December 5, 2014
Congressional Leaders Urged to Act on Legislation to Stop Horse Abuse
In the waning days of the 113th Congress, the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 1518/S. 1406, has continued to gain a level of bipartisan support few federal bills ever acquire, now with 308 House cosponsors and 60 Senate cosponsors. Seventy percent of the House is cosponsoring, including a majority of the majority in both chambers. In the Senate, the bill obtained Committee approval in April, and there are now enough cosponsors to overcome a filibuster. The Humane Society of the United States wrote to the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, R-Ohio, and the Majority Leader of the Senate, Harry Reid, D-Nev., urging them to bring the PAST Act to a vote before Congress adjourns this month.
The PAST Act amends an existing federal law – the Horse Protection Act of 1970 – to better rein in the cruel and illegal practice of “soring,” in which unscrupulous trainers deliberately inflict pain on the hooves and legs of Tennessee walking horses and other related breeds to exaggerate their high-stepping gait and gain unfair competitive advantage at horse shows. This legislation is endorsed by an unusually broad and diverse coalition, including the American Horse Council and 64 other national and state horse groups, American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners, state veterinary groups in all 50 states, National Sheriffs’ Association, and the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. The bills were introduced by Reps. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., and Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., and Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., and Mark Warner, D-Va., and cosponsored by lawmakers from all ends of the political spectrum, including both veterinarians serving in Congress.
Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS, said: “This rare demonstration of broad, bipartisan political support to halt the torture of walking horses should be sending leaders into a scramble to get the job done before the year is out. The American people are counting on them to move these bills to stop this extreme and bizarre form of animal abuse, and we stand ready to help them with the task.”
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