For those of us who have been appalled for years at the chains, rattles, oils, wraps, pads, nails, ball bearings, intentional creation of laminitis and thrush, nuts, bolts, springs, and nails placed into the sensitive soles of these horses to the point that they lie in misery in their stalls and cannot even lean down to graze, this week’s news from the USDA is cause for much celebration. However-we still have work to do. The criminals who do this have vowed to fight the regulation. We will have to stay vigilant to make sure that the work we’ve done is not undone.
We also will have to make certain of other things. Namely:
- Making sure that the training program for the inspectors is set up.
- Probably more importantly, making sure that the program is funded. This is where we have an Achilles’ heel. We can get all this done, but if the program is not funded, it will be for nothing. These people know this and they will gun for the money flow. Watch for it.
- Enforcement needs to have a lot of ‘bite‘. No more slaps on the hand, wink, wink, and business as usual.
- Protection for whistleblowers. These people have had threats, physical harm, vandalism, and other problems.
And then we need to move on to other abuses going on in the horse world-and, like the ‘Big Lick’ people, those involved do not see that they are abusing the horses. It’s time to shine the light.