U.S. lawmakers from Tennessee, Kentucky introduce legislation to stop walking horse abuse

U.S. lawmakers from Tennessee, Kentucky introduce legislation to stop walking horse abuse

September 13th, 2012 by Pam Sohn in Local Regional News

A frame captured from video of a Humane Society of the United States investigation show the measures taken to produce the exaggerated stride of Tennessee Walking Horses. In the video, horses are struck with clubs, shocked and have their hooves treated with chemicals and mechanical devices.

A frame captured from video of a Humane...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

To stop the soring of Tennessee walking horses, two U.S. lawmakers from Tennessee and Kentucky today introduced legislation to end the use of action devices and to end self-policing in the industry.

U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., and Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., today introduced the Horse Protection Act Amendments of 2012.

"How we treat animals is a direct reflection of our character, both as individuals and a nation. There is no ribbon, no prize nor championship worth the price of one's humanity," said Cohen in a prepared statement as he announced the move during a Washington news conference.

The proposed amendment for the 40-year-old law aims to end soring - abuse to induce an exaggerated high-step - with three major goals, according to the lawmakers.

- It eliminates self-policing by requiring the U.S. Department of Agriculture to assign a licensed inspector to shows.

- It adds a prohibition on the use of action devices on the horse breeds that have been the victims of soring.

- It increases the penalties on an individual caught soring a horse.

Read more tomorrow in the Chattanooga Times Free Press.