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Unidentified Senate Republican Hold Blocks Bill to Protect Horses

Legislation to stop the cruel and illegal practice of “soring” – one of the most broadly supported bills in Congress with 60 Senate cosponsors and 308 House cosponsors – has been blocked by at least one Republican Senator, preventing movement on the legislation until the “hold” is lifted.  The Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, S. 1406, was hotlined Monday afternoon in an effort to pass the bill by unanimous consent in the final days of the 113th Congress. The bill was cleared by the Senate Democrats, but the Republican side has at least one objection, thereby blocking the bill from moving forward. The Humane Society of the United States urges any Republican who has a hold on the PAST Act to lift his or her objection and allow the bill to clear the Senate.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS, said: “It’s very disturbing that any lawmaker would block a bill to stop the intentional torture of horses solely to win ribbons at horse shows. I don’t think there’s any substantive policy bill in the Congress with this level of broad, bipartisan support, and one or two lawmakers should not be able to thwart the will of so many Americans to crack down on this appalling cruelty.”

The PAST Act has well more than a two-thirds majority in the House, with a majority of Republicans and nearly every Democrat in the House co-sponsoring the legislation. In the Senate, the bill obtained Committee approval in April, and there are now enough cosponsors to overcome a filibuster. It is also endorsed by an unusually broad and diverse coalition.

Earlier, The HSUS wrote to Congressional leaders in both chambers urging them to bring the PAST Act to a vote. The protection of Tennessee walking horses from soring is a top priority of The HSUS and the organization is committed to ending this abusive practice without further delay.


Media Contact: Stephanie Twining, 240-751-3943, stwining@humanesociety.org