Veterinary Advisory Committee Responds to False Allegations
The Veterinary Advisory Committee (VAC) to the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration met earlier today, with its full membership present.
Drs. Jerry H. Johnson, Dallas O. Goble, and Phillip Hammock met to begin evaluating the current protocols they put in place at the 2014 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. They discussed what further steps might be taken to ensure the welfare of the breed and address a series of misleading and harmful comments levied at them, both individually and as a committee.
Dr. Goble has been a member of the VAC since its inception. He has been an active part of the committee in creating the protocols and introducing objective scientific tests, which includes digital x-ray and blood testing.
Furthermore, Dr. Goble states that on no occasion did he deny being a part of the VAC or absent from the process in the creation of the inspection protocols.
Dr. Gobles was in contact with this member of the media only once, contrary to the article he published on this subject. Dr. Gobles spoke truthfully, and throughout the week this particular member of the media has chosen to ignore repeated confirmations that Dr. Gobles was and is on the VAC.
The public is reminded that it was never a requirement or expectation that all the committee members would be on site to carry out the VAC recommendations.
In the past week, the VAC has received honest and fair coverage from multiple media outlets. Their stories have included critical remarks from others, but they were objective. We are deeply saddened that this one media outlet has chosen to take every opportunity to twist our words in order to create a sensational headline that is blatantly dishonest.
The VAC created the inspection protocols and the implementation is being supervised on-site by VAC chair Dr. Jerry H. Johnson. Leading show veterinarian Dr. John O’Brien is administering inspections and is joined by Drs. Bruce Howard and Margaret Mitchell (blood testing team) and Dr. Jennifer Miller (digital x-rays).
The VAC would also like to remind the public that its testing protocols are in addition to USDA inspections and, as has been stated from the beginning, VAC findings will be made public as soon as laboratory evaluations of blood samples are complete.
The VAC is completely committed to enhance the welfare of all equine and have dedicated their professional careers to this effort. Combined, the three-member VAC has over 125 years of experience as licensed veterinarians. They are extremely disappointed that the extraordinary welfare efforts have been overshadowed by untruths, inaccuracies and false information.
Further, Dr. Goble regrets that for personal reasons, he will not be able to participate in the evaluation of the results or continue to participate as a member of the VAC.
For further details or information, please contact (931) 359-1574.