U.S. House Passes ‘Prevent All Soring Tactics’ (PAST) Act
The measure seeks to strengthen the 1970 Horse Protection Act. It would end the torturous practice of soring Tennessee Walking, Racking and Spotted Saddle Horses. The intentional infliction of pain to horses’ front limbs by applying caustic chemicals such as mustard oil or kerosene or inserting sharp objects into the horses’ hooves to create an exaggerated gait known as the “Big Lick” or “soring” has plagued the equine world for 60 years.
The use of such chemicals, as well as the method of “grinding” became illegal under the original Horse Protection Act of 1970. “Horse soring still runs rampant even though laws have been on the books for decades banning this cruel practice,” said Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR). “We gave folks a chance to self-police, but the abusive behaviors continued. The bill that passed the House of Representatives today will improve federal Department of Agriculture enforcement, increase civil and criminal penalties, and ban ankle chains and huge hoof ‘packages’ weighing up to 15 lbs. This is a historic day.”
HT 693 looks to further ban the use of chains and stacks in training and showing horses. The new bill further makes violations a felony and increases penalties with longer jail time and suspension. Enforcement will be done through USDA with horse show management continuing to pay the costs of inspectors while USDA trains, assigns and manages these inspectors.