Congress moved a step closer to protecting horses from the cruel practice of “soring” when the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation approved the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act today by a voice vote. The PAST Act will end the decades-long abusive training method of soring, which involves the use of chemicals and devices on the legs and feet of some Tennessee Walking Horses to force them to perform the high-stepping “Big Lick” gait.
“Horse soring is a disgrace, but growing momentum for the PAST Act means that reform is within reach… Congress should ensure a sound future for Tennessee walking horses by passing this legislation on the Senate floor without delay,” says Keith Dane, vice president of equine protection for The Humane Society of the United States.
The PAST Act will fortify the federal Horse Protection Act, which was passed in 1970, but contained loopholes that has allowed soring to thrive in factions of the TWH industry. The bill’s needed reforms include eliminating the failed industry self-policing system, banning devices used in the soring process from the show ring, and strengthening penalties to provide a meaningful deterrent against abusing horses to cheat at horse shows.
The PAST Act is co-sponsored by 51 Senators and 269 Representatives. It is endorsed by 50 national and state horse groups, the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners, and state veterinary groups in all 50 states.
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