- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Humane Society of the United States has purchased three billboards in Shelbyville to raise awareness about illegal horse soring.

Soring occurs when a horse’s legs are intentionally injured to make the animal have a higher gait.

The billboards have been put up in advance of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration scheduled for Aug. 26 through Sept. 5.

A federal Department of Agriculture report showed almost double the number of soring violations at the Shelbyville competition last year compared with 2013.

Accusations of soring flared in 2011 when the Humane Society released a secretly filmed video. It showed trainers applying caustic substances to horses’ legs and hooves, then beating them to make them stand.

Officials have taken strides to restore confidence in the industry, but critics say soring is still a problem.

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