Congress is being urged by the American Horse Council to pass a well-supported bill that aims to clamp down on the illegal practice of horse soring.
The Prevent All Soring Tactics Act, or PAST Act (S.1406/H.R.1518), recently surpassed 300 co-sponsors in the House and has 57 co-sponsors in the Senate.
It is supported by almost all major national horse show organizations and many state and local horse organizations. It has also been approved by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and is one of the most widely supported and bi-partisan bills in Congress.
The PAST Act would strengthen the Horse Protection Act (HPA) in a bid to end the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses, Spotted Saddle Horses, and Racking Horses.
Despite the existence of a federal ban on soring for more than 40 years, this cruel practice, involving the use of chemical and mechanical irritants on the lower legs of horses, is said to still be used by some in the performance or “big lick” segments of the walking horse industry.
“Very few bills in Congress ever achieve this level of support and this is an important milestone,” council president Jay Hickey said.
“The magnitude of support for this bill is clear, but to advance it still needs to be brought to a vote.
“Ending soring is important for the welfare of Tennessee Walking Horses, Spotted Saddle Horses, and Racking Horses. But, it is also important for the economic health of the horse industry because, while soring happens only in a small segment of the Tennessee Walking Horse, Spotted Saddle Horse, and Racking Horse industry, such abuse damages the image of the entire horse industry.”
Most major national horse show organizations support the PAST Act, including the American Horse Council, the American Quarter Horse Association, the US Equestrian Federation, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the American Paint Horse Association, the American Morgan Horse Association, the Pinto Horse Association of America, the Arabian Horse Association, the American Saddlebred Horse Association, the United Professional Horsemen’s Association, the Appaloosa Horse Club, as well as many state and local horse organizations.
Hickey continued: “We believe now is the time for Congress to take action on the PAST Act. The AHC urges all members of the horse community to contact their Senators and Representative and tell them the PAST Act should be given a vote as soon as possible and they should vote for it, when that happens.”
Individuals who wish to support the PAST Act can visit www.horsecouncil.org to find out more.