Senate revives legislation to end cruel practice of horse triage

Washington DC– The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) approves the reintroduction of the Prevention of All Witchcraft Tactics (PAST) law in the Senate on Thursday to combat the inhumane practice of the “wound”, whereby individuals intentionally inflict pain to the hooves and legs of horses to produce an exaggerated effect. -staircase look known as the “Big Lick” during competitions and shows. Led by the Senses. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Mark Warner (D-VA), the PAST Act represents the most important protections for walking horses in Tennessee and related breeds since the passage of the Horse Protection Act (HPA) in 1970.

Methods used to hurt horses include applying diesel fuel and kerosene to burn the skin, grinding hooves to expose sensitive tissue, and applying sharp or abrasive objects to sensitive areas to maximize pain. . Starting August 25, the annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, the largest horse show in the breed, will be held in Shelbyville, TN.

The disarray still persists largely due to inadequate enforcement and an ineffective self-monitoring system. Although the United States Department of Agriculture does some inspections, it relies primarily on “Designated Qualified Persons” (DQP), who are employees of organizations that put on shows and are often themselves horse exhibitors themselves. walk from Tennessee, to find evidence of abuse. Not surprisingly, in this system, individuals who mistreat horses often go unpunished. A USDA Inspector General in 2010 investigation found that this model presents an “obvious conflict of interest” and recommended the abolition of the DQP program.

Additionally, earlier this year, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) released a report urging the USDA to stop relying on industry inspectors and instead rely on vets to inspect horses for any pain.

Over the past four years, USDA’s application of HPA has plummeted, according to an AWI analysis of departmental data. The USDA issued 956 warnings for LPH violations in fiscal 2016. Two years later, that number fell to zero. Since 2018, the USDA has filed only one administrative complaint related to soring and has not conducted any investigation.

“Although the Horse Protection Act was enacted over 50 years ago to protect horses from painful wounds, this abuse continues unabated,” said Cathy Liss, President of AWI. “We urge Senate leaders to quickly pass the PAST law to spare horses unnecessary suffering, ensure life-saving enforcement and increase penalties for repeat offenders. “

A version of the PAST law was first introduced in 2012 at the 112th Congress. Over the years he has garnered tremendous support from animal welfare groups, the equine industry and the veterinary community. The PAST law was passed by an overwhelming majority by the House of Representatives in 2019, with 333 lawmakers voting in favor of the bill. However, it was not taken over by the Senate, despite 52 cosponsors.

“I support the humane treatment of all animals and the responsible training of horses,” Crapo said after reintroducing the legislation on Thursday. “Soring is cruel and inhumane and I remain determined to end its practice. The PAST Act would finally put an end to this horrible training operation.

“For over 400 years, horses have been an integral part of the culture and history of Virginia,” added Warner. “I am proud to reintroduce the bipartisan PAST law, which would protect horses from mistreatment and abuse by increasing penalties for those who engage in the harmful and deliberate practice of wounding.”

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