TN urged to do more against horse soring after outrage over Collierville video | News
A national animal protection group is asking Tennessee prosecutors to step up enforcement against hurting horses to force exaggerated gaits.
According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the Humane Society of the United States last week called on 11 Tennessee district attorneys to test swab samples collected at Tennessee Walking Horse shows during 2012 and prosecute if evidence of soring is found.
A federal case this year against trainer Jackie McConnell of Collierville brought him a three-year probationary sentence and a $75,000 fine, according to The Tennessean.
On Sept. 18, McConnell told U.S. District Judge Harry “Sandy” Mattice in Chattanooga, “I take responsibility for what I’ve done.”
The Humane Society secretly recorded video inside McConnell’s training stable and released it publicly. It showed caustic substances being applied to horses’ legs and hooves and the animals being beaten to make them stand.
In the wake of public outrage over the video, the U.S. Department of Agriculture adopted tougher minimum penalties for exhibitors and owners of walking horses found to be sored.
The new rules prompted lawsuits and the USDA decertified horse groups that act as lay show inspectors.
There have been amendments proposed to strengthen the Horse Protection Act to make soring a federal felony. State law already specifies it as such.