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Tennessee Walking Horse Soring Issue *Update post 1*

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  • Original Poster

    Rbow said "It just didn't strike me as a "loophole". More like permission."
    Well said ! It does not seem to mesh with the HPA at all. It could have been a great tool to prosecute sorers on a state and federal level. Wonder how long it will take for a test case. And speaking of cases, has anyone heard when McConnell goes to court in Fayette County ?

    Drinkin coffee, readin Roy

    http://www.chattanoogan.com/2012/6/2...eous-Hero.aspx
    from sunridge1 Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.

    Comment


    • I just read 39-14-216. Here is a link to it.

      http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/107/Bill/SB2759.pdf

      The Statute does not, in any way, conflict with or hamper HPA enforcement. The HPA is narrow in its scope, applying only to things that affect interstate commerce (a Constitutional limit). This law is a general act and applies to any and all acts involving livestock within the State of TN.

      There seems to be a lot of heartburn about Subsection (e)(7) which says:

      (e) The following shall not be construed as aggravated cruelty to a livestock animal as defined in this section:

      (7) Applying methods and equipment used to train livestock
      animals.


      Many have interpreted this as some sort of permission for "business as usual." IMO this is an incorrect interpretation.

      Consider that under the listing of prohibited acts is "Administering electric shock to an animal." Does this mean you can no longer use a small, electrified paddock to train a horse to electric fence? Does this mean that use of an electric fence is now a felony? Absent (7), above, the answer might well be "yes." Would that be a Good Thing?

      There are not too many things in the "laundry list" of prohibited acts that subsection (7) will bring into play. Further, if the provisions of (7) come in at all they will be in the form of an "affirmative defence" that will have to be pleaded and proved by the accused. It would interesting to hear how something like "Setting an animal on fire" could be construed as a legitimate training technique.

      Before ANY conduct can be felonious it must be "
      depraved and sadistic." This puts a resonable burden on the State to present evidence, beyond a reasonable doubt, that an accused has violated one or more sections of the Statute.

      This Statute will not satisfy those who want to ban action devices, the BL process, etc. It seems to me to be a fair application of the power of the state to regulate livestock husbandry.

      As with all things, YMMV.

      G.
      Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

      Comment


      • http://www.tennessean.com/article/20120603/NEWS01/306030043/Walking-horse-inspectors-find-more-violations-when-USDA-officials-scene?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

        Nothing we don't already know, but at least still recieving coverage.

        Comment


        • http://www.chattanoogan.com/2012/5/2...e-Hearing.aspx


          Reading Roy.

          Comment


          • and we think lounging is bad, I've never seen anything like this before, poor horses.
            http://community.webshots.com/user/summitspringsfarm

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Summit Springs Farm View Post
              and we think lounging is bad, I've never seen anything like this before, poor horses.
              Please e-mail Judge Mattice asking him to impose the maximum sentence on McConnell. His e-mail is in first post in this thread. Thanks!!!

              Comment


              • Originally posted by walknsound View Post
                Please e-mail Judge Mattice asking him to impose the maximum sentence on McConnell. His e-mail is in first post in this thread. Thanks!!!
                Done!
                http://community.webshots.com/user/summitspringsfarm

                Comment


                • Thanks!

                  Originally posted by Summit Springs Farm View Post
                  Done!
                  Thanks soooo much!!!!!!!!!!

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    An editorial from Janis Sontany, D-Nashville, represents District 53 in the Tennessee House of Representatives

                    http://www.tennessean.com/article/20...cret-no-longer


                    Rampant soring is a secret no longer
                    Tennesseans should demand more funding for inspections

                    Thanks, first, to the Humane Society of the United States for the undercover video showing the horrible beating being administered by horse maimer Jackie McConnell, who got off with probation because of his “health issues” — what absolute horse hockey.

                    His health issues apparently are not bad enough to keep him from whipping horses that are in too much pain to stand or beating them in the face with a wooden bat. If he is strong enough to act like that, he should be able to handle a prison sentence.

                    Secondly, thanks to The Tennessean for showcasing the corruptness of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry. While the public remains outraged over this abuse, many industry officials continue to claim that McConnell is an exception, not the rule. How can this be when several show judges, board members of TWH organizations, and an astounding number of trainers, have histories of violating the Horse Protection Act? Soring has been a well-kept dirty secret in this industry and it’s time for this nonsense to end.

                    I am also deeply troubled by claims of Rep. Pat Marsh of Shelbyville that The National Celebration has “gotten very, very serious” about ending soring. Revoking McConnell’s Hall of Fame title and his credentials somehow equates to “serious action?” McConnell, as well as 100 percent of the 2011 Riders Cup top 20 trainers, have histories of being cited for HPA violations. They can’t be that serious about ending soring if they continue to allow these people to compete.

