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The PAST Act
H.R. 1518/
S. 1406
Chemical soring: caustic substances applied to
front pasterns, chains are affixed, causing pain.
Pressure soring: horse
stands on tall “stacks”
of leather or plastic
Hides intentional
damage or devices
used to inflict pain
Bands tightened to
apply intense pressure,
sore hoof
Can shear off hoof,
causing permanent
damage, lameness,
Pressure shoeing:
cutting horse’s sole to quick
inserting hard/sharp foreign
objects under shoe or “stack”
Why Has HPA Failed to End Soring?
Inadequate Enforcement
• USDA forced to rely on industry self-regulation
(attends <10% of all shows)
• Self-policing has failed as a deterrent
• Industry presents veneer of compliance, falsely
claims low violation rate
Why Has HPA Failed to End Soring?
Violators “Beat the System” with:
• Scar removal, masking agents
• Topical/injectable numbing agents
temporarily block pain during inspection
• “Stewarding” practices/devices
• Horse switching
• Ticket taking
Why Has HPA Failed to End Soring?
Industry self-regulation:
• USDA OIG, AAEP say self-regulation has failed,
should be abolished
• Industry penalties have not been deterrents but
slaps on the wrist
• Violators continue to train while on suspension
• Career repeat violators continue to show, win
• Top trainers in industry have all have HPA
violation histories
Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R.1518/S.1406
introduced to close loopholes in HPA :
• prohibit use of stacks,
chains, bands, heavy shoes
on horses’ feet in 3 breeds
• eliminate TWH industry
• make act of soring a crime
• increase penalties to create
effective deterrent
Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R.1518/S.1406
• Affects only small segment
of violators in 3 breeds
that have been victims of
soring, who harm
reputation of entire
• Cosponsored by over half
of Congress
• 269 House
• 51 Senate
Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R.1518/S.1406
• Horse industry-backed bill
with broad support:
• American Horse Council
• Several state Councils
• AAEP, AVMA, all VMAs
AHA, many breeds
• Most TWH owners
• Animal protection
H.R. 4098 – Blackburn
“alternative” to PAST
Creates one industry HIO led by
people chosen by WHTA, KY/TN Ag
• HIO will decide how to fill
vacancies, establish own COI
Revokes all other HIOs’ certifications
Purports to require “scientific” inspection methods (likely
eliminating digital palpation)
Comparison of H.R. 1518, the PAST Act to H.R. 4098, Rep. Blackburn’s bill
Bans heavy stacked shoes, chains and other
devices used as implements of soring from the
show ring
Eliminates failed industry self-regulation, putting
USDA back in charge of the inspection of horses
and enforcement of the Horse Protection Act (as
Congress originally intended)
Increases civil and criminal penalties in the HPA,
to provide a truly effective deterrent
Makes illegal the act of soring a horse for the
purpose of exhibiting or selling the animal
Strengthens USDA authority to enforce the HPA
Makes horse show management, not taxpayers,
PAST Blackburn bill
No; not addressed
No; codifies the industry
self-enforcement scheme,
with no recourse for
removal or change
No; not addressed
No; not addressed
No; instead, gives more
authority to industry groups
that have failed to enforce
the Act, and in fact violate it
No; does not address who
“Rep. Ed Whitfield's walking horse legislation
would end soring; Rep. Marsha Blackburn's
would enable it” - The Tennessean, Editorial
“The AVMA is staunchly opposed to H.R.
4098…[it] will not result in any improvements for
the welfare of horses or enforcement of the Horse
Protection Act…” – American Veterinary Medical Association
“The AHC opposes the Blackburn bill because it
does not address many of the shortfalls of the
current HPA enforcement program. The AHC
continues to support the Prevent All Soring
Tactics Act.” - American Horse Council
The Humane Society of the United States
“Now, That’s a Walking Horse!” Program
• Promote versatility,
temperament, athleticism
of Tennessee Walking
• Recognize participation,
achievement multi-breed
• Encourage improvement
of skills of horse and rider
The Humane Society of the United States
“Now, That’s a Walking Horse!” Program
Recognition Awards
Amateur owners and riders using Tennessee Walking
horses in new/non-traditional venues
Therapeutic programs, natural horsemanship clinics
Participation in public all-breed events where natural
Walking horses are showcased
The Tennessee Walking Horse
America’s Horse of the Future!
Keith Dane
Vice President, Equine Protection
The Humane Society of the United States
[email protected]
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