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Animal Wellness Action Applauds U.S. Reps. Tulsi Gabbard, and Ed Case for Supporting Legislation to End Horse Abuse

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. Rep. Ed Case

U.S. Rep. Ed Case

Soring

Example of soring that enforcement of the Horse Protection Act would prevent

"When I first met Tulsi in 2013, she signed on as a cosponsor of the PAST Act that day, and has been unwavering in her support ever since.”
— Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action
HONOLULU, HAWAII, USA, August 12, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ -- 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. U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a longtime champion and cosponsor of the bill and Rep. Ed Case, also a cosponsor, both voted in support of 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. Soring, the intentional infliction of pain to horses' front limbs by applying caustic chemicals such as mustard oil or kerosene or inserting sharp objects into the horses' hooves to create an exaggerated gait known as the "Big Lick,” has plagued the equine world for six decades.

U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono is also a cosponsor of the Senate companion bill, S. 1007, that mirrors the House passed legislation. U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, a cosponsor of the bill in 2018, has not yet cosponsored the PAST Act in the 116th Congress.

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. Soring, the intentional infliction of pain to horses’ front limbs by applying caustic chemicals such as mustard oil or kerosene or inserting sharp objects into the horses’ hooves to create an exaggerated gait known as the “Big Lick,” has plagued the equine world for six decades.

“We applaud Reps. Tulsi Gabbard and Ed Case for their key role in overwhelmingly passing the PAST Act to end this barbaric and indefensible practice that has marred the horse show world for decades,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action and past president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association. "When I first met Tulsi in 2013, she signed on as a cosponsor of the PAST Act that day, and has been unwavering in her support ever since. The landslide vote for PAST is a powerful signal to the U.S. Senate that it should pony up and end this cruelty to horses once and for all.”

“Once soring ends, and the “big lick” pain-based gait is eradicated, the Tennessee Walking Horse will thrive and grow like never before, and can be proudly exhibited around the globe,” said Animal Wellness advocate Priscilla Presley. “I want to see the breed flourish and believe Elvis would want to see that as well. The Tennessee Walking Horse, in its sound and natural form is the most versatile, and greatest breed of horse on earth.”

“I am pleased the House passed the PAST Act with strong bipartisan support today,” said U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). “This legislation will close loopholes that enable the cruel practice of “soring” horses. I thank Rep. Schrader for being a champion of animal welfare issues and building on the legacy of my late friend, Senator Tydings. I urge Senator McConnell to take up this bipartisan legislation without delay.”

“Horse soring still runs rampant even though laws have been on the books for decades banning this cruel practice,” said Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), lead sponsor of the PAST Act. “We gave folks a chance to self-police, but the abusive behaviors continued. The bill that was passed today will strengthen and improve current regulations by improving USDA enforcement, increasing civil and criminal penalties, and banning incentives to sore horses. This is a historic day and I am grateful for my colleagues who worked tirelessly to get this legislation across the finish line and for the beautiful horses that we love so much.”

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 by 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 Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association.

The PAST Act has been blocked for years by a handful of well-placed lawmakers, but a new House rule triggering consideration of any measure that attracts 290 or more cosponsors brought the issue to the floor. PAST attracted 308 cosponsors, and was led by U.S. Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Ted Yoho (R-FL), cochairs of the Congressional Veterinary Medicine Caucus, along with Reps. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Ron Estes (R-KS), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Chris Collins (R-NY). The Senate companion is led by U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Mark Warner (D-VA) has garnered 43 cosponsors.

See what Members of Congress from across the nation have to say about the PAST Act by clicking here.

The Animal Wellness Foundation (Foundation) is a Los Angeles-based private charitable organization with a mission of helping animals by making veterinary care available to everyone with a pet, regardless of economic ability. We organize rescue efforts and medical services for dogs and cats in need and help homeless pets find a loving caregiver. We are advocates for getting veterinarians to the front lines of the animal welfare movement; promoting responsible pet ownership; and vaccinating animals against infectious diseases such as distemper. We also support policies that prevent animal cruelty and that alleviate suffering. We believe helping animals helps us all.

Animal Wellness Action (Action) is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) organization with a mission of helping animals by promoting legal standards forbidding cruelty. We champion causes that alleviate the suffering of companion animals, farm animals, and wildlife. We advocate for policies to stop dogfighting and cockfighting and other forms of malicious cruelty and to confront factory farming and other systemic forms of animal exploitation. To prevent cruelty, we promote enacting good public policies and we work to enforce those policies. To enact good laws, we must elect good lawmakers, and that’s why we remind voters which candidates care about our issues and which ones don’t. We believe helping animals helps us all.

Marty Irby
ANIMAL WELLNESS ACTION
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Damage to 'Big Lick' horse from alleged pressure shoeing soring incident

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