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Anti-Soring legislation gets boost with Walk on Washington

Whitfield, Cohen, and Schakowsky speak on behalf of the bipartisan, bicameral Prevent All Soring Tactics Act to help ensure the Horse Protection Act of 1970 is enforced and stop the intentional infliction of pain to horses
Click on headline for complete story from Rep. Ed Whitfield's office

By Marty Irby
News from Rep. Ed Whitfield's Office

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, a nationwide rally, the "Walk on Washington" was held on Capitol Hill by the All American Walking Horse Alliance. Grassroots enthusiasts attended from all over of the United States who support the passage of the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 1518/S. 1406 to end the horrific practice of "soring" Tennessee Walking, Racking, and Spotted Saddle horses. The PAST Act currently has 293 bipartisan cosponsors in the United States House of Representatives, and 56 in the United States Senate. Soring is the intentional infliction of pain to horses' feet to achieve the high stepping "big lick" pain-based gait that is sought after by many violators of the Horse Protection Act (HPA) of 1970.

Keynote speakers for the event included lead sponsor Representative Ed Whitfield (KY-01), and original sponsors Representative Steve Cohen (TN-09), and Representative Jan Schakowsky (IL-09). Additionally, former United States Senator Joe Tydings, who introduced the Horse Protection Act of 1970 to stop the abuse that continues today spoke in favor of the PAST Act. The HPA of 1970 left several loopholes and was amended in 1976 to allow self-regulation which has failed miserably. The PAST Act closes these loopholes by eliminating "stacks" and "chains", which are placed on horses' feet to harm them and conceal soring methods, and allows for independent inspectors licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture.

The rally was attended by several hundred supporters including the American Horse Council, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the World Walking Horse Association, and others. Additionally, six sound flat-shod horses were featured for Members of Congress and the general public to view.

"I am encouraged to see this grassroots effort of PAST Act supporters. I am also pleased to have had the privilege of speaking at this event and being a voice for these great horses. This was a great opportunity for Congress to see the amount of support this bill has from the entire equine, veterinary, animal welfare, and Tennessee Walking Horse world. Those who present sound horses without stacks and chains and support this important legislation are to be commended and I applaud their efforts and dedication." - Representative Ed Whitfield (KY-01)

"How we treat animals is a direct reflection of our character, both as individuals and as a society. When we allow the mistreatment and disrespect of any conscious being, we also devalue our own humanity. With two-thirds of the House and a majority of the Senate already in support of our PAST Act, I hope that the outpouring of grassroots support at today's Walk on Washington helps convince my colleagues in Congress that it is time to ensure that horses are treated humanely and to prevent animal abuse." - Representative Steve Cohen (TN-09)

"It was great to see so many PAST Act supporters today and I am very thankful for all their efforts. I am proud to be a leading supporter of the legislation, and I will do whatever I can to move this critical bill forward in the House of Representatives. This issue is so clear-cut, so obviously necessary, that we are seeing some of the most progressive and most conservative members speaking in unison on it. I join my fellow members in asking the House leadership to schedule this bill for a vote - a vote that we will pass by an overwhelming margin." - Representative Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)

This story was posted on 2014-06-19 09:12:10
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