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The Humane Society of the U.S. Announces $10,000 Reward for Information on Horse Soring

(March 19, 2008)—The Humane Society of the United States has announced it will offer 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, an area still believed to be a hotbed of soring activity.

“Soring - the deliberate infliction of pain upon a horse to increase the animal’s entertainment or monetary value - is incredibly cruel, and must end” said Keith Dane, director of equine protection at The Humane Society of the United States.

The soring of Tennessee Walking Horses and other breeds of gaited show horses is one of the most heinous forms of abuse inflicted upon equines in the U.S. The practice involves the use of caustic chemicals and chains on the legs of the horse, creating severe pain and forcing 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.

Passage of a federal law (the 1970 Horse Protection Act) has not had the intended effect of eliminating soring. Tennessee also has a state law prohibiting soring, but enforcement of these laws has proven difficult, and this illegal practice continues on a widespread basis. Therefore, The HSUS is offering this reward in order to encourage citizens to come forward and help end this entrenched cruelty.

In 2006, the annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville, TN failed to name a World Grand Champion when most of the finalists were disqualified for violations of the federal Horse Protection Act.

Constituents, who support HSUS’ efforts and understand the need to end this cruel practice, have generously 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 1-866-411-TEAM (8326). The Humane Society of the United States will protect the identity of all callers.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization – backed by 10.5 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- On the web at humanesociety.org.


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