CHATTANOOGA, TN. (Times Free Press) -- With the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration less than a month away, federal animal regulators are moving to decertify five of the 12 horse industry organizations that are supposed to help them inspect for abuse.

Chester Gipson, deputy director of animal care for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, says the five haven't adopted the government's new toughened minimum penalties rule for exhibitors of walking horses that are found to show signs of soring — the use of chemicals and objects or pain to exaggerate the high-stepping gait of walking horses.

The action signals the agency isn't about to back off from a campaign aimed at ending abuses in the walking horse industry.

Read more on the story from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.