Summary

4/11/2013--Introduced. Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2013 or the PAST Act - Amends the Horse Protection Act (HPA) to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to prescribe regulatory... Read More

Status

This bill was introduced on Apr 11, 2013, in a previous session of Congress, but was not passed.

Date Introduced
Apr 11, 2013

Co-Sponsors

d-188
r-116
i-1

Bill Text

A BILL

To amend the Horse Protection Act to designate additional unlawful acts under the Act, strengthen penalties for violations of the Act, improve Department of Agriculture enforcement of the Act, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2013'' or the ``PAST Act''.

SEC. 2. INCREASED ENFORCEMENT UNDER HORSE PROTECTION ACT.

(a) Definitions.--Section 2 of the Horse Protection Act (15 U.S.C. 1821) is amended-- (1) by redesignating paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4) as paragraphs (2), (3), (4), and (5), respectively; (2) by inserting before paragraph (2) (as so redesignated) the following new paragraph: ``(1)(A) The term `action device' means any boot, collar, chain, roller, or other device that encircles or is placed upon the lower extremity of the leg of a horse in such a manner that it can-- ``(i) rotate around the leg or slide up and down the leg, so as to cause friction; or ``(ii) strike the hoof, coronet band, fetlock joint, or pastern of the horse. ``(B) Such term does not include soft rubber or soft leather bell boots or quarter boots that are used as protective devices.''; and (3) by adding at the end the following new paragraph: ``(6)(A) The term `participate' means engaging in any activity with respect to a horse show, horse exhibition, or horse sale or auction, including-- ``(i)...

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Sentiment Map

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Nation

919 Supporting
663 Opposing
58% 42%

State: CA

107 Supporting
14 Opposing
88% 12%

District: 1st

14 Supporting
1 Opposing
93% 7%

Popularity Trend

Organizations Supporting

The Humane Society of the United States endorses The Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act of 2013, H.R. 1518/S. 1406, introduced by lead sponsors U.S. Reps. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., and Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., along with Reps. Joseph Pitts, R-Pa., Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J., and Jim Moran, D-Va., as original cosponsors in the house, and Senators Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., and Mark Warner, D-Va. in the Senate. It strengthens the Horse Protection Act, originally passed in 1970. The Horse Protection Act was enacted more than 40 years ago, but the systematic abuse of Tennessee walking horses and related breeds persists. Unscrupulous trainers spend their efforts devising a gruesome array of techniques to make it painful for these gentle creatures to take even a step, so they will lift their front legs extremely high in the unnatural gait known as “the Big Lick,” rewarded by judges at some of this industry’s horse competitions. Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS, said: “Without these strong amendments to the decades-old Horse Protection Act, ‘Big Lick’ show horses will continue to suffer at the hands of unethical trainers and owners who abuse horses to win blue ribbons. We’ve upgraded our federal laws in recent years relating to dogfighting and cockfighting, and now it’s time to do so for horse soring.” Rep. Whitfield said: “Far too often, those involved in showing the Tennessee walking horses have turned a blind eye to abusive trainers, or when they do take action, the penalties are so minor, it does nothing to prevent these barbaric acts. This amendment does not cost the federal government any additional money and is essential in helping to put an end to the practice of soring by abusive trainers.” Rep. Cohen said: “In Tennessee, soring horses is illegal and unacceptable. Those responsible for abusing these horses should be punished severely and banned from the sport. How we treat animals is a direct reflection of our character, both as individuals and a nation. There is no ribbon, no prize nor championship worth the price of one’s humanity.” Former Sen. Joseph Tydings, D-Md., the author and original sponsor of the Horse Protection Act of 1970, said: “I commend Congressman Whitfield on his leadership in organizing this bipartisan effort to strengthen and improve the Horse Protection Act of 1970, which is long overdue and greatly needed.” A 2010 USDA Office of Inspector General audit of the agency’s Horse Protection Act enforcement program found that trainers in the industry go to great lengths to evade detection of the cruelty to which they subject their horses, rather than comply with federal law and use humane training methods. The O.I.G. audit also pointed out the serious conflicts of interest in the current system, which allows inspectors to be chosen by the horse industry organizations representing the trainers and putting on the competitions. Key reforms in H.R. 1518: • Mandates that USDA, rather than industry organizations, assign licensed inspectors to horse shows when requested by show management—a reform that will create consistent, rigorous inspections and enforcement of penalties for violations. • Prohibits the use in the Tennessee walking horse, Racking horse and Spotted Saddle horse breeds of “action devices”—chains strapped to a horse’s lower front legs, which agitate and strike the flesh already injured by caustic chemicals, causing the horse to lift his front legs higher off the ground in reaction to the pain. • Prohibits the use in the same three named breeds of “stacks” or “performance packages”—tall, heavy stacks of material nailed to a horse’s hoof to lift her feet higher and strike the ground hard at an abnormal angle. The stacks are also often used to hide hard sharp objects inserted into the tender part of a horse’s hoof to increase the pressure and pain, creating the desired gait. • Prohibits the actual soring of a horse for the purpose of showing or selling the horse, as well as the act of directing another to sore a horse for these purposes, and strengthens penalties to establish a more meaningful deterrent. The current Horse Protection Act’s misdemeanor criminal penalties would be raised to felony-level, providing up to three years’ jail time for each violation, and potential fines would be doubled. A third violation could trigger permanent disqualification from participating in any horse show, exhibition, sale or auction.

