Horse News

Congress “has potential to end soring forever”


“To compromise would not free the Tennessee walking horse from this bondage forever…”

Keith DaneLegislation before Congress aimed at toughening measures around soring could end the cruel practice forever, the immediate past-president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association says.

Marty Irby was commenting on the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, currently before the House and Senate.

He said he fully supported the legislative push to toughen regulations around soring – the deliberate infliction of pain to horses’ legs and hooves to force them to perform an artificially high-stepping gait.

“Our United States Senators and Congressmen can virtually eliminate the cruel practice of soring and utilizing pads and chains, which is nothing short of slavery, by passing this amendment,” he said.

“To compromise would not free the Tennessee walking horse from this bondage forever. I stand firm and strong in my conviction, and I believe this is what it will take for the Tennessee walking horse to become the largest equine breed on Earth.”

Irby was commenting as the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration was coming to a close, and as the Humane Society of the United States has introduced a grants system that it hoped would encourage a sound and versatile future for competitive Tennessee walking horses.

Although the federal Horse Protection Act was enacted in 1970, it has been difficult to enforce and persistently flouted by a small but determined faction of the horse industry. As a result, soring has continued unabated.

The PAST Act will end walking horse industry self-policing, ban the use of certain devices associated with soring, strengthen penalties, and hold accountable all those involved in soring.

The measure has broad bipartisan support, with 140 co-sponsors in the House. The Senate bill was introduced just before the August recess.

Keith Dane, the director of equine protection for the humane society, said: “We believe the Tennessee walking horse industry can realize a sound future by recognizing some of its new leaders: owners and riders who appreciate the versatility, temperament and athleticism of this magnificent breed.”

Dane said the bill before Congress to toughen anti-soring measures would be an integral part of this push.

“When every aspect of soring abuse is eradicated by this important federal legislation, the horses and their caring owners will truly be able to shine.”…CONTINUED

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4 replies »

  1. This is a total no-brainer. To do anything less than a complete ban on soring is a blatant acceptance and condoning of extreme cruelty. We shouldn’t need to pass legislation to know and support that!


  2. Yes this is a no-brainer. I have read comments from people who insist that they love these horses and the chains & stacks don’t hurt them – they enhance their performance! How blind can people be? Its been way too many years of this cruelty being done to a beautiful and talented breed of horses. I know there are many others – for example the “tailsets” done to the gaited horses. All to make these animals come up to people’s standards of beauty etc. Its the same old same old. Whenever the money aspect comes into showing or competing – the horses welfare goes out the window. I know not everyone who shows or competes is guilty of this – but so many are.


  3. You will notice how fast this bill has made its way to congress for a fast track vote? Why can’t both bills S.541 and H.R.1094 do the same thing? It could be that that the Senate isn’t being paid off by this particular group of horse breeders unlike the TB breeders and the Quarter horse breeders. No one knows how many of the Tennessee Walking horses that have been sent to slaughter over the years as well as the gaited horses.


  4. I so agree Barb…Pete Sessions would not give any animal welfare bill a chance on the floor for even a discussion, except the dog fighting, got a letter from him after what he did I wrote to him and he had the nerve to say he cares about animal welfare, REALLY, what a hypocrite, I blasted him…. Safe Act 1094/S541 wish it would have the same kind of support, I heard a Canadian official on some TV show say the U.S. will never not have slaughter, cause they will not tell people what they can or cannot eat, HAHA have to laugh at that, cause here 80% of us and more I am sure do not want horse slaughter yet Canada thinks WE ALL CARE about wanting to eat horses, NOT…. Just the whole thing is so disgusting and there is NO WAY even the PRO SLAUGHTER politicians can deny, if someone in there corner had a tape recorder and asked them what they really thought about it, I know they feel the same way, but oh my god they are as we know just bought and paid for not working for the average American Citizen… CORRUPTION all around us………….. 😦


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