Published On: Sat, Aug 31st, 2019

Horse soring: U.S. House of Representatives pass the PAST Act, Animal Wellness Action applauds Rep. Ted Yoho, other FL members

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 693, by a vote of 333 to 96. The measure, led by U.S. Reps. Ted Yoho (R-FL), and Kurt Schrader (D-OR), co-chairs of the Congressional Veterinary Medicine Caucus received tremendous bipartisan support. Reps. Al Lawson, Michael Waltz, Stephanie Murphy, Bill Posey, Darren Soto, Val Demings, Gus Bilirakis, Charlie Crist, Kathy Castor, Vern Buchanan, Brian Mast, Francis Rooney, Alcee Hastings, Lois Frankel, Ted Deutch, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Frederica Wilson, Mario Diaz-Balart, and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell all voted in support of the measure. Rep. Matt Gaetz abstained from the vote.

Image by Chiemsee2016 from Pixabay

Reps. Neal Dunn, John Rutherford, Dan Webster, Ross Spano, and Greg Steube voted against the measure.

The PAST Act seeks to strengthen the Horse Protection Act and end the torturous, painful practice of soring Tennessee Walking, Racking, and Spotted Saddle Horses.

According to the Humane Society, soring involves the intentional infliction of pain to a horse’s legs or hooves in order to force the horse to perform an artificial, exaggerated gait. Caustic chemicals—blistering agents like mustard oil, diesel fuel and kerosene—are applied to the horse’s limbs, causing extreme pain and suffering.

Neither U.S. Senators Marco Rubio nor Rick Scott are cosponsors of the Senate companion bill, S. 1007, led by the senior U.S. Senator from Idaho, Republican Mike Crapo, that mirrors the House passed legislation and currently has 43 cosponsors in the Upper Chamber, but Rubio was a cosponsor of the bill in the 113th Congress.

“The amount of suffering endured by these gentle creatures for nothing more than a prize is barbaric, inhumane, and the time has come to end it once and for all,”said Laurie Hood, Florida state director at Animal Wellness Action. 

“As a veterinarian and lover of animals, it is time we end the inhumane practice of horse soring,” said Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL-03).“I want to thank House Leadership for bringing the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act up for a vote today and my colleague and fellow veterinarian Rep. Kurt Schrader for championing this bill with me over the years. The walking horse industry had plenty of time to self-police and change their ways, but they decided to press on. They have failed to take advantage of this opportunity and now it is time for horse soring to end.”

THe PAST Act would ban the use of painful large stacked shoes and ankle chains and would also eliminate the existing system of self-regulation by the industry and toughen penalties for violators of the Horse Protection Act. It’s supported Animal Wellness Action, the American Horse Council, American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners, United States Equestrian Federation, National Sheriff’s Association, and Florida Veterinary Medical Association.

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