The AVMA applauds U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho’s (R-Fla.) introduction of the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act (H.R. 1847). This bill aims to provide a much-needed crackdown on soring, which is the practice of deliberately causing pain to exaggerate the leg motion of a horse’s gait to gain an unfair advantage in show rings.
“Soring has an enormously detrimental impact on the health and welfare of horses,” said AVMA President Dr. Tom Meyer. “The AVMA has long condemned soring, and the PAST Act will help finally put an end to this inhumane practice. We plan on putting our full support behind this legislation.”
Soring techniques include practices such as applying caustic substances to the horse’s skin or grinding the sole of the hoof to expose sensitive tissues. While soring of horses being transported, shown, exhibited or sold was banned in the Horse Protection Act as amended in 1976, the practice continues to be pervasive. A number of factors – including industry self-regulation, detection avoidance by trainers and owners, and budget constraints impacting the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) enforcement capabilities – have allowed this practice to continue.
The PAST Act would step up enforcement against soring by requiring the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to license, train and oversee independent third-party inspectors. This change means that horses would no longer be examined by private inspectors with potential conflicts of interest. Additionally, the PAST Act would increase penalties for soring violations and ban the use of certain devices associated with soring on horses being showed, sold, exhibited or auctioned.
For more information on soring and the AVMA’s work on this issue, visit our website.