|Fellow Horsemen, |
Horsemen’s Council of Illinois is committed to the humane treatment of all horses and to the protection and vitality of the entire Illinois horse industry. An issue has arisen that requires the attention of every horseman.
The practice of intentionally soring a horse in order to achieve an enhanced movement is abhorrent and should be stopped. This occurs within the “Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horse and Racking Horse breeds, but not other trotting-based gaited horse breeds. The Horse Protection Act of 1970 was designed to eliminate soring. It has met with limited success due to a number of factors. The USDA is assessing new and additional methods to address this issue. The announcement attached explains some of the proposed changes to the Horse Protection Act, and provides you with links to view the wording of the specific changes.
The USDA is seeking public comment on these proposed changes. Horsemen’s Council of Illinois has reservations about the current vague wording of some sections, and we are concerned that as written, other innocent horse breeds – where soring does not and cannot occur – will be adversely affected. We ask you to read the proposed changes and assess for yourself, check with your various breed groups, and give USDA your input.
Horsemen’s Council of Illinois will be discussing this at length in the very near future and we will update you on our assessment of the proposed changes to the Horse Protection Act.
Even if this does not affect you directly, please remember that what affects any part of our wonderful horse industry eventually affects us all. I hope you will take the time to educate yourself about this important issue and contribute to the discussion. The voice of Illinois horse industry should be heard.
Sheryl S King, PhD
Horsemen’s Council of Illinois