LEWISBURG, TN – The $17,000.00 a month team of Phil Osborne and Jeff Speaks have produced a letter to James J. Hickey, President of the American Horse Council for PSHA President Jim Cortner to sign. The letter is cc to Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Hal Rogers (R-TN), Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN).
PSHA is not happy with Mr. Hickey’s criticism of the Blackburn alternative “BILL TO ENABLE SORING”, and the AHC’s strong support of the PAST ACT.
The opponents of the PAST ACT have three big problems:
- American Veterinary Medial Association
- American Equine Practitioners Association
- American Horse Council
Each has attacked the Blackburn alternative, and strongly supports the PAST ACT.
In an attempt to try and sway AHC President James J. Hickey who testified before Congress on behalf of the PAST ACT, Mr. Cortner has asked for a meeting to discuss areas of concern set out in his letter. Cortner’s letter continues along the lines of attacking the Humane Society and trying to associate it with HR 1518. Again, Cortner’s problem is there are substantial member driven organizations including the American Horse Council supporting the PAST ACT, and they have immense credibility and influence with the members of Congress.
Here is The Tennessean Editorial which was highly critical of the Blackburn alternative and supportive of the PAST ACT.
Rep. Ed Whitfield’s walking horse legislation would end soring; Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s would enable it
Mar. 9, 2014
TENNESSEAN CARTOON ““ Drew White / The Tennessean
“We used to think that soring “” inflicting painful injuries to the legs and hooves of Tennessee Walking Horses to force them to adopt a high gait known as the “Big Lick” “” was solely for the purpose of winning ribbons and prize money at horse shows.
After the latest maneuver by the “Big Lick” faction of the show-horse industry, we can see there is a special brand of inhumanity that thrives among us in Tennessee.
By pitting its own alternative legislation, courtesy of Rep. Marsha Blackburn, against the popular “Prevent All Soring Tactics” (PAST) bill, this group demonstrates how determined it is to continue secretly torturing animals. Stronger than a desire for mere show-ring glory, this appears to be about deriving pleasure from causing pain. That it is defenseless animals, and not people, only increases their ability to get away with it.
After decades of violations of the nation’s Horse Protection Act, PAST offers a real chance to strengthen the law. The bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., would toughen inspection standards at horse shows and ban the use of chains and pads that are worn on the horses’ legs and hooves, both to perpetuate pain for the horse when its hoof hits the ground and to hide scarring and other evidence of soring. As we know from the notorious Jackie McConnell case (captured on video) and others over the years, abusive trainers will apply caustic substances to horses’ legs, drive sharp objects into their hooves and beat the horses on a regular basis.
Blackburn’s bill is, in fact, a Trojan horse “” institutionalized abuse disguised as animal protection.
It would set up a single horse industry organization (HIO), whose board would be chosen by the current trainers association that is populated with repeat violators of the Horse Protection Act. Those HIOs that currently prohibit soring at their shows would be left out.
Blackburn’s bill also ignores the use of pads and chains; it authorizes state agricultural commissioners in Tennessee and Kentucky, who have historically ignored horse abuse, to hire show inspectors; and it removes the federal requirement that HIO meetings be open to the public.
In short, Blackburn’s legislation was the best that horse-abusers’ money could buy, in the form of tens of thousands of dollars in contributions to her campaign, in order to continue torturing and maiming horses.
Whitfield’s bill, endorsed by the nation’s leading veterinary organizations and animal-protection groups, has 267 sponsors in the House, 47 co-sponsors in the Senate “” and still we are far from complacent about its prospects. We saw gun background-check legislation that had overwhelming support wither and die, even with a Senate majority voting for it.
What will U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander and Sen. Bob Corker have to say about Whitfield’s and Blackburn’s legislation? So far “” silence.
Soring is very much alive, and the bad actors in the walking horse industry are hardening their position instead of backing away from it, hoping to gut the laws that forbid them to do what they love: torment animals.
Their spokesmen like to say that Blackburn’s bill “eliminates soring,” while Whitfield’s bill “eliminates the horse.” We know their abject cruelty is what will eliminate the horse, if we let them.”