Target: Tom Vilsack, United States Secretary of Agriculture
Goal: Applaud decision to create a stricter law against horse soring, a process where horses’ legs are intentionally mutilated.
The USDA recently announced a strict new rule that will protect horses from soring, a process where the legs of Tennessee walking horses and other related breeds are mutilated to create a high-stepping gait. This is done for horse shows, where the exaggerated gait is prized by judges. To induce this unnatural gait, caustic chemicals are placed on the animals’ hooves and legs, severely burning them and causing extreme pain. While soring is illegal, it is currently very easy for trainers to get around the law. The USDA’s new ruling will make it much harder for trainers to use soring on their horses.
When the USDA’s new rule goes into effect on January 1, 2018, trainers will no longer be able to use stacks and chains on Tennessee walking horses. These barbaric tools cause even more pain while the horses legs are being burned by chemicals. The chains are also attached to the horses’ hooves, giving them the prized gait.
Most of the chemicals used in horse soring are already banned, but they are still often used by trainers. This is because trainers are allowed to self-police under the current Horse Protection Act (HPA). To combat this, the USDA’s new rule states that licensed Horse Protection Inspectors will investigate horse trainers to ensure that soring is not taking place. The managers of HPA-covered events will also have to submit records of their events to the USDA.
This victory for show horses comes after years of tireless work from animal advocates and members of the ForceChange community, who signed petitions like this one. This success is a huge win for horses, but there is still more work to be done. The USDA needs to ensure that this new rule goes through and into effect during President-elect Trump’s time in office. Sign this petition to thank the USDA for protecting horses from senseless pain, and to urge them to be vigilant in ensuring that the rule goes through during the Trump presidency.
Dear Secretary Vilsack,
Thank you for creating a new, stricter rule against horse soring on Tennessee walking horses and other related breeds. While this process is illegal, it is currently easy for trainers to get around the rule. Your new rule explicitly bans many of the devices used in horse soring, including chains and stacks. The new rule also fixes many of the faults in the Horse Protection Act, ensuring more rigorous protections for the animals.
As you know, horse soring is an extremely cruel process used to induce the high-stepping gait trainers strive for. This gives trainers an unfair advantage at shows, while causing unnecessary pain for the horses. Your new, stricter horse soring law will save countless horses from this gruesome treatment. Thank you for standing up for show horses. Now, I urge you to ensure that this ruling goes into effect under the Trump administration.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Mary B