                    Celebration officials are also claiming an almost perfect compliance rate at the 2011 event. However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture randomly inspected horses at the 2011 Celebration, and 100 percent of those horses tested positive for illegal foreign substances.

                    A bill filed this year by Rep. Andy Holt of Dresden would have banned sharing an undercover video, like the one by HSUS, with the media. How is that for trampling the First Amendment? Fortunately, this bill never got out of committee, but he promised to bring it back next year. It would prevent any fraudulent or illegal activity, including abuse of children, elderly, the disabled or animals from being released to the media.

                    Pettus Read, director of communications for Tennessee Farm Bureau, touched upon this issue in a recent article where he tried to shift the focus off McConnell and the abhorrent animal abuse by questioning the HSUS’ motives for releasing the footage to the public! It seems Mr. Read, or Farm Bureau, would have preferred that McConnell be prosecuted in the shadows so that the public would remain unaware of the horrendous cruelty that is commonplace in the TWH industry.

                    It is more than obvious that self-regulation doesn’t work. Inspections should be done by USDA-certified inspectors ONLY — not by people hired through the Walking Horse industry. Since when do we allow the fox to guard the henhouse? Please refer to Gail Kerr’s Tennessean column last Sunday for information to contact the Tennessee congressional delegation to demand more funding for certified inspectors at all horse shows and see where your elected officials stand.

                    My hope is that no one forgets this horrible animal abuse before the Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration in Shelbyville and that the stands are empty of spectators! I am urging all members of Congress to co-sponsor the federal bill to strengthen the law, toughen the penalties and provide adequate funding to give USDA the tools it needs to end this cruel practice once and for all.

                    This is the only message the Tennessee Walking Horse industry will understand. That we demand a thorough clean-up and NO MORE SORING!

                    Janis Sontany, D-Nashville, represents District 53 in the Tennessee House of Representatives
                    from sunridge1 Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.

                    Comment


                    • The writer of the editorial above, and many other people have missed the fact that the sentencing hearing is not until September 10, and that we all have time to write, or email the judge to ask that a stronger sentence be given.

                      See post #1 for judge contact info.
                      It's 2017. Do you know where your old horse is?

                      www.streamhorsetv.com -- website with horse show livestream listings and links.

                      Comment


                      • The only way to get the TWH off this merry go round is to make stacks and action devices illegal.
                        from sunridge1:Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.it is going to be good until the last drop!Eleneswell, the open trail begged to be used. D Taylor

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                          I just read 39-14-216. Here is a link to it.

                          http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/107/Bill/SB2759.pdf

                          ...... The HPA is narrow in its scope, applying only to things that affect interstate commerce (a Constitutional limit).


                          Before ANY conduct can be felonious it must be "
                          depraved and sadistic." This puts a resonable burden on the State to present evidence, beyond a reasonable doubt, that an accused has violated one or more sections of the Statute.

                          It seems to me to be a fair application of the power of the state to regulate livestock husbandry.

                          G.
                          Thank you for taking the time to review this, G.

                          I think I understand. As I read this...it doesn't have any application at all to the problem of soring/stewarding (even if training practices aren't excluded).

                          Not only must the conduct be "depraved and sadistic" it also must result in serious bodily injury or death. If the horse is competing, I'm sure they can argue it isn't seriously injured. Or, they need to define seriously injured, and training, for that matter.

                          In my state at least, IIRC electric fence is covered in fence law as a legal containment but I'm sure other applications (like dog collars, etc.) as you mention need to be differentiated.

                          As this legislation was mentioned in so many articles/reports on this issue, and it was signed the day prior to the nightline report (long after the video was turned over and the episode was scheduled), it gives the "feel" that the state is trying to do something, when in fact, I doubt it was at all related. The fact that it excludes training practices and ultimately the purpose of soring and stewarding is training...It would seem it would be difficult to prosecute any of these incidents with this law.

                          Comment


                          • Thanks for posting WalkInTheWoods. I have sent my thank you to Rep. Sontany. [email]rep.janis.sontany@capitol.tn.gov
                            Last edited by walknsound; Jun. 4, 2012, 11:16 AM. Reason: Correct typo

                            Comment


                            • I just want to say, as a hunter/jumper rider, all my life, I am going to follow this story.

                              Because, McConnell is not the only one, as evidenced by watching a youtube video that shows all the other horses performing like McConnell's horse.

                              And horses do not walk like that unless they have been trained to thru these horrific measures.

