Dear Rep. Lamborn:
As a Colorado voter, I am asking you to cosponsor H.R. 3268 , Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2015 (PAST ACT), to help put an end to the cruel and inhumane practice of soring. As you know, soring is the intentional inflicting of pain to horses’ hooves and legs to force the animals to perform a high-stepping gait for the purpose of winning at horse shows. Soring methods include applying caustic, blistering chemicals to horses’ limbs, putting cutting objects between their tender hooves, attaching thick or stacked horseshoes to their hooves and weighing the hooves down with heavy chains. While being sored, a horse can be left in its stall for days, suffering excruciating pain.
I've been advised by Colorado Voters for Animals, the 501(c)(4) watchdog group in our state, that although the 1970 Horse Protection Act was intended to prevent this practice, a 1976
amendment to the bill allowed the horse industry to select its own inspectors--a clear conflict of interest. A 2010 USDA audit exposed corruption, abuse and gaping loopholes in the existing law--and yet nothing has been done.
The PAST Act would:
- Ban all soring
- Strengthen penalties
- End industry self-policing
- And put in place other reforms to end this cruel practice.
This bill, which was approved last year by the Senate Commerce Committee and which has bipartisan support, also is backed by the majority of the horse show world. More than 60 horse organizations, 80 veterinary and animal health organizations, 30 animal/horse protection groups, law enforcement and farrier groups want it enacted. The citizens of Colorado love horses. There are 55,000 horse owners and a quarter-million horses in our state. According to the American Horse Council, 70 percent of these animals are involved in showing or recreation. We also are home to more than 35 horse rescues and shelters, as well as four wild horse herds. Horses have historically played a major role in Colorado’s western heritage and deserve our protection. It is time for Congress to step up and end the senseless torture and abuse that soring inflicts on these treasured animals.
Please join the seven other members of Colorado’s congressional delegation and add your name as a cosponsor. Thank you in advance for considering this critical important request.