Shop Talk: November 2022

House Committee Approves Anti-Soring Bill

The United States House of Representatives expects to take aim at horse soring for the second time in 3 years after the Energy and Commerce Committee approved legislation that aims to end the practice.

The committee voted, 46-9, to approve the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act (H.R. 5441). If passed into law, the bill would amend the Horse Protection Act (HPA) to criminalize soring and prohibit several items that are used to artificially alter horses’ gaits or conceal evidence of soring. The HPA prohibits sored horses from participating in shows, exhibitions, sales or auctions.

Soring is the intentional application of substances or devices to horses’ limbs to inflict pain to achieve an exaggerated high-stepping gait in show rings.

If enacted, the legislation, which has 261 co-sponsors, would prohibit the use of action devices and pads on Tennessee Walking Horses, Spotted Saddle Horses and racking horses. The legislation defines an action device as “any boot, collar, chain, roller, or other devices that encircles or is placed upon the lower extremity of the leg of a horse in such a manner that it can rotate around the leg or slide up and down the leg, so as to cause friction; or strike the hoof, coronet band, fetlock joint, or pastern of the horse.”

The PAST Act also would eliminate self-policing by requiring the United States Department of Agriculture to assign a licensed inspector if the show’s management intends to hire one. It also increases the penalty…

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