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VA Congressional Delegation Supports Anti Horse Cruelty Bill, Rep. Ben Cline Alone in Vote to Allow Abuse to Continue

Virginia Resident Jeannie McGuire Exhibiting a Sound and Natural Walking Horse in 2014 at Walk on Washington

Virginia Resident Jeannie McGuire Exhibiting a Sound and Natural Walking Horse in 2014 at Walk on Washington

Devices the PAST Act would outlaw in horse shows

Soring

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

Priscilla Presley and Animal Wellness Action Executive Director Marty Irby Lobbying for the PAST Act on Capitol Hill in January of 2019

Example of a 'Big Lick' stacked shoe XRay

Horses have been a part of our Commonwealth’s history and culture since the settling of Jamestown, and like all animals, they deserve to be treated with care and compassion.”
— U.S. Senator Mark Warner
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA , USA, August 8, 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. Reps. Rob Wittman, Elaine Luria, Bobby Scott, Donald McEachin, Denver Riggleman, Abigail Spanberger, Donald Beyer, Morgan Griffith, Jennifer Wexton, and Gerald Connolly all voted for the measure, while U.S. Rep. Ben Cline stood alone, voting to allow the abusive practice of soring to continue. All of the Members who voted for the legislation were cosponsors of the bill except for Griffith, who was a cosponsor in the 115th 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.

U.S. Senator Mark Warner is the longtime lead Democrat Sponsor of S. 1007, the Senate companion bill that mirrors the House passed PAST Act, that U.S. Senator Tim Kaine is also a cosponsor of with 43 total cosponsors.

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 the Virginia Delegation 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. “We are disappointed that Rep. Ben Cline stood alone, choosing to side with abusers, but the landslide vote in support of the bill is a powerful signal to the Senate that it should saddle up and end this cruelty to horses once and for all.”

“It is way past time to end the barbaric practice of horse soring,” said Rep. Donald Beyer (D-VA-08). “Abusive trainers were given the chance to self-police, but it is obvious Congress must step in. I thank Congressman Schrader for his leadership on the PAST Act, in addition to the vast majority of my colleagues in Congress cosponsoring this important legislation.”

“Horses have been a part of our Commonwealth’s history and culture since the settling of Jamestown, and like all animals, they deserve to be treated with care and compassion,” said Senator Mark Warner (D-VA). “Now that the House has voted, on a bipartisan basis, to protect these animals from the cruel practice of inflicting deliberate suffering for show purposes, the Senate must act.”

“I support the humane treatment of all animals and remain committed to ending the cruel practice of soring,” said Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), lead Republican sponsor of the PAST Act in the U.S. Senate. “I appreciate the House’s movement on the PAST Act. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Senate to see that the legislation moves in the Senate and that current animal welfare laws are enforced.”

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 Virginia 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).

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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