Humane Society pushes for state prosecution

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- A national animal protection group is asking Tennessee prosecutors to step up enforcement against hurting horses to force exaggerated gaits.

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the Humane Society of the United States last week called on 11 Tennessee district attorneys to test swab samples collected at Tennessee walking horse shows during 2012 and prosecute if evidence of soring is found.

The newspaper said prosecutor Robert Carter, whose district includes Shelbyville where the National Celebration for the walking horse breed is held, did not return a call seeking comment.

Outgoing Walking Horse Trainers Association President Jamie Hankins said he had not seen the letter.

A federal case this year against trainer Jackie McConnell of Collierville brought him a three-year probationary sentence and a $75,000 fine.

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