AVMA applauds walking horse legislation

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AVMA CEO Ron DeHaven applauded Rep. Ted Yoho of Florida, a veterinarian, for introducing the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act (H.R. 3268) on July 28 in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Walking horseDr. Yoho joined his Senate colleagues in taking action against soring, the act of deliberately inflicting pain through chemical or physical means to exaggerate the leg motion of certain walking horse breeds to gain an unfair advantage in the show ring. Sens. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Mark Warner of Virginia introduced the PAST Act (S. 1121) on April 28 in the Senate.

Dr. DeHaven said, “For more than 30 years, the AVMA has urged Congress to stop its political posturing, cut through the bureaucratic red tape, and stand up for America’s walking horses. … We encourage those in leadership to listen to their veterinary colleague, Rep. Yoho, and his colleagues in the Senate in passing this bill expeditiously to protect the health and welfare of America’s walking horses.”

Dr. Yoho said in a press release, “The walking horse industry has had since 1970 to reform their ways and come up with a more ethical means to achieve their desired goal. They have failed to take advantage of this opportunity, and now is the time for horse soring to end.”

The PAST Act would amend the Horse Protection Act to designate acts related to soring as unlawful, strengthen penalties for violations, define an “action device,” and improve Department of Agriculture enforcement.

At press time, the House and Senate bills had 156 co-sponsors and support from many industry and animal health organizations.