Tennessee GOP congressional delegation introduces horse soring bill

Jun 10, 2019

Credit hsus.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.  (OSBORNE) -- Animal rights activists are calling a horse soring measure introduced by Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander a “sham bill.”


Soring is the practice of using abusive training methods to force the exaggerated, high-stepping gait Tennessee Walking Horses are known for.  


Alexander has introduced a proposal he says would eliminate soring, but would also protect what the Senator describes as a $3 billion dollar industry and 20,000 jobs.


Republican Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn is a bill co-sponsor. The companion measure in the U.S. House is sponsored by Tennessee GOP Rep. Scott DesJarlais.


In a recent press statement, Senator Blackburn explained the bill would create what she described as "a single Horse Industry Organization" that would oversee horse inspections intended to detect soring. 


Keith Dane with the Humane Society of the United States says allowing the industry to police itself is a serious mistake.

“And it would be staffed or headed by people in the Walking Horse Industry, including trainers that are currently involved in the soring practice. So it’s sort of like letting the fox watch the henhouse.”

A competing bill animal rights activists do support has languished in Congress since 2013.