Protect Tennessee Walkers

Sen. Rockefeller chairs the committee handling the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act (S. 1406/H.R.1518). We urge him to do all he can to get this important legislation enacted quickly. The bill will strengthen existing federal law on soring, the despicable practice of inflicting pain on show horses’ legs and feet to produce an exaggerated gait known as the “Big Lick.”

Congress enacted the Horse Protection Act in 1970 to end soring, but a faction within the Tennessee Walking Horse industry has used corruption and deceit to continue illegally torturing horses to win blue ribbons. The PAST Act will end the failed industry self-policing system, ban the use of devices associated with soring, and strengthen penalties to more effectively crack down on this abuse.

Tennessee Walking Horses in West Virginia and around the country have suffered for far too long. Many of them live their lives in constant pain, and the industry’s reputation is marred by its inability to clean itself up. The way to save the breed is to finally end soring by passing the PAST Act.

We appreciate that Rep. Capito is one of 243 House and 28 Senate cosponsors, and we hope the rest of our state’s delegation will support this vital legislation.

Summer Wyatt

Princeton, W.Va.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Summer Wyatt is West Virginia state director for The Humane Society of the United States.