The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) announced that it’s offering a reward of $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any violator of Tennessee’s “horse soring” law, which prohibits the deliberate infliction of pain to horses’ feet to produce an artificially high-stepping gait. Ads announcing the reward will appear throughout middle Tennessee.
The practice of soring involves the use of caustic chemicals and chains on horses’ legs to create severe pain that forces an exaggerated, high-stepping gait. Pressure shoeing — another especially egregious form of soring — is the abusive technique of cutting a horse’s hoof almost to the bloodline so the shoe puts painful pressure on the horse’s sole with each stride. In some instances, foreign objects are placed between the hoof and the shoe to create painful pressure on the sole.
Some performance classes at gaited breed shows seek the high-stepping action, but soring of any kind is illegal in all states under the 1970 Horse Protection Act. Tennessee also has a state law prohibiting soring, but enforcement of these laws has proven difficult and the abusive practice is still considered to be widespread.
Constituents who support HSUS’ efforts and understand the need to end the cruel practice of soring have agreed to supplement the reward amount. In the past, supporters have offered similar backing for increased rewards in particular cases of animal cruelty.
Anyone with information on this cruel practice should call 866-411-TEAM (8326). The Humane Society of the United States will protect the identity of all callers.