Bill to stop soring is introduced

Take action to protect horses and stop the cruel practice of soringFor more than 40 years, it has been illegal to sore horses being transported, shown, exhibited or sold. Sadly, the practice of soring – which entails deliberately causing pain to exaggerate the leg motion of a horse’s gait to gain an unfair advantage in show rings – has continued due to ineffective self-regulation, detection avoidance by trainers, and budget constraints hindering the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) enforcement capabilities.

In January, the USDA announced a rule that would have helped put an end to soring. Unfortunately, this rule was suspended during a regulatory freeze by the new administration, and its future remains uncertain.

Fortunately, there is another avenue through which we can address soring. Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) introduced the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act (H.R. 1847).

This bill aims to end soring by enabling the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to license, train and oversee independent third-party inspectors. This change would end failed self-regulation and eliminate potential conflict of interest concerns. Additionally, the PAST Act would increase penalties for soring violations and ban the use of action devices – which are associated with soring – on any Tennessee Walking Horse, Racking Horse or Spotted Saddle Horse at a horse show, horse exhibition, or horse sale or auction. Stacks and pads on Tennessee Walking Horses, Racking Horses or Spotted Saddle Horses being shown, exhibited or auctioned would also be banned, although exceptions would be made for therapeutic use with veterinary supervision.

The AVMA is working with Congress to secure support for the PAST Act. Your voice can make a difference too – you can visit our Congressional Advocacy Network to contact your representatives in support of this legislation. This quick and easy action can influence your members of Congress and help us win the fight against soring.

It’s long past time that soring was ended for good. Learn more about soring and what we’re doing to stop it.


4 thoughts on “Bill to stop soring is introduced

  1. The AVMA, AAEP and the political support for the PAST act is based upon misinformation , falsehoods, and political pressure . Need to have more accurate info to push political agendas.

  2. As you say, soring has been illegal for years. It’s time to enforce it. There’s no reason to make another useless law. We are inundated with UNENFORCED LAWS. And with each one comes additional regulations and generalization that encompasses far more than intended and reaches into other breeds that do not sore. This new law is included in that. It doesn’t specify the ridiculous blocks that TW bear on their feet but makes general statements about pads. This is counterproductive for happy healthy horses. There are 20-30 year old horses who are still beautiful and performing, many of which were rescued from killers. Pads make their feet comfortable, just like insoles in our shoes.
    I will emphasize again that what’s needed is enforcement. All the laws in the world, if not enforced, are useless.

  3. Marcella,
    If you are going to leave a comment and say “…no dog in this hunt,” what is your reason for commenting? What are you associated with? My guess would be somehow somewhere you do have a reason other than your stated reason. I work with hundreds of veterinarians and animal welfare groups and, no, I don’t work with and have never donated to the Humane Society. But, all the negative ads against the Humane Society came from Humane Watch that is a lobbying effort supported by the food industry. This information is not on a Humane Society website; it is associated with the American Veterinary Medical Association. So, these are animal physicians saying these are bad practices that cause animals pain. Wow, I guess that makes them evil. They are not “attacking performance horses” as you say, but they are attacking those who do.
    Do you believe you should be able to inflict pain on animals in order to “train” them? Really? If so you would never listen to reason anyway and we would be arguing with the wind….

  4. This bill keeps popping up like a bad penny. The Humane Society of the U.S. (H$U$) is behind this, and they are trying to get legislation passed, little by little, against performance horse use. This really has very little to do with soring–it’s opportunistic for the H$U$. As the article pointed out, the law has been on the books for a long time. NO MORE LAWS are needed, only proper enforcement of current laws. Note how this bill adds in pads, etc., that are NOT cruel if used properly. That’s the H$U$’s contribution—ANYTHING to incrementally negatively affect performance horse use, with the soring issue being “low hanging fruit” that everyone agrees is bad practice. AVMA members have chosen to NOT join the HSVMA (H$U$’s veterinarian organization) because of the anti-animal-enterprise underlying philosophy. PLEASE do NOT join H$U$ in further attacking performance horses. And no, I don’t have a TWH or other high-stepping show horse, so no dog in this hunt, EXCEPT that I recognize the evil that is the misanthropic animal rights-led H$U$!