Target: US District Judge Terry Means of Fort Worth, Texas
Goal: Thank judge for protecting show horses from rampant abuses
In a recent decision, District Court Judge Terry Means sided with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and animal welfare advocates. In the case, SHOW HIO, an agency hired by Tennessee walking horse shows to inspect horses, sued the USDA over new regulations protecting show horses. The new regulations, based on an act of Congress, will end the system of industry self-policing, strengthen penalties for abuses, and hold criminals accountable. Perhaps most notable, though, is the new enforcement of the prohibition of “soring,” a practice wherein trainers chemically burn show horses to make them perform unnatural high-stepping in competitions.
In his decision, Judge Means came down in favor of the USDA and its backers, including the Humane Society of the United States represented by pro bono attorneys. The ruling found that the government agency was within its rights in stepping up and streamlining enforcement of laws protecting the horses; Means also decided that soring was a prevalent and hazardous enough procedure in the industry to merit its prohibition. This came in spite of some in the walking horse industry who have denied that soring is still widespread.
In addition to the other new USDA regulations, this judge deserves our condemnation for upholding the strict enforcement of laws against soring. Soring is a cruel and unnecessary tactic that brutalizes horses for the entertainment of humans. Please sign the petition below to thank Judge Means for upholding the law and protecting show horses from criminal abuse.
Dear Judge Terry Means:
I am writing to commend your for your recent judicial decision in upholding USDA regulations that protect horses in the walking horse show industry. Among other important regulations—including stepping up criminal penalties for violations and speeding up investigations—the law which you’ve upheld strictly enforces the prohibition of “soring.” This practice is a barbaric tactic used to scar horses for the entertainment of the audience, and I thank you for doing your part in stopping it.
The horses forced to take part in walking shows deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, not singed with chemicals that make them perform unnatural tricks for the human audiences. Thank you for supporting the USDA in its campaign against soring and other inhumane tactics practiced in the walking horse industry.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: SeeMidTN.com via Flickr