As the first sound International Walking Horse registry and membership association, WWHA records and preserves the pedigrees of the Walking Horse while maintaining the integrity of the breed by refusing to support devices that facilitate soring including stacks and chains. WWHA mission is to protect, preserve, and promote the sound flat shod Natural Walking Horse with the general welfare of the horse first and foremost. As part of its mission to preserve, protect, and promote the Sound Natural Tennessee Walking Horse, The World Walking Horse Association supports the Horse Protection Act, the PAST Act, and the 95% of the Walking Horse industry which chooses to keep their horses sound and natural.

On April 11, 2013, H.R. 1518 was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Joe Pitts (R-PA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), and Jim Moran (D-VA). The PAST Act enjoys overwhelming bipartisan support and will crack down on the abusive practices of soring that still exist. Background: Cruel Soring of Tennessee Walking Horses Congress enacted the Horse Protection Act (HPA) in 1970 to make illegal the abusive practice of “soring,” in which unscrupulous trainers deliberately inflict pain on Tennessee Walking Horses’ hooves and legs to exaggerate their high-stepping gait, known as "Big Lick," and gain unfair competitive advantage at horse shows. Soring methods include applying caustic chemicals, using plastic wrap and tight bandages to “cook” those chemicals deep into the horse’s flesh for days, attaching chains to strike against the sore legs, inserting hard objects such as screws and resins into tender areas of the hooves, paring the soles of the feet down to sensitive tissue, and using salicylic acid or other painful substances to slough off scarred tissue in an attempt to disguise the sored areas. Sored horses often live in constant and extreme pain throughout their careers. Current Law Allows Industry to Police Itself The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has never been provided the resources to allow its inspectors to attend most of the shows. Decades ago, in an attempt to compensate, USDA set up an industry-run enforcement system in which Horse Industry Organizations (HIOs) were authorized to train their own inspectors, called Designated Qualified Persons (DQPs), to inspect horses for soring at shows. However, DQPs are employees of these show organizations and are often exhibitors of Tennessee Walking Horses themselves. Not surprisingly, many DQPs avoid citing those who hired them for violations.1 USDA Inspector General Recommends Program Overhaul Though the HPA was signed into law more than 40 years ago to protect horses from painful soring, this abuse continues unabated. A 2010 audit by the USDA Inspector General (IG) exposed how trainers in the industry go to great lengths to evade detection rather than comply with federal law and train horses using humane methods.2 The IG recommended stiffer penalties and eliminating the flawed system of industry self-policing, as well as increased funding to enable USDA to more adequately oversee the law. Equine Veterinarians and Horse Groups Call for Reforms The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), along with the American Horse Council and several show horse industry groups, all endorse this legislation. AAEP issued a 2008 white paper condemning soring, calling it “one of the most significant welfare issues faced by the equine industry.”3 It called for the abolition of industry-run inspections, saying “the acknowledged conflicts of interest which involve many of them cannot be reasonably resolved, and these individuals should be excluded from the regulatory process”; and further that the “adoption and strict enforcement of meaningful uniform standards and regulations, combined with more stringent penalties, are the cornerstones of establishing fair and humane competitions.” In a joint statement issued late last year, AVMA and AAEP stated, “For decades we’ve watched irresponsible individuals become more creative about finding ways to sore horses and circumvent the inspection process, and have lost faith in an industry that seems unwilling and/or unable to police itself.”4 Undercover Investigation and Enforcement Track Record An undercover investigation of champion Walking Horse trainer Jackie McConnell and his associates in 2012 revealed that trainers can sore horses and enter them into shows undetected under the current system, as McConnell did while serving a 5-year federal disqualification. Caught on video painting caustic chemicals on horses’ legs, McConnell pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the HPA. The video also showed horses being whipped, kicked, shocked in the face, and violently cracked across their skulls and legs with heavy wooden sticks. Prosecutors expressed frustration with the weak penalties available under the current HPA. In another case only a year earlier, trainer Barney Davis pleaded guilty to multiple violations of the HPA and related financial crimes. According to Davis, “Everybody does—I mean, they've got to be sored to walk. I mean, that's the bottom line. It ain't no good way to put it, but that's it.”5 While we applaud these prosecutions, the violators had engaged in soring and gotten past industry inspectors for decades, as have many others. These prosecutions are noteworthy because they are so rare. HIOs claim a 98 percent compliance rate with the HPA. USDA inspectors, however, recently found exactly the opposite: 98 percent of randomly chosen horses (153 of 156) tested positive for prohibited foreign substances applied to their pasterns at the 2011 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.6 This industry has been allowed to self-police for too long, penalties have been too weak to provide a meaningful deterrent even in the rare event someone is caught, and devices known to be associated with soring have been permitted. The Prevent All Soring Tactics Act (H.R. 1518/S. 1406) Would Implement Needed Reforms to End This Abuse of Horses The Past ACT: Ends the failed industry self-policing system. USDA would train, license, and assign inspectors to horse shows instead of having HIOs choose who conducts inspections. Shows would still have the option of hiring inspectors or declining to do so; show management who opt out would (as in current law) risk greater liability if soring is uncovered at their show. Strengthens penalties. Violators of the law could receive up to three years’ jail time for core offenses now treated only as misdemeanors. Maximum fines would increase to $5,000 per violation. Periods of disqualification would lengthen with each violation. A third violation could result in permanent disqualification from any horse show, exhibition, sale or auction. Bans the use of devices associated with soring. Chains, weighted shoes, pads, chains, and other devices used on three specified breeds (Tennessee Walking Horses, Spotted Saddle Horses or Racking Horses) to intensify pain and conceal foreign objects would be expressly prohibited. Makes the actual soring of a horse for the purpose of showing or selling the animal illegal. Directing another to do so would also be illegal. DOES NOT add costs to the federal government. The PAST Act would enable USDA to redirect its enforcement efforts and resources in a more efficient and effective way.

