A bill has been introduced in the US senate to end the illegal, abusive training practices for Tennessee walking horses.
The bill put forward by US senator Lamar Alexander is a companion to a House bill introduced in February by US representative, Marsha Blackburn.
Blackburn’s bill has won wide support because it doesn’t call for the abolition of the use of padded shoes and chains that train horses to walk with an exaggerated, higher gait.
But the bill is not supported by the fans of a pair of competing bills, the Prevent All Soring Tactics Acts, which aim to get rid of the training devices altogether.
They believe the devices are just part of soring, which is the practice of cutting or injecting acids into a horses’s ankles or hooves to produce a higher step through pain.
Previous acts have increased penalties for breeders and trainers who have found to have scored their horses, but Alexander wants horses found to have been scored to be immediately suspended from competition. The first offence would be 30 days, subsequent offences would be 90 days.
Blackburn has said she welcomes Alexander’s input, but other US representatives fear that any legislation that does not ban stacks and chains will not work.