A Florida veterinarian in Congress has introduced legislation to amend the Horse Protection Act and compete against a bill that has been endorsed by the Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration.
Rep. Ted Yoho sponsored HR 1847 “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.”
Text of the bill has not been disclosed; however; the Florida Republican was the author of HR 3268 — better known as the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act (PAST Act) in the previous session of Congress. The previous bill died in committee despite 272 cosponsors signing onto the bill. The latest version has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and was introduced with 215 cosponsors. The legislation has already received the backing of several organizations including the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
“Soring has an enormously detrimental impact on the health and welfare of horses,” says 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.”
Yoho’s bill will rival HR 1338 — the Horse Protection Amendments Act of 2017, which was introduced by Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn. Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration CEO Mike Inman applauded DesJarlais’ legislation for reliance on “objective, scientific testing” of blood testing and digital radiographs.