A federal bill which will protect Tennessee walking horses, racking horses, and Spotted Saddle horses from the cruel practice known as “soring” was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on July 28 by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla). The Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 3268, and its companion bill in the Senate, S. 1121, are endorsed by the American Association of Equine Practitioners and a broad coalition of major horse industry, veterinary and animal protection groups.
Soring is the abusive act of intentionally inflicting pain–through chemical or physical means–to accentuate a horse’s gait for training or show purposes. Although first banned by the Horse Protection Act in 1970, the illegal practice continues.
The PAST Act seeks to end soring by increasing criminal and civil penalties for those who sore a horse; eliminating the use of equipment known as action devices and performance packages, which are proven to mask the signs of soring; and allowing for the permanent disqualification of violators from competition.
Both bills already have strong bipartisan support in Congress with 131 cosponsors in the House supporting H.R. 3268 and 44 cosponsors in the Senate in favor of S. 1121.
“It is impressive to see such bipartisan support for the bill,” said Dr. Kent Carter, president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners. “However, this support will only provide real help for these horses if this important legislation is passed.”
The AAEP encourages everyone who wishes to see an end to the abusive act of soring to email or call their congressional representatives in order to voice support for the bill. If your Senators or Representatives are cosponsors of the bill, please thank them for their support of the PAST Act and ask them to help bring the bill to a vote. If they are not cosponsors, please ask them to sign on as a cosponsor of H.R. 3268 or S. 1121.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners, headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse. Currently, the AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its over 9,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.