Supports http://atwork.avma.org/2014/02/27/h-r-4098-not-a-solution-for-americas-walking-horses/

Majestic Tennessee Walking Horses have long been cherished, both for their unique four-step gait and their gentle dispositions. Unfortunately, these same traits make these horses vulnerable to extreme exploitation and abuse at the hands of unscrupulous trainers. On today’s Tennessee Walking Horse show circuit, trainers still engage in the cruel practice of “soring” to force horses to exaggerate their gait. Despite laws against this cruelty, trainers use chemicals and devices that cause extreme pain to the horses’ legs and hooves. Trainers may also “pressure shoe” a horse by filing hooves to expose the nerve, and inserting sharp objects into the hooves to cause further suffering. Desperate to escape the constant, intense burning and sharp pain, the horses unnaturally fling their legs in the high-stepping “big lick” gait that ironically wins prizes at shows. To evade detection, these trainers often condition horses to remain still during inspections by beating, torturing or burning them beforehand. This conditioning to extreme pain deadens the horses’ reaction to the soring-related pain in their feet. This brutal practice of “stewarding,” exposed in an ABC Nightline report, masks the fact that trainers are soring the animals. The Prevent all Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 1518, will address inadequacies in the current law by amending the Horse Protection Act and improving protections for horses. The bill, introduced by Representatives Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Steve Cohen (D-TN), will require horse show organizers who engage inspectors to use only USDA-licensed inspectors; prohibit the use of action devices that intensify the pain caused by soring; and increase the penalties for violations. http://capwiz.com/aspca/issues/alert/?alertid=62591616

