Skip to content

Tennessee Equine Protection Act - Update

By Christy Howard Parsons

Copyright WHR 2007

Update:  Report Publisher David L. Howard spoke with the Tennessee Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey on Friday regarding  the Tennessee Equine Protection Act and was assured that Ramsey would take a careful look at the Senate bill.  Howard, who is also Chairman of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, pointed out a number of issues with the bill and will see Ramsey again on Tuesday night for a follow-up.

Howard also spoke with State Senator Jim Tracy of Shelbyville and he has assured him that he is watching the legislation
very carefully.


A new Tennessee Equine Protection Act has been introduced in Tennessee’s General Assembly by Senator Tim Burchett in the Senate as Senate Bill 1290 and by Janice Baird Sottany in the House as House Bill 1988.

This is a frighteningly comprehensive yet subjective document which would cover everything from soring, to how a horse is trailered, to riding a horse under the influence. Penalties within the act include Class E felony convictions. Yet the language of the Act is very subjective.

Perhaps one of the most subjective areas is who is allowed to enforce the act. The act provides that a “Certified Equine Cruelty Investigator means a person who is an agent of any society incorporated for the prevention of cruelty to animals or a county or local law enforcement officer in the state of Tennessee, and who has forty (40) hours or more of equine cruelty and investigation training; . . .”

It appears that this would allow individual members of PETA, the Humane Society of the United States, or any other animal cruelty society, to become law enforcement.

David Howard, Chairman of the Board of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration and Dabora, Inc., President, is meeting with representatives from the Tennessee General Assembly today to clarify the weaknesses in the legislation and prevent it from going forward as it stands.

Additional information about the progress of this legislation will be posted as it becomes available. To see the full text of the proposed legislation, click

More Stories

  • Latest_Issue_June_25_18

    Read More
  • Christmas In July schedule update

    The Christmas In July show, scheduled for July 4-5, has modified their original class schedule. Class 32 will now be Amateur Country Pleasure Western and class 9a will be Amateur Country Pleasure English. Read More
  • Supreme Court Decision Holds ALJs Must Be Appointed

    The United States Supreme Court has ruled that Administrative Law Judges must be appointed by the department head and not how they are currently retained by the agency they represent.  The case, Lucia vs. the Securities and Exchange Commission, does not deal with administrative law judges in the USDA, however the ruling could have a major impact on the enforcement scheme currently utilized by the USDA in Horse Protection Act cases. Read More
  • Obituary – Sam Hartsell

    Sam “Shot” Hartsell, age 74, of Newport, passed away Saturday, June 9, 2018, in Knoxville. He was preceded in death by his wife, Nan Hartsell and parents, Floyd and Viola McMahan Hartsell... Read More
  • WHOA announces International judging panel

    The Walking Horse Owners' is pleased to announce the three judges selected by current WHOA members. Charlie Brown, Shelli MeHaffey and Lonnie Messick will officiate the 40th Annual International Pleasure & Colt Championship.

    Read More
  • Savannah Lions Club adds classes

    The 52nd Annual Savannah Lions Club Show, scheduled for June 23 at 6:30 pm, has added two classes to their original schedule... Read More
  • Scrivner selected to judge Mid-South

    The Mid-South Walking Horse Association Show, scheduled for July 14, has selected Dickie Scrivner of Murfreesboro, Tennessee to mark the cards for this year's event. The show will be held at Pugh Bourne Park in Jackson, Tennessee.  Read More
  • Equine Obituary - Gen’s Armed & Dangerous

    The Report has recently learned of the passing of Gen’s Armed and Dangerous. The beautiful stallion was the 1994 Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champion. Read More
  • Ohio Valley adds class

    Ohio Valley Walking Horse Association show, scheduled for June 23 in Stanford, Kentucky, has added a 4 and Under Trail Pleasure to their show.  Read More
  • Walking For Hope Show updates

    The Walking For Hope show, scheduled for June 16, has selected Chris Zahnd to judge this year’s event. Originally scheduled to start at 4:00, the show will start at 5:00 pm. Read More