Celebrities Outraged by Findings of Horse Abuse Investigation

Newsdate: Wed 07 October 2015 – 7:00 am
Location: WASHINGTON, DC

Michael Keaton, Katherine Heigl and Willie Nelson have joined a growing list of celebrities calling on Congress to pass legislation to protect horses from an abuse known as “soring.”

Willie Nelson joins celebrities calling for Congress to pass bill to protect horses

Willie Nelson joins celebrities calling for Congress to pass bill to protect horses

Michael Keaton, Katherine Heigl and Willie Nelson have joined a growing list of celebrities calling on Congress to pass legislation to protect horses from an abuse known as “soring.
© 2015 by Mike Prosser New window.

They reacted after a recent undercover investigation by The Humane Society of the United States revealed employees at a top training barn in Tennessee soring horses to force them perform the high-stepping “big lick” gait that is rewarded in competitions.

“Video footage revealed abhorrent cruelty, including horses’ legs being slathered with caustic chemicals and wrapped tightly to cook the chemicals into their flesh, causing extreme pain,” reads the statement signed by the stars.

The Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 3268/S. 1121, is legislation to amend the existing federal law to ban the devices used in soring walking horses and related breeds, end the failed system of industry self-policing and strengthen penalties.

“I urge Congress to pass the PAST Act and protect this gentle breed from animal cruelty carried out in the name of entertainment,” the statement continues.

Other celebrities who previously signed on as endorsers of the PAST Act include Alyssa Milano, Viggo Mortensen, Kesha, Emmylou Harris, Kaley Cuoco, Ian Somerhalder, Wendie Malick and Priscilla Presley.

Here is the full statement signed by Keaton, Heigl and Nelson:

I was horrified by the recent undercover investigation conducted by my friends at The Humane Society of the United States at ThorSport Farm in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Video footage revealed abhorrent cruelty, including horses’ legs being slathered with caustic chemicals and wrapped tightly to cook the chemicals into their flesh,causing extreme pain.

One horse was lying down in his stall,groaning in pain,after a chemical substance was applied to his front legs. The ankle areas of another horse were stripped raw of hair where chemicals were applied.

Why all of this suffering? Just to force the horses to perform an exaggerated gait and win prizes at horse shows. It is appalling that trainers and owners continue to deliberately inflict pain on Tennessee walking horses to exaggerate their natural gait more than forty years after Congress passed the Horse Protection Act to end this abuse.

I was thrilled to learn about the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 3268/S. 1121, which would amend federal law to ban the use of devices like tall, heavy horse shoes and chains in walking horses and related breeds, end the industry’s failed system of self-policing and increase penalties. I urge Congress to pass the PAST Act and protect this gentle breed from animal cruelty carried out in the name of entertainment.

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