From the Office of Florida Congressman Ted Yoho:Washington, D.C. – Today, in a victory for Congressman Ted S. Yoho’s (R-FL-03) PAST Act (H.R. 3268) and animal welfare, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced proposed changes to strengthen enforcement of the Horse Protection Act (HPA) and end inhumane practices known as soring. Horse soring causes horses to suffer physical pain, distress, inflammation, or lameness while walking and moving. The bipartisan PAST Act currently has the support of 263 members of Congress. Congressman Yoho released the following statement:
“As a large animal veterinarian for 30 years, I am happy to hear the USDA will be implementing portions of my bill to help put a stop to the cruel and abusive practice of horse soring. Under my bill, the PAST Act, I advocated for giving APHIS oversight in the training, screening, and licensing of horse inspectors. These new inspectors, who will be pulled from the ranks of veterinarians and vet technicians, will be in the field to conduct site visits under the rules and standards of APHIS.
“The USDA will also implement a portion of the PAST Act that calls for the ban on action devices, pads, and foreign substances at horse shows, exhibitions, sales, and auctions. Also, they will bring HPA regulations in line with current equestrian standards already set by the U.S. Equestrian Federation.
“While the practice of horse soring is shrinking to a small number of entrenched loyalists, there is no reason for its methods to remain in use. The industry and people, who abuse horses for show, had 40 years to phase out their ways. We are long overdue in stopping horse soring and today’s announcement by the USDA is a welcomed step in the direction of making these abuses a thing of the past.”