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The End of Soring?

Story ID:8289
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:- Tennessee usa
Year:2012
Person:various
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Will the death knell finally toll for the soring practices
administered to the poor Tennesse Walking Horses? Even though
the practice was outlawed by Congress in 1970 - it has
continued to the present.

How can people flagrantly thumb their noses down at our laws?
Why don't the Congressional people who sponsored this law see
to it that it is obeyed? If they think the people at the USDA
are doing a good job in monitoring such situations, they
should think again.

In my opinion, the USDA is not doing their job responsibly or
adequately. One former brave female USDA inspector got her fill
of the "good ole boys" mentality there. When citing violations
at a factory farm re them, she was told to look the other way
basically. Of course, she is no longer an inspector as she could
not compromise her conscience. And sadly, good inspectors like
her continue to have a hard time because it seems that the
factory farm corporations are considered more important than
the suffering animals.

Years ago I remember being incredulous that egg farmers are
allowed to destroy unwanted male chicks by putting them LIVE
through a shredder. Our writing the USDA re our objection to
this cruel practice were wasted efforts, and it continues to
this day. Can't we come up with a more humane way to deal with
this "problem?" I would love to ask the presidential candidates
their views on this, but I doubt that this is important to them.
Shouldn't it be -as well as the cruelty of CAFOs generally?

In reality, the poor little male chicks are luckier than the
long-suffering battery hens, the gestation pigs, and the dairy
cows living in confined operations - being treated as articles
of production rather than sentient beings who have basic needs
like our own.

NO presidential candidate -to my knowledge was ever asked about
this pressing need - to DISMANTLE the factory farms from hell
or at least to make needed compassionate changes within them.
We need the likes of Gandhi who famously said - "You can judge
a country by the way it treats its animals."

If you care about those male chicks and want to do something
to at least prevent lesser incidences of this happening, the
only thing I can think of is to start consuming less eggs. If
people ate or used less eggs, it will mean less battery hen
incarcerations.

I think I will always be disappointed in our country so long as
we basically don't care about CAFO suffering. If there is one
quality I would hope for any country to have - it is compassion
for humans and animals alike.

The Tennessee Walking horse, like the other animals used for
"entertainment,"- is a blight on the industry. Other forms
of animal exploitation- greyhound racing, dog and cock fighting,
rodeos - even horse racing -all extract their "pound of flesh"
from the suffering of animals. And sadly none of these practices
would exist if they didn't have an audience.

The HSUS recently posted -"The 'Big Lick" Shows Big Changes Are
Needed to Stop Horse Soring." A good number of owners, trainers,
and others associated with horse soring are trying to cover it
up. Per the HSUS "Their scheme (soring) involves the cruel
application of painful irritants, implements, and devices to
the feet and legs of horses. It's done to induce the so-called
"Big Lick," which involves an unnatural, bizarre, and illegally
induced high-stepping gait, all for a blue ribbon."

Anyone who has suffered from a painful corn, plantar fasciitis,
or any other foot malady knows how difficult and painful it is
to walk. And then for these people to consciously inflict
measures of torture to the feet and legs of horses to make them
"high step" in pain is just plain revolting and disgusting.

The HSUS also recently released tape footage by an undercover
investigator which shows Jackie McConnell applying chemicals
onto the legs of horses and cooking them into their flesh. He
was also taped striking horses in the head with a bat or stick
("stewarding"). And this man was the former president of the
Walking Horse Trainers' Association and a Hall of Fame inductee.
Instead, he should have a place in the Hall of Shame.

I also have to bite my tongue re the USDA because in this
instance, they and the HSUS are attacking the industry and are
trying to enforce the federal law re soring. The USDA's new rule
requires that industry inspection organizations impose mandatory
minimum penalties for violations of the Horse Protection Act.
Why only minimum? The horses suffer to the maximum.

Imagine - that at last year's Celebration (what a misnomer) the
USDA swabbed 52 horses for illegal substances used to numb, mask,
or sore horses and EVERY one of them was found in violation of
the law.

We hope, because of this action and with lower attendence from a
disgusted public, the industry will finally make necessary changes
so that soring will be only a terrible reminder of the horrible
suffering past unjustly inflicted on former Tennessee Walking horses.