“Republicans Close Ranks to Squash Inhumane Horse Soring…”
Washington, D.C. (WDEF) – U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) finalized a rule that would give the agency authority to ban all action devices and require USDA selected inspectors:
“I am in favor of wiping out the contemptible and illegal practice of horse soring, not wiping out the century old tradition of showing Tennessee Walking Horses as this rule could do. I and other members of Congress introduced legislation last Congress that would end horse soring. I would hope the new Secretary of Agriculture will not concur with this overreaching rule announced during the last few days of the Obama administration and instead will work with Congress to enact legislation that punishes trainers, owners and riders who abuse horses while preserving the opportunity for law abiding horse enthusiasts to participate in competitions that are the basis of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry.”
The Tennessee Walking Horse industry supports more than 20,000 jobs nationwide and pumps $3.2 billion into the nation’s economy.
On Jan. 13th, USDA published the final rule: “Horse Protection: Licensing of Designated Qualified Persons and Other Amendments.” The final rule requires USDA to assume responsibility for training, screening, and licensing horse inspectors and bans the use of all action devices.
In the last Congress, Alexander, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced legislation to take additional steps to end horse soring, while preserving the Tennessee Walking Horse tradition.