ASPCA 2 years ago

For the Tennessee Walking Horse(R) is an online entity dedicated to educating the public about soring and what we can do to stop it. We support the PAST Act in its entirety. We are certain that this will be a huge step toward upholding the law and ending soring. We agree with the AVMA, AAEP, AHC, and HSUS in that the enhancements used to sore horses should be eliminated from the show ring to help catch those who continue to violate the HPA. We also agree with the OIG Audit Report from 2010 that states that HIOs should be eliminated and the USDA APHIS should be wholly responsible for inspecting horses at shows. The April 2013 raid at Larry Wheelon's barn in Tennessee resulted in 19 horses found sored and Wheelon's arrest. The USDA found high levels of caustic chemicals on horses at the 2012 Celebration, just as they did the previous year. This evidence and the continued documented HPA violations tell us that soring is still prevalent within the TWH Industry. There is no excuse the TWH Industry can give to support the continued use of their enhancements and HIOs. The privilege to use these enhancements in the show ring has been overused. Thank you for supporting the law and protecting the horse.

Show More Positions

Organizations Opposing

The Tennessee Walking Horse Grassroots Organization strongly opposes HR 1518/S 1406, commonly known as the Whitfield Amendment. This breed specific legislation, which pertains to ONLY Tennessee Walking horses, Racking horses and Spotted Saddle horses in actuality does nothing that the bill purports it will accomplish. In fact the foremost effect this bill will have is as a job killer. By eliminating entire divisions of competition in these three breeds, 85% in the Tennessee Walking Horse breed alone through the removal of ALL weighted shoes, pads and action devices, persons involved in the horse industry both directly through the training and breeding and indirectly through the elimination of the need for support personnel, and the decrease of entertainment/recreation dollars into the communities will result in the unemployment lines becoming substantially longer. An example of the recreation dollar impact on a community would be Shelbyville TN, where $40 million flows into the local economy during a single horse show. This figure does not include the everyday year round dollar contribution to just this one community from equine agriculture. Multiply this impact by the effect on all areas which have equine agriculture ties throughout the country and you will realize the cost of this economic implosion. The end result is an increase cost to the government in subsidies for unemployment checks, food stamps and other government support programs at a time where there is a 17 trillion dollar deficit. The concept being put out by the HSUS supported groups who back this bill is that “soreing” is somehow running unchecked within the show ring. Those 3 breeds are currently inspected by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved Horse Industry Organization (HIO) personnel who have trained jointly with the government Veterinary Medical Officers (VMO)s. Each animal is hands on inspected thru the HIO system prior to entering the show ring. In the past 6 years over a half million entries have gone through this inspection process with only approximately 1800 failing these rigorous inspections as being “sore”. That is a less than 2% failure rate for “soreing”. These figures are accepted by the USDA from the HIO reports and are published on their website. If there is any failure in the HIO system it stems from the USDA oversight and a law based on subjective theories. While the USDA has received under a million dollars for oversight annually, should this bill pass, the cost to the government would increase to at least $10-$20 million. Inspections by those USDA approved and trained HIO personnel which currently are performed are done at NO cost to the taxpayer. There are serious constitutional questions regarding this bill. It is once again breed specific, applying to only 3 breeds of equines, while many others, including the American Saddlebred and the Morgan horse use the same equipment sought to be eliminated through the passage of HR 1518/S 1406. Again constitutionally speaking, the amendment if enacted is an “illegal taking” as it eliminates the value of the investments made by owners, breeders, stallion owners, and trainers in animals and land without any due process of law. Perhaps the most significant point is to the impact on the horse itself. Equine athletes that have been bred for the show ring would find themselves “without a job”. Entire breeding herds geared to the production of the finest animals in these breeds would be eliminated. The trickle down effect would be felt by every trail rider also since the genetics of the vast majority of trail animals is founded in the gene pool of the show ring animal. Those unique genetic patterns produce not only the talented show horse, but the smooth even tempered pleasure horse. In the quest to produce the best animals, the everyday horse owner has benefitted from the efforts of those who compete by being the recipients of the animals which do not meet the rigorous standards of excellence of the show ring, but excel as pleasure animals. This enables those who are interested in uses outside the ring to benefit from the breeding of these animals. Currently there is a place for every animals produced, by eliminating 85% of the uses of these animals who will take the responsibility for those who become useless? Finally looking at the Horse Protection Act itself, you find that is it a commerce bill. The aim of the Act was and is to protect the integrity of the show ring, and give true value to the animal that competes based on fair competition. This amendment HR 1518/S 1406 as evidenced by the above statements destroys commerce, not facilitates it. Based on that fact alone, it should be soundly defeated. *** The Tennessee Walking Horse Grassroots organization is dedicated to PROTECT, PROMOTE and PRESERVE the Performance Tennessee Walking Horse in the traditional show ring and to extend the same principles to the entire breed in all disciplines. TWHGRO supports all responsible animal ownership and animal agriculture and all those in and out of public office who hold those same principles.

