“To compromise would not free the Tennessee walking horse from this bondage forever…”
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
- HSUS sponsors Tennessee Walking Horse show (horsetalk.co.nz)
- Bill to strengthen Horse Protection Act introduced to Senate (horsetalk.co.nz)
- New HSUS reward program tackles policing of walking horse industry (horsetalk.co.nz)
- Walking-horse group opposes bill aimed at soring (horsetalk.co.nz)
- Group seeks alternative horse protection measures (timesfreepress.com)
- Tennessee walking horse group accepts soring penalties (timesfreepress.com)
Categories: Horse News