Practice of soring

The AVMA endorses this position statement, which was developed by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP).

"The AAEP condemns the practice of 'soring,' as legally defined in the Horse Protection Act of 1970 (HPA), to accentuate a horse's gait for training or show purposes. The AAEP supports the efforts of APHIS in the application and enforcement of the HPA as outlined in the APHIS Horse Protection Operating Plan and strongly recommends imposing sufficient sanctions to prevent these practices. As legally defined in the HPA, 'soring' refers to:

  • An irritating or blistering agent has been applied, internally or externally, by a person to any limb of a horse;
  • Any burn, cut, or laceration has been inflicted by a person on any limb of a horse;
  • Any tack, nail, screw, or chemical agent has been injected by a person or used by a person on any limb of a horse; or
  • Any other substance or device has been used by a person on any limb of a horse or a person has engaged in a practice involving a horse, and, as a result of such application, infliction, injection, use, or practice, such a horse suffers, or can reasonably be expected to suffer, physical pain or distress, inflammation, or lameness when walking, trotting, or otherwise moving, except that such term does not include such an application, infliction, injection, use, or practice in connection with the therapeutic treatment of a horse by or under the supervision of a person licensed to practice veterinary medicine in the State in which such a treatment was given."

Literature review

Soring in horses

Related resources

Soring: Unethical and illegal (Fact sheet)

Advocating for horse welfare