At long last, legislation to end equine abuse at horse shows received a vote in Congress. The Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act (HR 693) passed the House of Representatives by an overwhelming vote of 333 to 96. Led by Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Ted Yoho (R-FL), co-chairs of the Congressional Veterinary Medicine Caucus, the PAST Act would end “soring,” the barbaric practice of intentionally injuring a horse’s hooves and legs to force a higher-stepping gait during certain walking horse competitions. Methods used to sore horses include applying diesel fuel and kerosene to burn the skin, grinding down hooves to expose sensitive tissues, and applying sharp or abrasive objects to tender areas to maximize pain.
AWI has fought for passage of this legislation for many years and has been advocating for significant reforms to the US Department of Agriculture’s current failed system that allows the walking horse industry to police itself. The American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Equine Practitioners, along with the American Horse Council and several show horse industry groups, all endorse the PAST Act.
At press time, a companion measure, introduced by Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Mark Warner (D-VA), had already garnered 47 Senate cosponsors.