Target: Barack Obama, President of the United States
Goal: Stop soring, a practice in which horses’ feet and legs are burned with caustic chemicals.
The mutilation of Tennessee Walking Horses’ hooves may soon be banned. Known for their high-stepping gait, these horses endure incredible pain and abuse in order to achieve this gait. In a practice known as soring, caustic chemicals are applied to the feet and front legs of the horses to blister and scar the feet. The hooves are sometimes cut and burned, and there are often several layers of horseshoes nailed into the feet. Because of the pain this causes, the horses adopt a modified manner of walking.
Though this process is illegal, it is still commonplace in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry. An exposé by the Humane Society of the United States recently found that a major training barn used soring tactics regularly, and used other cruel and painful methods to conceal the evidence. Due to lax enforcement of horse protection laws, practices like these are used to train other gaited horses as well, including the Spotted Saddle Horse.
Now, Congress is attempting to further protect these horses and increase oversight on the equestrian industry. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently proposed changes to the Horse Protection Act that would target inspection procedures and show horse training. Almost 200 members of the House of Representatives have so far signed a letter urging President Obama to ensure these changes are implemented before he leaves office. Sign the petition below to show your support for this law, which could protect thousands of horses every year from cruel mutilation.
Dear President Obama,
Despite being illegal, the cruel practice of soring is still rampant in show horse training. Soring sees caustic chemicals soaked into a horse’s foot in order to modify its gait. Some horses have their feet cut or burned, and most also undergo other painful processes such as acid scrubs in order to hide the evidence of this illegal act.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is currently considering improvements to the Horse Protection Act that would improve oversight in the show horse industry. The proposal would also lay specific responsibilities for trainers, managers, and owners so that this cruel practice is more easily punishable. So far, 175 members of the House of Representatives have shown their support for this bill. Please do your best to ensure that these changes are implemented before you leave office.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Clarence Alford