TN Ag chief opposes bill to increase penalties for horse ‘soring’

Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson was in Washington Wednesday to oppose a bill pending in Congress that sponsors say will help prevent abuse of Tennessee Walking Horses by increasing penalties for “soring” and give increased enforcement powers to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

From WPLN:

  Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson says animal cruelty shouldn’t be tolerated, but he says more laws won’t solve the problem.

“We understand the motives of some to tighten further regulation of the industry, in order to protect the horse. However, we caution against the overreaction by some who would seek to eliminate horse shows at the expense of rural communities across the state and horse owners.”

Johnson testified in front of a House subcommittee, whose members include Brentwood Republican Marsha Blackburn. She says the legislation unfairly singles out the state’s walking horse industry.

The bill has broad bipartisan support, with over 200 cosponsors. Memphis Democrat Steve Cohen is the only one from Tennessee