Users Supporting

I support The Prevent All Soring Tactics Act because it is cruel and inhumane to inflict such pain on a horse period.

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CT
2
JZ282
CT-2
10 months ago

I support The Prevent All Soring Tactics Act because it makes meaningful reforms to end soring. The PAST Act., H.R. 1518/S. 1406 would end the failed industry self-policing system, strengthen penalties, ban the use of devices associated with soring, and make the actual soring of a horse for the purpose of showing or selling it illegal. The PAST Act is endorsed by the American Horse Council, the American Veterinary Medical Association, every state veterinary medical association, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, and many others.

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TN
3
ATate
TN-3
11 months ago

I support The Prevent All Soring Tactics Act because...I ride and show Sound, Naturally Gaited Tennessee Walking Horses. They are one of the most gentle and forgiving breeds which is why they are susceptible to the abuse. No other breed would put up with it! The Tennessee Walking Horse has such a beautiful natural gait, these artificial enhancements are not necessary. Not to mention, the Big Lick show gait it just looks freakish. This legislation is required because the industry has had 50 years of self-regulation and has proven time and time again that they refuse to fix the problem. Instead of punishing violators and abusers, they put them in high-power positions within the industry, allow them to continue to train and show, and embrace these abusers. When other industries would punish and shun these people to force them out. The Performance Show Horse industry is corrupt and they are ruining the reputation of our breed.

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MD
8
MGuinn
MD-8
11 months ago

Dear Tim Bishop, I am a constituent, and I urge you to do all you can to make sure the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, S. 1406/H.R. 1518, comes to a vote, and please vote in favor of it. This legislation will ensure more meaningful enforcement by USDA and an end to the cruel and abusive practice of "soring" Tennessee walking horses and related breeds, as Congress intended when it passed the Horse Protection Act of 1970. Thank you if you are already a cosponsor: please do all you can to get this bill enacted immediately!

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NY
1
thelookingglass
NY-1
11 months ago

I support The Prevent All Soring Tactics Act because...it is cruel and inhumane and done only to serve greed.

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NH
1
celtic234
NH-1
11 months ago

I support The Prevent All Soring Tactics Act because...we as a civilized society should not allow such torturous, barbaric practices to continue. Our character as a nation and as individuals is shown on how we treat the inferior. If we're such the "Alpha" species, then why do we refuse at times to find more intelligent, humane ways to interact with these animals that have done everything we've asked of them through the centuries? We owe them more than that.

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CO
2
Anonymous288811
CO-2
1 year ago

Users Opposing

I oppose The Prevent All Soring Tactics Act because...this will kill the walking horse industry and and for the small town such as shelbyville tn that welcomes the celebration, will lose money from this bill. More importantly this bill says you can't even have a weighted shoe! So what kind of shoe can you use? All shoes have weight to them. This bill also bans hoof bands. These bands do not hurt the horse, they just allow the shoe to stay on longer especially when worn in muddy conditions. Funny how Whitfields wife is employed by the humane society and actively sharing false information to scare people into voting for the past act. The HR4098 will help prevent soring because of the scientific testing from licensed vets. And if a horse is not sore then action devices do not hurt them. It is comparable to humans wearing bracelets! Please realize you will be hurting a great industry and not solving the problem with the past act!

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TN
6
Shunte10
TN-6
1 year ago

I oppose The Prevent All Soring Tactics Act because... It is unnecessary. Our compliance rate is at 98%. Don't kill the sport (2 billion into the economy, 20,000+ jobs) just because of a few bad apples. And it's more federal overreach. Please show me where in the constitution does it say the gov't can tell me what I can I can't have on my horses foot. It's ridicules. As well as the massive conflict of interest seeing that whitfeilds wife is a lobbyist for HSUS, and the bill was written by HSUS. What's the saying? "Happy wife happy life." Nuff said.

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TN
4
DillonL
TN-4
1 year ago

I oppose The Prevent All Soring Tactics Act because it is not about the horse being protected it is about trying to stop the showing of the TW Performance Horse. Chains and pads do not sore a horse, the trainer is the one doing that and removing chains and pads from good sound horses is not the answer.

