HSUS Flogs a Horse (for Money)

TWH CelebrationYesterday we received our fourth email in a week from HSUS begging for money. The occasion? Last week, HSUS released an undercover investigation at a farm in Tennessee allegedly show horse soring connected to the Tennessee walking horse industry. The farm has strenuously denied the allegations and says that veterinarians inspected the horses last week and found no signs of soring.

Now, if the claims are true and horses were abused, then of course that is terrible and we hope the abusers are held accountable. We’ll see what the sheriff’s office concludes.

But do you know what’s also terrible? Sitting on video footage of horses being (allegedly) abused, which appears to have happened here. HSUS writes on its website, “For several months, an HSUS investigator witnessed trainers and grooms applying the chemicals to more than 20 horses housed at the farm.”

Several months? Why didn’t HSUS do something publicly several months ago?

There’s an easy reason why: Because the timing wasn’t good. You see, HSUS released the video last week right before the Celebration, a large annual event where horses are shown, to make a big splash and get as much coverage as possible. If HSUS had released the video months earlier, it wouldn’t have had the same media effect.

Releasing the video earlier would no doubt have brought authorities down on the farm earlier to investigate any malpractice and stop it. But then, let’s not forget that an HSUS outreach director was himself warned by the USDA for showing a sored horse. Moral high ground? HSUS prefers the mud.