USDA ponders disastrous plan to eliminate government inspections for licensed breeders, zoos, and researchers, and allow self-policing by third parties

The political operatives who took over at the U.S. Department of Agriculture a year ago say they now want to turn over federally funded inspections of puppy mills, roadside zoos, and research labs to the very groups using the animals. Photo by Kathy Milani/The HSUS

After purging thousands of Animal Welfare Act inspection reports and violation notices that used to be available to the public and were searchable online, the political operatives who took over at the U.S. Department of Agriculture a year ago say they now want to turn over federally funded inspections of puppy mills, roadside zoos, and . . . 

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HSUS stays the course for animals in Puerto Rico with Operation Viva Vieques

Dozens of veterinarians from Puerto Rico and veterinary teams from around the world deployed to the island where we hosted 20 free spay/neuter and vaccine clinics and free horse wellness clinics. Pictured above, Dr. Adriana Silva with one of her patients. Photo by Thaisi Da Silva/The HSUS

Our longstanding work in Puerto Rico was made all the more urgent when Hurricane Maria pummeled the islands and all but eliminated utilities, transportation, and other essential services for weeks and, in some parts, months. Given our work on the ground, and our connections with so many key constituencies in Puerto Rico, we were in . . . 

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Honors among thieves

The “big lick” faction of the Tennessee Walking horse industry continue to knowingly injure horses as a customary practice in order to induce an exaggerated gait for the purpose of winning prizes – a practice known as “soring.” The PAST Act contains the reforms that are so urgently needed to crack down on this cruel practice. Photo by The HSUS

The “big lick” faction of the Tennessee Walking horse industry is engaged in an ongoing criminal enterprise. Many of the top winners in the industry knowingly injure horses as a customary practice in order to induce an exaggerated gait for the purpose of winning prizes—a practice known as “soring,” where trainers injure the feet or . . . 

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Time to ban horsemeat trade in all of North America, as investigation in Mexico uncovers horse sold as beef

Horses in the United States are raised as companions and partners in work and sport, and not as food animals. Above, rescued horses at the Duchess Sanctuary. Photo by Jennifer Kunz/The HSUS

Mexico is forging ahead on animal protection. Earlier this year, its Congress made dogfighting a felony throughout the nation. Mexico City adopted an extraordinary charter on animal protection. A number of major food retailers in Mexico have said they will change their purchasing practices to stop buying eggs and pork from operations that confine hens . . . 

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Series of federal court rulings – the latest upholding a Chicago anti-puppy-mill law – affirm state, local efforts against animal cruelty

A federal appeals court today upheld Chicago’s law requiring pet stores that sell dogs, cats, and rabbits to obtain them from an animal shelter or rescue only. Photo by iStockphoto

In an important ruling for dogs and for the legal principle that states and local governments have a critical role in protecting animals from cruelty and mistreatment, a federal appeals court today upheld Chicago’s law requiring pet stores that sell dogs, cats, and rabbits to obtain them from an animal shelter or rescue only. In . . . 

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Farm Bill should ban eating dogs and horses, along with instituting other key animal welfare reforms

This year’s Farm Bill presents an opportunity for Congress to pass several animal protection bills, two of which — the PAST Act and the SAFE Act — would take great strides to improve the lives of horses. Photo by Ashlei Martin/Black Beauty Ranch

Americans shouldn’t butcher dogs or horses, or enable the activity, and then sell the meat for human consumption, and Congress can make that the law of the land as it pieces together the far-flung provisions of the Farm Bill in the coming months. Our thriving agricultural sector is successful enough that we as a nation . . . 

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Illegal horse soring operators get shut down with their attacks on animal groups in the courts

Tennessee walking horse

The HSUS won’t relent in its campaign to rid the industry of the rampant practice of horse soring. Ultimately, what’s needed is for leaders in Congress to step up and pass the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, that currently has the bipartisan support of 252 House co-sponsors. Photo by Lance Murphey/For The HSUS

Horse soring – a practice where unethical and remorseless trainers intentionally injure the front feet and legs of horses by mechanical or chemical means to exaggerate the animals’ gait in order to win ribbons in the show ring – is one of the most disgraceful forms of organized cruelty practiced in a highly organized way . . . 

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Key House committee votes to reopen horse slaughter plants in U.S.

The same lawmakers who voted today to reopen U.S. horse slaughter plants are blocking a different bill backed by The HSUS that would forbid the transport of horses for slaughter for human consumption to other countries. Photo by Kathy Milani/The HSUS

Today, the Appropriations Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives voted narrowly to give the green light for the reopening of horse slaughter plants in the United States. There were 27 members of Congress who voted against the bipartisan amendment offered by Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., and Charlie Dent, R-Pa., to bar horse slaughter operations . . . 

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Federal legislation introduced to ban doping of horses

The Horseracing Integrity Act introduced today is a step up from prior versions of the bill, not least because it seeks to bring regulation to all of horse racing and to ban any same-day drugging of horses. Photo by iStockphoto

Today, two lawmakers from Congressional districts with major horse hoofprints – Reps. Andy Barr, R-Ky., and Paul Tonko, D-N.Y. – introduced legislation to end any doping of Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds, and Quarter horses in the business of pari-mutuel racing. This legislation seeks to launch a new era in the racing industry, which for decades has resisted . . . 

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Finding a common trail to help working horses on tribal lands in Arizona

In the past year, the village of Supai in Arizona has drawn attention for the wrong reason: the abuse and neglect of horses used by villagers to carry visitors’ luggage and other goods. Photo by Carrie Allan/The HSUS

The Havasupai Reservation village of Supai, Arizona, located just outside the boundaries of Grand Canyon National Park but sharing the extraordinary beauty of the region, is in its own right a popular and scenic tourist destination. Its waterfalls and swimming opportunities draw tourists and motivate them to descend a lengthy and tortuous eight-mile trail to . . . 

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