By: Dr. Whitney Miller, assistant director, AVMA Governmental Relations Division
With time running out on the 113th Congress, the U.S. Senate this week made its final attempt to pass the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act (S. 1406) before it adjourns, but unfortunately, that effort has come up short.
Supported by 60 senators, bill sponsors Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) sent S. 1406 around for “unanimous consent,” which is a procedural way that the Senate can pass a bill without a full vote by every senator. However, if even one senator objects or decides to hold off on supporting the bill, it stops the bill in its tracks. Unfortunately, that was exactly what happened this week when an anonymous Republican senator placed an indefinite hold on the bill.
This legislation is absolutely necessary to protect the welfare of America’s walking horses and end the inhumane and cruel practice of soring, but it may have just lost its chance to become law this Congress. The PAST Act has overwhelming, bipartisan support in Congress, and it is appalling that the bill, which will do so much to protect horses, will be left unfinished. America’s horses deserve better!
So far this month, we have seen more than 3,000 letters sent to members of Congress through AVMA’s Congressional Advocacy Network in support of this bill. THANK YOU to all of you who have taken a stand for these beautiful creatures! If you have not signed our alert yet, there is still a little time left. Take action NOW. Tell Congress that America’s horses cannot wait!