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Time for Congress to vote on anti-soring bill, says lawmaker

Ed Whitfield

Ed Whitfield

It is long past time for Congress to bring the widely supported Prevent and Soring Tactics (PAST) Act to the floor for a vote, according to Representative Ed Whitfield (R-KY-01).

“I am not aware of any other proposed legislation that exists with this much broad-based, bicameral, bipartisan support,” said Whitfield, writing on Thehill.com.

“The American people have repeatedly expressed their displeasure with Congress, and this is a great opportunity for Congress to lead our country and show the people we can all work together and pass legislation through both houses that is beneficial to our country, our constituents, our economy and the welfare of these horses.”

The bill aims to impose tougher measures against soring – the illegal use of chemical and mechanical irritants to encourage the high-stepping “Big Lick” gait in the walking horse industry.

Whitfield said support for the bill was astounding. The House version has 305 co-sponsors and the Senate companion version has 57 bipartisan co-sponsors.

Endorsements have come from the American Horse Council, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the National Sheriffs’ Association, the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and veterinary medical associations from all 50 states.

Whitfield said he received a letter last week from former Republican governor of Tennessee Winfield Dunn in support of the act. Dunn, he said, expressed his personal view of soring within the industry. Dunn wrote: “The abuse and suffering which these innocent and loyal animals now experience every day must be brought to an end. I have made my feelings known to members of the Tennessee delegation. I look forward to a day, very soon, when walking horse enthusiasts, both pleasure seekers and competitors, can enjoy the beauty and naturalness of the horse.”

Whitfield, who has represented Kentucky’s 1st Congressional District since 1995, said: “It is long past time for Congress to bring this measure to the floor for a vote.”

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