeHaven, CEO of the AVMA. “Despite the fact that soring has been illegal for more than 40 years under the Horse Protection Act, we are still seeing these inhumane practices inflicted on the nation’s walking horses. This new USDA video footage illustrates the need for the PAST Act to strengthen the USDA’s ability to prevent soring and the resulting suffering of the horses who are victims of this practice.”


The USDA video can be viewed on the AVMA’s YouTube channel:


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