In an interview on Mar 13 Keith Dane, Vice President of Horse Protection for the Humane Society of the United States, pointed out that current laws aimed at punishing trainers who sore their horses are antiquated. The law that affects Louisville caries a ten dollar fine as punishment for soring. A federal law is in place to protect these horses; however it is not enforced well enough. This is why it is crucial to support the PAST (Prevention of All Soring Techniques) Act.
Inspection for signs of soring is conducted by people within the very industry that is guilty of the soring. The PAST Act would eliminate this and place the USDA in charge of all inspections. At present there is another bill being pushed that is contrary to the PAST Act. Rep Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee put forward a bill that, if approved, would put the responsibility of inspection and policing of soring squarely in the hands of those who are guilty of soring. Blackburn’s bill also ignores the use of chains and stacks, which are key elements of soring. It creates a single self-regulated Horse Industry Organization with a board chosen by the current trainer’s association, the very people guilty of torturing horses, and rejects Horse Industry Organizations that currently prohibit soring.
Supporters of Blackburn’s bill claim that the removal of the stacks and chains will harm the industry and cause fans of the Big Lick, or high step, to turn away. The Humane Society of the United States points out that these horses are capable of much more than the Big Lick and are working to promote the use and showing of Tennessee Walking Horses in other areas. The have created a program called, Now That's a Walking Horse!, which offers incentives for the showing of Tennessee Walkers in other areas.
Contact your congressmen and let them know that you support the PAST Act (H.R. 1518/S. 1406). Let them know that soring is unacceptable abuse. Let them know that you are against Blackburn’s bill (H.R. 4098). Horses in this industry die all the time because of the horrific abuse they suffer, and the people in the industry seem to show no remorse for these deaths or the pain they inflict on these horses. Help put an end to this once and for all.