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NC
10
TWH25
NC-10
1 year ago

I oppose The Prevent All Soring Tactics Act because...Soring is an absolutely INHUMANE way to treat animals to win...RIBBONS!!! Stopping the abuse of these wonderful animals is in your hands. Please support this bill and make punishment for breaking this law harsh for abusers.

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FL
23
jbeezz
FL-23
1 year ago

I oppose The Prevent All Soring Tactics Act because it punishes the entire industry verses the guilty party. Should we stop professional sports because some test positive for banned drugs? Absolutely not. The industry you are shutting down is 97% compliant and stronly regulated by the USDA and has been for fourty years so this bill says to shut the industry down since 3% are breaking the rules. I challenge you to do your own research at who is behind this bill and their track record before you support this. At a time when our economy is soft and jobs are scarce no one needs to loose a job because of some radical movement that has lots of money and cashes in on peoples simpathy. Say no to this bill and support the Blackburn bill that will require better enforcement and allow this beautiful animal the same opportunity as other breeds, Thanks

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NC
8
RandallSJones
NC-8
1 year ago

I oppose The Prevent All Soring Tactics Act because this bill by Rep. Whitfield is designed to destroy the Tn. Walking Horse and the Industry. Its like throwing the baby out with the bath water. Rep. Blackburn's bill will save the Industry while striving to get rid of bad actors in the Industry. All professions and industries have bad actors and we need to get rid of those people but not destroy the entire industry. If this bill passes, thousands of horses will be greatly affected and many will probably be slaughtered, jobs and businesses will be lost and charitable contributions will be lost. Please oppose Whitfield's bill and educate your peers on the facts including the illegal chain that Whitfield kept dropping on his desk during the hearings. Thank you..

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TN
2
wartrace
TN-2
1 year ago

Bill Summary


4/11/2013--Introduced.
Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2013 or the PAST Act - Amends the Horse Protection Act (HPA) to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to prescribe regulatory requirements for the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to license, train, assign, and oversee persons who are to be hired by the management of horse shows, exhibitions, sales, or auctions and are qualified to detect and diagnose sore horses or otherwise inspect horses at such events. (The soring of horses refers to the application of blistering agents, burns, lacerations, sharp objects, or other substances or devices to a horse's limb to produce a higher gait by making it painful for the horse to step down.) Prohibits issuing a license to any person unless such person is free from conflicts of interest. Requires the Secretary, in issuing such licenses, to give a preference to persons who are licensed or accredited veterinarians. Replaces the current horse inspector appointment process under which the management of a horse show, exhibition, sale, or auction appoints inspectors with a new process requiring the Secretary to assign USDA-licensed inspectors after receiving notice that management intends to hire such inspectors. Requires the Secretary to publish on the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's website information on violations of such Act. Directs the Secretary to disqualify a horse the Secretary determines is sore for specified minimum time periods that increase after the first, second, and third instance. Prohibits a person from causing or directing a horse to become sore for the purpose of any horse show, exhibition, sale, or auction or allowing any such activity respecting a horse which is sore by the owner of such horse. Expands a list of activities designated as unlawful conduct under such Act to include a prohibition on showing, exhibiting, selling, or auctioning a Tennessee Walking, a Racking, or a Spotted Saddle horse with: (1) an action device; or (2) a weighted shoe, pad, wedge, hoof band, or other device or material if it is constructed to artificially alter the gait of such horses and is not strictly protective or therapeutic. Defines "action device" as any boot, collar, chain, roller, or other device that encircles or is placed upon the lower extremity of the leg of a horse in such a manner that it can: (1) rotate around the leg or slide up and down the leg, so as to cause friction; or (2) strike the hoof, coronet band, fetlock joint, or pastern of the horse. Excludes from such term soft rubber or soft leather bell boots or quarter boots that are used as protective devices. Increases the maximum criminal penalties and maximum civil liability penalties to the United States for certain HPA violations. Expands the categories of activities the Secretary may disqualify a violator of such Act from participating in to include: (1) transporting or arranging for the transportation of a horse to or from a show, exhibition, sale, or auction; (2) personally giving instructions to an exhibitor; or (3) being knowingly present in a warm-up area, inspection area, or other area that spectators are not permitted. Permits the Secretary to permanently disqualify a person with at least three violations after notice and an opportunity for a hearing.

H.R. 1517 Social Security and Medicare Lock-Box Act H.R. 1519 For the relief of Alemseghed Mussie Tesfamical.