Graphic undercover video shot by investigators from the Humane Society of the United States and obtained by ABC News has revealed shocking alleged torture of horses under the supervision of renowned Tennessee Walking Horse trainer Jackie McConnell.
According to ABC News, the alleged abuse was intended to force the horses to produce the "high-stepping gait" on which they are evaluated in competition.
In the video, McConnell presides over the stable hands as they allegedly use electric cattle prods to force the horses to lift their feet in a special way.
McConnell also supervises as hands allegedly apply corrosive chemicals to the animals' ankles, allegedly so the mixture will eat into their skin and prompt them to lift their legs high.
"That creates intense pain and then the ankles are wrapped with large metal chains so the horses flinch, or raise their feet even higher," the Human Society's Keith Dane told ABC News.
In light of the footage, McConnell was indicted by a federal grand jury and is expected to plead guilty to the charges.
Despite safety measures like steroid bans, the horse competition industry continues to yield startling casualties, according to The New York Times:
"On average, 24 horses die each week at racetracks across America. Many are inexpensive horses racing with little regulatory protection in pursuit of bigger and bigger prizes. These deaths often go unexamined, the bodies shipped to rendering plants and landfills rather than to pathologists who might have discovered why the horses broke down."
Back in January, undercover video obtained by the Humane Society led to legal action after the footage revealed alleged inhumane treatment at Seaboard Foods, a pig breeding facility tied to Wal-Mart.
The video showed the pigs crammed into crates with torn noses, ears, and other wounds.
The facility is one of the country's largest producers -- processing around 4 million hogs each year, or about 18,500 every day.
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