Horses in Brief AWI Summer 2008
Black Farmers Offer Homes for Horses in Need
"Project Wanted Horse" to Dispel Slaughter Myth
The Animal Welfare Institute joined with the National Black Farmers Association (NBFA) this June to form a national partnership to help American horses in need by finding them homes on farms operated by NBFA members. "Project Wanted Horse" will ensure that horses rescued by equine protection organizations, from the slaughter pipeline, or from an abusive situation are placed on farms operated by the NBFA's 94,000 members across the country.
In early July, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) effectively shut down one of the largest walking horse shows in Kentucky. Escorted by state police, USDA inspectors arrived on the last two days of the 4-day show. About 500 horses were present, but once the USDA arrived, horses were loaded into trailers by their owners and removed from the premises to avoid possible prosecution for violating the Horse Protection Act. A mere 40 horses remained. Clearly, soring—the infliction of painful injuries on the feet of horses to exaggerate their gait—continues to be a widespread problem in the industry. Fortunately, the USDA appears to be doggedly determined to enforce the law against the practice, first passed in 1970, and is aided by new technology that allows inspectors to detect the foreign substances often used to injure the horses and thereby achieve a show-winning gait.