Two veterinarians currently serving in Congress teamed up last week to bring out a bill banning horse soring.
U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Oreg., paired up to introduced the “Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act.” Yoho’s and Schrader’s bill would amend the Horse Protection Act of 1970 to end horse soring which involves injuring the hooves and legs in order for the horse to have a dramatic, exaggerated leg motion which can be seen in Tennessee walking horses.
Yoho explained why his bill was needed.
“I am honored to join my fellow veterinarian, Rep. Kurt Schrader, a bipartisan list of members, and organizations who support the end of horse soring,” Yoho said. “As a veterinarian and lover of animals, we must continue to keep pressure on a select group of bad actors in the Walking Horse industry. They must comply with existing law and stop this illegal practice for good.”
“Horse soring still runs rampant even though laws have been on the books for decades banning this cruel practice,” said Schrader. “We gave them a chance to self-police but the practice continued. Our bill will strengthen and improve current regulations by improving USDA enforcement, increasing civil and criminal penalties, and banning incentives to sore horses. It’s time for Congress to act and put an end to this abusive practice.”
While the bill was introduced towards the end of last week, it has already gained more than 215 sponsors including 13 from the Sunshine State. Florida Republican U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan, Carlos Curbelo, Brian Mast and Dennis Ross and Florida Democrats U.S. Reps. Charlie Crist, Val Demings, Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel, Alcee Hastings, Al Lawson, Darren Soto, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Frederica Wilson all signed on as co-sponsors.
The bill was sent to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.