Whoa to Horse Soring

Soring Rule to Eliminate Big Lick Suspended by Memorandum

Animal Cruelty Ban?

President Donald J. Trump has suspended the rule to end the abusive practice of soring horses. After the inauguration, his administration froze all pending regulations until his staff can review them.

The order means the soring rule won’t be published in The Federal Register on January 24 as anticipated.

Proponents of the soring ban have been fighting to end the horrific practice although it has been illegal for 40-years. The changes to the Horse Protection Act were supposed to prohibit stacks, chains, and other cruel devices from the Tennessee Walking Horse industry. It was also going to stop what critics call a corrupt inspection process.

Some in the walking and racking horse arenas apply caustic substances or devices to the horse’s hooves and legs to make each step painful. The pain forces an exaggerated high-stepping gait called the “Big Lick”. When the horse’s hoof hits the ground the pain radiates causing the horse to lift its legs quicker and higher.

Opponents of the ban say more walking horses would end up at auction or horse slaughter because their show careers would be over.

President Trump tapped former Georgia Governor ‘Sonny’ Perdue (R-GA) as nominee for Secretary of Agriculture. During his time as Governor, Perdue made dogfighting a felony and outlawed the use of gas chambers by animal shelters. If he is confirmed, the veterinarian may decide what happens to the soring ban.

The order suspending regulations is not unique to President Trump. The Obama Administration did the same thing in 2009.