Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH) announces that the vast majority of Tennessee Walking Horse owners and industry groups support H.R. 1518, Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST), a bill introduced by Representatives Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) and Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., which amends the Horse Protection Act.
PAST increases penalties for soring horses, removes the pads and action devices often implicated in the process, and abolishes the current inspection system which is riddled with conflicts of interest.
This legislation increases penalties for those who sore horses, removes the pads and action devices often implicated in the process of horse “soring”, and abolishes the current inspection system using horse industry organizations (HIOs) which is riddled with conflicts of interest in some areas of the country.
Soring of horses is the cruel and deliberate infliction of chemical or mechanical pain upon a horse’s hooves and limbs to create an unnatural, exaggerated, high stepping gait for the show ring.
Soring is a major animal welfare issue that has been illegal for over forty years under the federal Horse Protection Act (HPA) yet the practice is still widespread in show rings of Tennessee Walking Horses, Spotted Saddle Horses and Racking Horses.
“As an HPA-compliant, USDA-certified Horse Industry Organization, we have seen the damaging effects of soring on not only the horses in our industry, but on the reputation of the industry itself” said FOSH president, Teresa Bippen. “We are well aware of the resistance on the part of some hard-core factions to ending this cruel practice, and the time has finally come for Congress to take action and finish the job it started when it passed the Horse Protection Act in 1970”.
The Executive Committee of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association, the breed’s registry, voted to endorse the PAST Act at its May 25th, 2013 meeting.
From coast to coast and across every region of the United States, large and small equine and veterinary organizations have expressed their support of the bill, including the American Horse Council, American Veterinarians Medical association, American Association of Equine Practitioners, Maryland Horse Council, Plantation Walking Horse Association of California, etc.
In addition to support from major industry players, many prominent equestrian sports figures have also spoken up in favor of the bill.
FOSH is a national leader in the promotion of natural, sound gaited horses and actively fights against abuse and soring of Tennessee Walking Horses. For more information about FOSH the only national organization that represents multiple gaited breeds.