U.S. Reps. Ted Yoho, Kurt Schrader Continue Fight to Ban Horse Soring
By Kevin Derby, Sunshine State News // January 29, 2019
Yoho’s and Schrader’s bill would amend the Horse Protection Act of 1970 to end horse soring
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Two veterinarians currently serving in Congress have teamed up again to bring back a bill banning horse soring.
Back in 2013, U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Oreg., paired up to introduce the “Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act.”
Yoho’s and Schrader’s bill would amend the Horse Protection Act of 1970 to end horse soring which involves injuring the hooves and legs in order for the horse to have a dramatic, exaggerated leg motion which can be seen in Tennessee walking horses.
Yoho and Schrader, the current co-chairs, brought the proposal back this week, renaming it to honor former U.S. Sen, Joseph Tydings, D-Md., who passed away in October. Tydings was the sponsor of the Horse Protection Act of 1970.
“I am honored to join my fellow veterinarian, Rep. Kurt Schrader and various organizations who support the end of Horse Soring. As a veterinarian and lover of animals, we must continue to keep the pressure on a select group of bad actors in the Walking Horse industry. They must comply with existing law and stop this illegal practice for good,” Yoho said on Tuesday.
“Horse soring still runs rampant even though laws have been on the books for decades banning this cruel practice,” said Schrader.
“We gave them a chance to self-police but the practice continued. Our bill will strengthen and improve current regulations by improving USDA enforcement, increasing civil and criminal penalties, and banning incentives to sore horses. It’s time for Congress to act and put an end to this abusive practice.”
The bill has proven popular in the House with around 290 cosponsors in the last Congress while more than 280 groups have backed the proposal including the American Horse Council, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the United States Equestrian Federation, the National Sheriffs Association and the veterinary medical associations from all 50 states.
“We applaud the members for reintroducing the PAST Act and recognizing the late Senator Joe Tydings,” said Marty Irby, the executive director at Animal Wellness Action, and a past president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association.
“It is right and fitting to name the bill after the lawmaker who led the fight to pass the original Horse Protection Act. It’s long past time to end the rampant abusive practice of soring that I’ve personally witnessed since childhood, and Congress should swiftly bring this measure to a vote.”
The bill was sent to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday. Over in the U.S. Senate, U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo, R-Id., and Mark Warner, D-Va., plan to introduce a companion bill.
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