LOUISVILLE, KY -The Courier-Journal newspaper endorsed the PAST ACT yesterday, and called upon the U. S. Congress to pass the PAST ACT to end the torture of helpless Tennessee Walking Horses.
The PAST ACT is backed by the American Horse Council and the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association).
Stopping horse torture
You’d think a measure to end torture of helpless animals is something even Congress could agree on.
And in fact, in this era of utter dysfunction, most members do agree with U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, a Western Kentucky Republican, that the practice of “soring” Tennessee Walking horses is wrong.
Mr. Whitfield, himself a horse owner, is the primary sponsor of the bill known as “Prevent All Soring Tactics,” an awful practice by some unscrupulous owners of injuring the animals’ legs and hooves to enhance the show horses’ famous high-stepping gait known as the “Big Lick.”
Pain, caused by caustic substances on the horses’ legs or sharp objects driven into their hooves, forces them to step higher. It also wins ribbons and cash prizes for owners willing to engage in this animal abuse.
Mr. Whitfield and 303 members of the 435 members in the House have signed on to the bill aimed at eliminating the practice still prevalent in the industry despite efforts to curb it. U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, is among House co-sponsors.
In the Senate, 57 of the 100 members support a similar bill sponsored by Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a New Hampshire Republican, and Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, according to the Humane Society of the United States, which is lobbying for the measures.
The bills would toughen inspection standards at horse shows and ban use of chains and pads on horses’ legs and hooves to perpetuate pain and hide scarring or evidence of injury associated with soring.
One wonders who could possibly be against efforts to eliminate such a heinous practice.
Look no further than Kentucky’s two senators, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, who have joined fellow Republicans from Tennessee, Sen. Lamar Alexander and Rep. Marsha Blackburn, in an industry-friendly bill that would do nothing to discourage horse soring and would merely enable the bad actors.
Those bills are so wretched that the Senate version has only four co-sponsors and the House version, 12.
Yet Mr. Whitfield’s PAST bill and its Senate companion still await action.
Not coincidentally, horse owners seeking to avoid such regulation are big political donors. The Humane Society notes Mr. Alexander, Mr. McConnell and Ms. Blackburn have received major support from the “Big Lick” faction of the industry.
The Tennessean, which has endorsed Mr. Whitfield’s bill, was especially scornful of Ms. Blackburn, who it said has received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions for her support, calling her bill “the best that horse abusers’ money could buy.”
Time is short.
Congress is only in session till the end of July, then will be back intermittently through the end of the year.
After all, members running for re-election need time to campaign.
The public should demand that Congress act now to stop the despicable practice of horse soring.”
Nephew Eugene says it’s time.