Just weeks following Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) demanding answers concerning inhumane dog experiments that were approved by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Florida Congressman is now looking to take action against another form of animal cruelty.
The form of cruelty is called ‘soring,’ which is where a trainer administers substances or devices to the limbs of horses in order to make each step they take uncomfortable and force an unnatural high-step that is rewarded in show rings.
While this practice is already illegal, the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act would increase the penalty from just a misdemeanor to a felony charge, which is subject to “three years’ incarceration, raises fines from $3,000 to $5,000 per violation, and permanently disqualifies three-time violators from participating in horse shows, exhibitions, sales or auctions,” according to a Mast blog entry.
“Animal cruelty is unacceptable, and there needs to be consequences for those who harm vulnerable animals,” wrote Mast.
“There is simply nothing good to be said for a sporting event that relies on the deliberate torment of horses in the training barns to produce the desired high stepping gait in the show ring,” said Humane Society Legislative Fund President, Sara Amundson. “Soring is a furtive cruelty that we can root out altogether with this measure, in this Congress. No more self-policing by participants. No more reliance on devices integral to soring. No more anemic penalties. We’ve been waiting half a century for the straight shot that stops this wicked practice…The many legislators who have backed this bill have put their political weight on the right side of history and put the House in position to save the Tennessee walking horse industry from its scofflaw elements,” she stated.
In June of 2021, Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced companion legislation.