Texas Congressional Delegation Split on Measure to Protect Iconic American Horses; 12 Members Side with Animal Abusers

World Grand Champion Tennessee Walking Horse performing the "Big Lick"

World Grand Champion Tennessee Walking Horse performing the "Big Lick"


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

Priscilla Presley, U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Holly Gann, and Marty Irby on Capitol Hill Discussing the PAST Act

The bottom line is you are either for animal cruelty, or you are against it.”
— - U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL)
AUSTIN, TEXAS, USA, August 30, 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. The measure received strong support from the State of Texas with Reps. Van Taylor, Lance Gooden, Lizzie Fletcher, Al Green, Mike McCaul, Kay Granger, Randy Weber, Vicente Gonzalez, Veronica Escobar, Bill Flores, Sheila Jackson Lee, Jodey Arrington, Joaquin Castro, Will Hurd, Roger Williams, Michael Burgess, Henry Cuellar, Sylvia Garcia, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Collin Allred, Marc Veasey, Filemon Vela, Lloyd Doggett, and Brian Babin voting in support of the measure.

Reps. Louie Gohmert, Dan Crenshaw, John Ratcliffe, Ron Wright, Kevin Brady, Mike Conaway, Mac Thornberry, Chip Roy, Pete Olson, Michael Cloud, John Carter, and Kenny Marchant voted against the bill – siding with animal abusers. Marchant had been a longtime cosponsor of the measure but changed his position by voting against the PAST Act.

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 2 days at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville, Tennessee.

Neither U.S. Senators John Cornyn, nor Ted Cruz are listed as cosponsors of the Senate companion bill, S. 1007, led by the senior U.S. Senator from Idaho, Republican Mike Crapo, that mirrors the House passed legislation and currently has 43 cosponsors in the Upper Chamber.

“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.

“We applaud the Members from Texas that supported the PAST Act for their key role in helping end the practice of soring that has marred the show horse world for six decades,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action and a past president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association. “The PAST Act’s overwhelming support sends a strong signal to the U.S. Senate that it should saddle up and swiftly move this legislation to a vote, and I hope Senators Cornyn and Cruz will join in co-sponsoring the bill.”

"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 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 New York 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).

Check out what Members of Congress are saying about the PAST Act 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
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Alleged "pressure shod" sored horse in Alabama