                              This is cruelty beyond belief. I was sicken just watching the horses go around, it made me sick to my stomach, so I couldn't continue to watch.

                              We are in Georgia, so close to where this cruelly is happening, let me know what else I can do. My heart goes out the these horses.
                              http://community.webshots.com/user/summitspringsfarm

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Summit Springs Farm View Post
                                I just want to say, as a hunter/jumper rider, all my life, I am going to follow this story.

                                Because, McConnell is not the only one, as evidenced by watching a youtube video that shows all the other horses performing like McConnell's horse.

                                And horses do not walk like that unless they have been trained to thru these horrific measures.

                                This is cruelty beyond belief. I was sicken just watching the horses go around, it made me sick to my stomach, so I couldn't continue to watch.

                                We are in Georgia, so close to where this cruelly is happening, let me know what else I can do. My heart goes out the these horses.
                                Thanks Summit Springs, we need all the help we can get. Ala. and Ga. are bad about soring too.

                                Comment


                                • Message From Champagne Watchout;

                                  My human Nathanael, just asked me what I thought about putting the band back together of Natalie and I showing this year at the Celebration in the World Grand Championship Class.

                                  Whatdya think?

                                  Comment


                                  • Hell yeah !

                                    I'm in for some gas money.
                                    Snowflakes become an avalanche.

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by Rbow View Post
                                      Thank you for taking the time to review this, G.

                                      I think I understand. As I read this...it doesn't have any application at all to the problem of soring/stewarding (even if training practices aren't excluded).

                                      Not only must the conduct be "depraved and sadistic" it also must result in serious bodily injury or death. If the horse is competing, I'm sure they can argue it isn't seriously injured. Or, they need to define seriously injured, and training, for that matter.

                                      In my state at least, IIRC electric fence is covered in fence law as a legal containment but I'm sure other applications (like dog collars, etc.) as you mention need to be differentiated.

                                      As this legislation was mentioned in so many articles/reports on this issue, and it was signed the day prior to the nightline report (long after the video was turned over and the episode was scheduled), it gives the "feel" that the state is trying to do something, when in fact, I doubt it was at all related. The fact that it excludes training practices and ultimately the purpose of soring and stewarding is training...It would seem it would be difficult to prosecute any of these incidents with this law.
                                      The legislation clearly applies to soring and stewarding practices that fall under the Act. Just how terms like "depraved,", "sadistic," and "serious bodily injury" will be interpreted remains to be seen. TN is actually fairly liberal in criminal matters. I've not done an research to see how these terms have been interpreted in the past.

                                      Again, I've not done any researching of the legislative history, here, but knowing how slow the TN Legislature is in addressing anything I'd bet that this has been "in the cooker" for quite some time. The McConnell tape might have "jarred it loose" or maybe it was just coincidence.

                                      I did not mention "electric fencing" in its normal use, but use as a "training device." One way to deal with "fence tester" is to set up a small paddock with lots of strands of bare aluminum wire and a big fence charger. Then turn loose Old Clomper (or Ferdinand or Babe) to learn the Lesson of the Lightning.

                                      It is wrong to interpret this legislation as effectively excluding any regulation of training practices. The language is broad and that means lots of work for lawyers. A more artful statement would be preferrable, but this is not a "get out of jail free" card for McConnell or anyone like him.

                                      TN has a healthy respect for property rights. That includes an owner's right to deal with their livestock as they will. There is a legitimate fear of allowing the PETA/HSUS or any of their "fellow travelers" to gain unreasonable authority in the regulation of handling or training livestock. I share this fear. I am also extremely knowledgeable of the sorry history of the Walking Horse industry. A balance needs to be struck. This legislation is a first attempt at striking that balance. Maybe it will work, maybe it won't.

                                      G.
                                      Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by Rbow View Post
                                        IThe timing of the law, and the exclusion (huh?), is inexplicable. If I had the time, I'd review the tapes of the session to see if there's any more insight into how it all occurred.
                                        Here is the official track of the bill through the TN Legislature:
                                        http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/Bill...lNumber=SB2759

                                        It was introduced at the very begining of the session in January. So it would have been researched and written before January. The only amendment to the bill was to clairfy the definition of livestock/remove poultry. It was passed and place on the Governor's desk on May 9th a week before the video was released by the HSUS. Signed by the Governor on May 21st.

                                        There are also tapes of the session as well as the committee meetings at the site I posted.

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by The Preacher View Post
                                          Message From Champagne Watchout;

                                          My human Nathanael, just asked me what I thought about putting the band back together of Natalie and I showing this year at the Celebration in the World Grand Championship Class.

                                          Whatdya think?
                                          You are kdding....right?

                                          Comment

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