Animal Wellness Action Applauds U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth for Working to Protect Tennessee Walking Horses

Rep. John Yarmuth

Rep. John Yarmuth

“U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should swiftly schedule a vote on the PAST Act, and execute the will of the American people, and I call on him to do so!” ”
— Priscilla Presley, Animal Wellness Advocate

LOUISVILLE , KENTUCKY , USA, August 28, 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. Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY-03) was a cosponsor and voted in support of the measure. The rest of the House delegation broke from the majoirty of Republicans in the House and sided with animal abusers, voting against the bill. Yarmuth, a longtime equine protection advocate, was awarded the American Horse Council’s Rolapp Award for his outstanding service to the industry in 2015.

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. The “Big Lick” animal cruelty will be exhibited for the next 4 days at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville, Tennessee.

U.S. Reps. James Comer (R-KY-01) and Hal Rogers (R-KY-05) have both been longtime defenders of the pro-soring coalition in Kentucky and Tennessee that includes State Senator Robin Webb (D-Ashland) who has been cited on numerous occasions for violations of the current federal law, the Horse Protection Act of 1970.

“We applaud Rep. John Yarmuth for his tireless work to help end the practice of soring that runs rampant in Kentucky,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action and a past president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association. “Some of worst cases of soring abuse I’ve witnessed have occurred in the Bluegrass State – what many walking horse enthusiasts refer to as the ‘pain caves of Kentucky.”

“Timing is ripe, and the majority of Americans want to see Congress work to protect these iconic American horses upon whose backs our country was built upon,” said Animal Wellness Advocate Priscilla Presley. “U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should swiftly schedule a vote on the PAST Act, and execute the will of the American people, and I call on him to do so!”

“The bottom line is you are either for animal cruelty, or you are against it,” said Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL), lead Republican sponsor of the House PAST 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 the American Saddlebred Association, American Quarter Horse Association, 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 Kentucky 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 Rep. 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). The Senate companion has garnered 43 cosponsors.

Check out the latest edition of The Political Animal: Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration left with bloody nose and black eye by press and the City of Nashville by clicking here.

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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