Video Draws Attention to the Controversial Act of Soring

Footage recently obtained by Animal Wellness Action — a Washington, D.C.-based organization with a mission of helping animals by promoting legal standards forbidding cruelty — shows a horse in Alabama being subjected to soring, a very painful act where the horse’s hoof and lower legs are intentionally injured to produce a high-stepping gait known as the “Big Lick.” A farrier appeared in the video driving hot nails into the tender part inside the horse's hoof, with the trauma later resulting in renal failure for the animal. Though the practice is questionably legal, and he received no punishment for the incident, U.S. Congress is currently considering House Resolution 693, known as the PAST Act, which would ban the procedure entirely. The Act, according to American Horse Publications, "would amend the Horse Protection Act to ban the use at horse shows of devices that are integral to the soring process, eliminate the failed walking horse industry system of self-policing – putting the U.S. Department of Agriculture in charge of the licensure, training and oversight of all inspectors (as recommended by the agency’s Office of Inspector General in a 2010 audit) – and increase penalties for violations."

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