Ted Yoho Looks to Crack Down on Horse Soring
U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., relied on his background as a large-animal veterinarian as he brought out a bill to protect horses.
Yoho is the House sponsor of the “Prevent All Soring Tactics” (PAST) Act. The bill amends the federal Horse Protection Act of 1970 by ending horse soring attempts to change the animal’s natural gait through painful processes often involving chemicals and devices.
Bringing out the bill on Tuesday, Yoho explained why it was needed on Wednesday.
“The unethical treatment of animals is wrong and should be stopped wherever it exists,” Yoho said. “Horse soring – the intentional inflicting of pain to horses’ feet to achieve a high-stepping gait — has been illegal for well over 30 years. Unfortunately, soring is still practiced to this day in clear violation of the Horse Protection Act (HPA) of 1970.
“As a veterinarian and lover of animals, I feel the time is now to stop the practice of horse soring for good. I am not the only one who feels this way,” Yoho added. “Roughly 280-plus organizations, associations, veterinary and animal health advocates, horse industry professionals, and various other groups, support the ending of this unnecessary practice. Also the Senate companion bill, introduced by Senator Kelly Ayotte, currently has the support of 41 senators.
“The walking horse industry has had since 1970 to reform their ways and come up with a more ethical means to achieve their desired goal,” Yoho concluded. “They have failed to take advantage of this opportunity and now is the time for horse soring to end.”
Yoho’s bill has already garnered more than 100 co-sponsors, including Florida Republicans U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan, Ander Crenshaw, Mario Diaz-Balart, David Jolly, John Mica, Rich Nugent and Bill Posey, and Florida Democrats U.S. Reps. Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel, Alan Grayson and Frederica Wilson.
As Yoho noted, U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., is pushing the bill in the Senate with the help of U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.
“Soring is inhumane, and this bipartisan legislation takes an important step toward stopping this abusive training tactic that intentionally inflicts pain on horses,” said Ayotte when she brought out the bill back in April. “I will continue to work across the aisle to protect horses from this cruel practice.”
“Whether riding, racing, hunting or training, horses have been a part of Virginia’s culture for 400 years,” said Warner in April. “However, owners and breeders from across the commonwealth agree that the deliberate act of inflicting pain on horses has no place in modern equestrian competition. Sen. Ayotte and I are proud to reintroduce the Prevent All Soring Tactics act to give USDA the tools it needs to crack down on horse soring and end this cruel practice once and for all.”
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