Congress tried, and failed, last session to pass an important bill that would protect horses from the abusive act of soring. Now, two senators have once again taken a step in the right direction by reintroducing legislation that will hopefully end this cruel practice.
Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) reintroduced the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act (S. 1121) on Tuesday. This bill will take important steps to ban the unethical practice of soring, including:
- making the actual act of soring a crime;
- eliminating the current self-policing system in the walking horse industry by requiring the USDA to license, train, assign, and oversee inspectors;
- ending the use of action devices and performance packages;
- increasing civil and criminal penalties for violation; and
- allowing for the permanent disqualification of violators.
By ensuring that federal regulators have the resources and authority they need to identify and punish violators for their crimes, the PAST Act will make it possible for America’s walking horses to be admired for their natural beauty without being subjected to the inhumane practice of soring.
Last Congress, the AVMA joined every state veterinary medical association and numerous other veterinary organizations and individuals in calling on our nation’s leaders to pass this important bill for horse welfare. Despite avid support from over 365 lawmakers, the bill died at the end of the 113th Congress. The AVMA is committed, once again, to taking all necessary action to prevent horses from being sored and will be actively supporting this bill again in the 114th Congress.
Lead sponsors Ayotte and Warner are joined by 10 original cosponsors, including Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), and David Vitter (R-La.). The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
For more information on the unethical practice of soring, see the AVMA’s web page, which has a video and background information on the topic. We also encourage you to write your senator and ask them to support S. 1121 through AVMA’s Congressional Advocacy Network.