Skip to content

HSUS Comments on USDA Swabs



In contrast to the two foreign substance violations reported by the Tennessee walking horse industry at the 2012 National Celebration in Shelbyville, Tenn., the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s testing revealed that 145 horses out of 190 tested, or 76 percent, were found positive.
 
The Humane Society of the United States has requested that Tennessee Attorney General Robert E. Cooper, Jr. open an investigation into the veracity of public statements made by officials connected to the Walking Horse Trainers Association Enforcement Initiative, the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration and the Tennessee Walking Show Horse Organization about their initiative to detect unlawful horse soring at the 2012 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.
 
The HSUS maintains that this discrepancy raises a serious concern that participants and spectators at the Celebration were falsely assured that horses entered were compliant with the federal Horse Protection Act, when evidence of cruelty and cheating may have been concealed by the organizers of the event. The foreign substance testing is used to detect the presence of painful caustic chemicals that trainers apply to horses’ legs. Other cruel training methods – collectively referred to as “soring” – are used to obtain the prized high-stepping gait of the walking horse.
 
Before the event, both the TWHNC and the TWSHO issued press releases assuring the public that every horse entered at the Celebration would be swabbed and tested for illegal foreign substances used to sore horses or to conceal that a horse was sore. They also promised to release test results promptly during the event and to immediately and severely punish any violators. However, it appears that the industry groups did not swab and test every horse, nor did they release the complete results of the testing, adding to suspicions that some positive test results may have been suppressed to protect the perpetrators.
 
Keith Dane, director of equine protection for The HSUS, said: “The show organizations involved with the Celebration’s swabbing program failed to deliver on promises about protecting the welfare of horses and compliance with the law. We are urging Attorney General Cooper to fully investigate the industry’s deception.”
 
The HSUS’ ongoing effort to protect Tennessee walking horses from abuse includes urging Gov. Bill Haslam to veto the dangerous anti-whistleblower bill, SB 1248, now on his desk. If SB 1248 is passed, it would outlaw the types of investigations that have exposed horse soring and ban one of the few ways animal abuse in stables and on farms is discovered.
 
The HSUS also urges AG Cooper to open an investigation into whether all horses were in fact swabbed and tested for foreign substances at the 2012 Celebration, why the industry’s findings were at such variance with USDA’s testing, and whether any positive tests for foreign substances may have been ignored or concealed by the industry.

To read the full letter from HSUS click here

More Stories

  • Latest Issue Jan 22 18

    Read More
  • KY-HIO new penalty structure and drop in fees

    The Kentucky HIO realizes that civic organizes that put on horse shows sometimes have difficulties raising money to keep their shows afloat. Therefore, we will offer a refund of $2.00 per horse instead of the $1.00 refund we did last year. Read More
  • KWHA Ladies Auxiliary elects 2018 officers

    The Kentucky Walking Horse Association Ladies Auxiliary held they annual meeting at the Four Points By Sheraton in Lexington, Kentucky on Saturday Jan. 13. The annual meeting consists of all new member joining on that day to kick off the new year... Read More
  • 2018 KWHA Board Of Directors & Officers

    The Kentucky Walking Horse Association held their annual general membership meeting on Saturday, Jan. 13 at the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel in Lexington, Kentucky... Read More
  • Obituary - Martin Galen Brumbaugh

    Martin Galen Brumbaugh, 84, of Hickory, North Carolina passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 at his residence. Read More
  • KWHA recognizes Carmichael

    Read More
  • TWHBEA expands budget goals on breeding of 2017

    TWHBEA, the breed registry and oldest association in existence for the Tennessee Walking Horse sees light in the future horizons. Expanding the budgetary goals of the association is a bold step forward in 2018... Read More
  • WHTA Newsletter

    Happy New Year! 2018 will be a very special year for the Walking Horse Trainers Association. We will celebrate our 50th Anniversary for our Association and our National Trainers Show. Working together will make this a successful year. Read More
  • KWHA Banquet and Meetings will go on

    The KWHA Banquet and Membership Meetings will still go on this weekend despite weather. The hotel has agreed to block off additional rooms at the same rate to those who wish to stay upon arrival... Read More
  • ThorSport Hosts American Farm Bureau Tours

    ThorSport Farm of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, hosted four tours for the American Farm Bureau Convention. The convention was held in Nashville and featured speakers such as United States President Donald Trump and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue. Four tours were held at ThorSport farm on Jan. 6 and Jan. 9 with 220 viewing the facility... Read More