Tennessee District Attorneys General Urged To Investigate Possible Horse Abuse

Thursday, December 06, 2012

The Humane Society of the United States has asked 11 Tennessee District Attorneys General to acquire and test all “foreign substance swab samples” collected from Tennessee walking show horses during 2012 and to prosecute violations of state animal cruelty laws. The samples are used to detect the presence of painful caustic chemicals that trainers apply to horses’ legs, in addition to other cruel training methods – collectively referred to as “soring” – to obtain the prized high-stepping gait of the walking horse.

“By prosecuting any violations that come to light through these samples under the new felony animal cruelty law, Tennessee will improve the chances that violators in the walking horse industry will think twice before abusing horses to cheat in show competitions,” said Keith Dane, director of equine protection for The HSUS. “We encourage Tennessee District Attorneys General to demonstrate that illegal abuse and cruelty will not be tolerated, and that horse soring allegations will be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted.”

Foreign substance swab samples have been taken from the pasterns of walking horses at horse shows in Tennessee by the Walking Horse Trainers Association, and other groups throughout the year. The HSUS also asked the District Attorneys General to request the test results of swab samples taken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture at walking horse shows for possible enforcement action.

Since July 1, Tennessee’s new felony aggravated cruelty to livestock law has been in effect, making it a Class E felony for any person to apply “acid or other caustic substance or chemical to any exposed area of an animal or forcing the animal to ingest the substance,” if such activity is carried out in a “depraved and sadistic manner.”  According to The HSUS’s letter, any samples taken after that date that test positive for the presence of caustic chemicals could therefore indicate a possible violation of this law and be grounds for enforcement.

Under other Tennessee laws, the intentional infliction of any injury or pain to a horse for the purpose of competition is a class A misdemeanor.

To read the full letter from The HSUS, click here.

Facts:

  •  An HSUS undercover investigation documented the prevalent use of caustic chemicals to sore horses and led to a 52-count indictment of Jackie McConnell, who pleaded guilty to one count of felony conspiracy to violate the Horse Protection Act, and three of his associates. In September, a federal court sentenced him to three years of probation and a $75,000 fine.  McConnell also faces prosecution for violations of the Tennessee animal cruelty statute.
  • USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service conducted random testing at various Tennessee walking horse competitions, and the results indicate that a shocking 97.6 percent of the samples tested positive for prohibited foreign substances in 2011. In 2010, 86 percent of samples tested positive. In addition to soring chemicals, these prohibited substances included numbing agents and drugs that mask evidence of abuse.
  • The HSUS filed a legal petition asking USDA to treat the use of illegal numbing or masking chemicals on horses’ legs as a felony under the Horse Protection Act.
  • H.R. 6388, the Horse Protection Act Amendments of 2012, sponsored by Reps. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., and Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., will end the failed system of industry self-policing, ban the use of certain devices associated with soring, strengthen penalties, and hold accountable all those involved in this cruel practice. The HSUS urges Congress to pass this bill, which now has 53 co-sponsors in the House.

Man Stabbed On Woodland View Circle In Domestic Dispute

A man was stabbed on Woodland View Circle on Saturday morning. At 9:40 a.m., Chattanooga Police were dispatched to 5201 Woodland View Circle on a person stabbed. P olice found a man suffering from a stab wound. The v ictim was transported to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries. The s uspect left the scene in a gold-colored vehicle. A t ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ANDERSON, ADEN M 730 EAST AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37411 28 Chattanooga CRIMINAL TRESPASSING ASLINGER, JEFFERY JAMES 1504 GREEN POND ROAD SODDY DAISY, 37379 44 Soddy Daisy DRIVING ON REVOKED LICENSE POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA BATES, JOE EDWARD 2472 ELLA DR CLEVELAND, 37323 20 ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place - And Response

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Scrooge’ Of The Year

As we move into the last weekend before Christmas, the “Scrooge of the Year” has just appeared in Aurora, Ill. Actually Connie Ley has just died. She passed away on Nov. 25, but in her wake left the worst will many around the country have ever heard – her last wishes included that her nine-year-old dog should be put to death, cremated, and buried with her. Bela, a beautiful German ... (click for more)

McCallie Claims Own Mat Title with Depth

  With no champions, yet good depth, host McCallie won the 34 th annual McCallie Wrestling Invitational Tournament Saturday with 223 points followed by runner-up Union Grove (196) and third place Cleveland (186.5) in the 27-team field. In winning a record eighth team title, McCallie had runners-up in James Westbrooks (126) and Brock Herring (132), plus three thirds and ... (click for more)

Tim Ensign Wins Fifth Straight Wauhatchie Trail Run

Tim Ensign is still an outstanding and competitive runner, even at age 52. Give him a head start and he’s almost impossible to beat. Such was the case at the Chattanooga Nature Center on Saturday morning for the 30 th annual Wauhatchie Trail Run. This is a one-of-a-kind race where runners are handicapped in time, based on their age and gender. It’s also one of the toughest ... (click for more)