Rep. Yoho’s Bipartisan PAST Act Passes the House
Washington, D.C. –Today, the U.S. Senator Joseph D. Tydings Memorial Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 693 passed out of the United States House of Representatives. It was introduced by Reps. Ted Yoho (R-FL) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR); both veterinarians and co-chairs of the Veterinary Medicine Caucus. The bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and had 307 cosponsors.
Soring is the practice of intentionally injuring the hooves and legs of Tennessee Walking Horses to exaggerate the leg motion of these high gaited animals. It is most commonly done to Tennessee Walking Horse, Racking Horse, and Spotted Saddle Horse breeds. Common examples of soring include applying caustic chemicals to a horse’s lower leg, trimming their hooves, or applying metal “action devices,” such as heavy chains and weighted shoes, that cause pain to the horse’s hooves.
“As a veterinarian and lover of animals, it is time we end the inhumane practice of horse soring. I want to thank House Leadership for bringing the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act up for a vote today and my colleague and fellow veterinarian Rep. Kurt Schrader for championing this bill with me over the years,” Rep. Yoho said. “The walking horse industry had plenty of time to self-police and change their ways, but they decided to press on. They have failed to take advantage of this opportunity and now it is time for horse soring to end.
“Horse soring still runs rampant even though laws have been on the books for decades banning this cruel practice,” said Rep. Schrader (D-OR). We gave folks a chance to self-police, but the abusive behaviors continued. The bill that was passed today will strengthen and improve current regulations by improving USDA enforcement, increasing civil and criminal penalties, and banning incentives to sore horses. This is a historic day and I am grateful for my colleagues who worked tirelessly to get this legislation across the finish line and for the beautiful horses that we love so much.”
"Today’s vote for the PAST Act is a historic victory for horses, veterinarians and everyone who cares about animal welfare,” said AVMA President Dr. John de Jong. “AVMA has worked for many years to end the cruel and inhumane practice of horse soring, and now we’re one step closer to finally winning this protection for horses. We’re thankful to Representatives Kurt Schrader and Ted Yoho, and all of the lawmakers who have worked tirelessly to advance this groundbreaking legislation.”
This legislation was endorsed by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Horse Council, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the National Sheriff’s Association, the Kentucky-based United States Equestrian Foundation, the All American Walking Horse Alliance, Animal Wellness Action, the Humane Society of the United States, veterinary medical associations from all 50 states, and more.