The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has called for a ban on the use of action devices and performance packages in the training and showing of Tennessee Walking Horses. These devices and packages are implicated in the practice of soring—the act of intentionally inflicting pain to accentuate a horse’s gait.
Because the inhumane practice of soring Tennessee Walking Horses has continued 40 years after passage of the Horse Protection Act, and because the industry has been unable to make substantial progress in eliminating this practice, the AVMA and the AAEP believe a ban on action devices and performance packages is necessary to protect the health and welfare of the horse.
“The soring of Tennessee Walking Horses is an extremely abusive practice and it must end,” said AAEP President Dr. John Mitchell. In 2008, the AAEP released “Veterinary Recommendations for Ending the Soring of Tennessee Walking Horses,” which suggested several radical changes to the current structure of the industry. This paper can be found at www.aaep.org/equine_welfare.htm.