The federal government has moved toward stiffer, mandatory penalties for horse soring and other related violations. According to The Tennessean the U.S. Department of Agriculture will implement a new rule requiring organizations that inspect horses to assess minimum penalties to violators of the Horse Protection Act, including violations from soring Tennessee Walking Horses. Currently, outside organizations licensed by the USDA and certified by the department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service can inspect horses for soring and other violations. The new rule would require these organizations to assess the same level of federally mandated penalties in any horse show they are inspecting. Soring is pouring caustic chemicals on the hooves and lower legs of horses to induce the high leg kick that wins prizes in competitions.