Chief executive and president Wayne Pacelle, writing in his blog, “A Humane Nation”, was commenting on the practice which involves using chemicals or mechanical devices on horses’ front legs.
The resulting pain forces the horses to have an artificially high-stepping gait. which is desirable for show competitions within the walking-horse industry.
Soring has been illegal in the United States for more than 40 years under the federal Horse Protection Act.
Pacelle likened those who sored horses to cockfighters or dogfighters, “with the only difference being that they operate within a business enterprise that has enjoyed some social sanction, and that gives them the patina of legitimacy”.
Commenting on a recent investigation by the society which has resulted in a prosecution, Pacelle said: “The HSUS has uncovered a lawless, cheating subculture of cruelty within this industry, and it’s time for a renewed effort to crack down on this unconscionable mistreatment of horses, through stronger enforcement, better legislation, and serious self-regulation by the industry, among other remedies.
“There are a lot of good people in the industry, and we want to work with them, with the US Department of Agriculture, and with the Congress to stamp out the rampant abuses that have gone on for too long.”