Rep. Andy Harris Breaks from the Delegation, and Majority of Republicans, Siding with Abusers
ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND, USA, August 30, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the U.S. Senator Joseph D. Tydings Memorial Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 693, by a vote of 333 to 96. The measure, named after the late Senator who authored the Horse Protection Act of 1970, and passed away last fall, received the full support of U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Reps. Anthony Brown, Elijah Cummings, Jamie Raskin, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, and David Trone who are all cosponsors of the bill and voted for the measure.
In an odd twist, U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, also a cosponsor of the PAST Act, changed his position and voted against the bill, siding with animal abusers.
The PAST Act seeks to strengthen the Horse Protection Act and end the torturous, painful practice of soring Tennessee Walking, Racking, and Spotted Saddle Horses. Soring, the intentional infliction of pain to horses' front limbs by applying caustic chemicals such as mustard oil or kerosene or inserting sharp objects into the horses' hooves to create an exaggerated gait known as the "Big Lick,” has plagued the equine world for six decades. The “Big Lick” animal cruelty will be exhibited for the next 2 days at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville, Tennessee.
Both U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen are listed as cosponsors of the Senate companion bill, S. 1007, led by the senior U.S. Senator from Idaho, Republican Mike Crapo, that mirrors the House passed legislation and currently has 43 cosponsors in the Upper Chamber.
“This legislation will close loopholes that enable the cruel practice of ‘soring’,” said U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD-05). “I thank Rep. Schrader for being a champion of animal welfare issues and building on the legacy of my late friend, Senator Tydings. I urge Senator McConnell to take up this bipartisan legislation without delay.”
“My reason for supporting the PAST Act is simple: soring is cruel and inhumane,” said Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02). “I share the outrage of my constituents at those who chose to abuse animals and it’s time we finally implement laws that are already on the books banning this practice.”
“Soring is a cruel and inhumane practice that puts the welfare of horses at risk,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings (MD-07). “The PAST Act would help put an end to this abusive procedure by strengthening current regulations and bringing transparency to the horse competition industry. I am pleased that the PAST Act is named in honor of my late friend, Senator Joseph D. Tydings. A tireless fighter for animal rights, Joe devoted his life to ending the practice of soring.”
“My granddad would be so thrilled the PAST Act passed the House by such an overwhelming margin,” said Ben Tydings Smith, grandson of the late Senator Joseph D. Tydings. “He cared so deeply for these horses and I know he is probably looking down with a big smile on his face. On behalf of the Tydings family, thank you to all the sponsors, cosponsors, and Members of the House who voted to end soring and cement grandad’s legacy.”
“We applaud the Members from Maryland that supported the PAST Act for their key role in helping end the practice of soring that has marred the show horse world for six decades, and thank Leader Hoyer for his tremendous work on this issue.” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action and a past president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association. “Senator Tydings was a dear friend, who cared deeply about the Tennessee Walking Horse and I believe he’s still working to help the horses from above.”
"Timing is ripe, and the majority of Americans want to see Congress work to protect these iconic American horses upon whose backs our country was built upon," said Animal Wellness Advocate Priscilla Presley. "U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should swiftly schedule a vote on the PAST Act, and execute the will of the American people, and I call on him to do so!"
The PAST Act would ban the use of painful large stacked shoes and ankle chains and would also eliminate the existing system of self-regulation by the industry and toughen penalties for violators of the Horse Protection Act. It’s supported by the American Saddlebred Association, American Quarter Horse Association, Animal Wellness Action, the American Horse Council, American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners, United States Equestrian Federation, National Sheriff’s Association, and Maryland Veterinary Medical Association.
The PAST Act has been blocked for years by a handful of well-placed lawmakers, but a new House rule triggering consideration of any measure that attracts 290 or more cosponsors brought the issue to the floor. PAST attracted 308 cosponsors and was led by Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Ted Yoho (R-FL), cochairs of the Congressional Veterinary Medicine Caucus, along with Reps. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Ron Estes (R-KS), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Chris Collins (R-NY).
Check out what Members of Congress are saying about the PAST Act by clicking here.
Animal Wellness Action (Action) is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) organization with a mission of helping animals by promoting legal standards forbidding cruelty. We champion causes that alleviate the suffering of companion animals, farm animals, and wildlife. We advocate for policies to stop dogfighting and cockfighting and other forms of malicious cruelty and to confront factory farming and other systemic forms of animal exploitation. To prevent cruelty, we promote enacting good public policies and we work to enforce those policies. To enact good laws, we must elect good lawmakers, and that’s why we remind voters which candidates care about our issues and which ones don’t. We believe helping animals helps us all.
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Source: EIN Presswire