EIN News: Bipartisan Reps. Titus, Amodei, Lee, and Horsford All Agree on Legislation to Protect Iconic American Horses

Aug 2, 2019
In The News

On Thursday, July 25th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the U.S. Senator Joseph D. Tydings Memorial Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 693, by a vote of 333 to 96. U.S. Reps. Dina Titus, Mark Amodei, Susie Lee, and Steven Horsford – the entire House Delegation from Nevada – all cosponsors of the bill – voted in support of the measure. Both U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto and Jackie Rosen are cosponsors of S. 1007, the Senate companion bill that mirrors the House passed legislation.

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.

“We applaud Reps. Titus, Amodei, Lee and Horsford for voting to pass the PAST Act to end this barbaric and indefensible practice that has marred the horse show world for decades,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action and past president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association. “The entire Nevada delegation’s support of the bill is a powerful signal to the Senate that it should saddle up and end this cruelty to horses once and for all.”

“Inflicting pain on horses at shows and sales is a cruel practice that must end,” said Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV-01). “We simply cannot trust the industry to police itself. I’m proud to help pass this important legislation and I will continue to strongly advocate from the halls of the Capitol to end animal cruelty.”

“Horse soring has been outlawed since 1970, but the practice continues to this day,” said Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV-04). “These poor animals are still being tortured due to our lack of enforcement. It is time for Congress to act and pass the PAST Act.”

The bill had been blocked for years by a handful of well-placed lawmakers, but a new House rule now triggers consideration of any measure that attracts 290 or more cosponsors brought the issue to the floor. The PAST Act attracted 308 cosponsors and was led by U.S. Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Ted Yoho (R-FL), co-chairs 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). The Senate companion bill is led by U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Mark Warner (D-VA) and has garnered 40 cosponsors. 

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 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 Nevada Veterinary Medical Association.