Press Releases

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today applauded a decision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to strengthen enforcement of the Horse Protection Act and end inhumane practices known as soring, the use of painful devices or chemicals to force an unnatural gait. Senator Feinstein is an original cosponsor of the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act and wrote Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting the proposed rule change.

Senator Feinstein released the following statement:

“No horse should be subjected to the inhumane practice of soring. I’m pleased the USDA has taken the necessary steps to end this cruel practice used by many trainers to forcibly change a horse’s natural gait.

“A 2010 inspector general’s audit found that walking horse trainers and show promoters failed to properly protect horses from soring and in some cases were purposely undermining USDA’s horse inspection programs. The report also stated that approximately 50 percent of all violations were issued at shows inspected by federal veterinarians, despite the fact federal veterinarians were only at 6 percent of shows.

“Under the proposed rule change, the USDA would train, screen and license all horse inspectors. It would also ban the use of soring devices and chemicals at all events.

“The industry’s unwillingness to regulate itself has left too many horses vulnerable to abuse. I look forward to working with Secretary Vilsack to make sure this proposed rule is finalized and to ensure the department has the resources necessary to implement these important changes.”