Source: EIN Presswire
“The PAST Act moves to the Senate with a clear message—the American people will not stand for animal cruelty in any form.”
WASHINGTON, DC, USA, July 30, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 693, by a vote of 333 to 96. Bipartisan U.S. Reps. Jan Schakowsky, Mike Bost, Bobby Rush, Robin Kelly, Daniel Lipinski, Jesus Garcia, Mike Quigley, Sean Casten, Danny Davis, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Bradley Schneider, Bill Foster, Rodney Davis, Lauren Underwood, John Shimkus, Adam Kinzinger, Cheri Bustos, and Darin LaHood – the entire House Delegation from Illinois – all cosponsors of the bill – voted in support of the measure.
The PAST Act seeks to strengthen the Horse Protection Act and end the torturous, painful practice of soring Tennessee Walking, Racking, and Spotted Saddle Horses. Soring, 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,” has plagued the equine world for six decades.
“I am immensely proud to have played a role in the passage of this bill and of the bipartisan collaboration of the entire Illinois delegation in helping end the despicable practice of horse soring,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce, the subcommittee which has jurisdiction over the PAST Act. “This legislation is long overdue and will protect these magnificent horses from unscrupulous trainers. The PAST Act moves to the Senate with a clear message—the American people will not stand for animal cruelty in any form.”
“We applaud the Illinois House delegation for voting to pass the PAST Act, and we thank Subcommittee Chairwoman Jan Schakowsky for her key role in the passage of the bill to end this barbaric and indefensible practice that has marred the horse show world for decades,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action and past president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association. “The entire Illinois delegation’s support of the bill is a powerful signal to the Senate that it should saddle up and end this cruelty to horses once and for all.”
“Decades ago, lawmakers came together to oppose the cruel practice of horse soring,” said Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-02). “Sadly, this abusive practice continues today. With the PAST Act, Congress is once again coming together to oppose this cruelty with a singular voice. We are saying: ‘this practice is cruel and abusive; it ends now.’”
The bill had been blocked for years by a handful of well-placed lawmakers, but a new House rule now triggers consideration of any measure that attracts 290 or more cosponsors brought the issue to the floor. The PAST Act attracted 308 cosponsors and was led by U.S. Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Ted Yoho (R-FL), co-chairs of the Congressional Veterinary Medicine Caucus, along with Reps. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Ron Estes (R-KS), Schakowsky, and Chris Collins (R-NY). The Senate companion bill is led by U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Mark Warner (D-VA) and has garnered 40 cosponsors.
The PAST Act would ban the use of painful large stacked shoes and ankle chains and would also eliminate the existing system of self-regulation by the industry and toughen penalties for violators of the Horse Protection Act.