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Major Veterinary Groups Urge Passage of Legislation to End Abusive Soring of Horses
(Lexington, Ky.) - The American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Equine Practitioners joined together today in support of the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act (PAST), H.R. 1518. The bill seeks to eliminate the abusive act of soring horses by improving the U.S. Department of Agriculture's enforcement capabilities and strengthening penalties against violators, among other provisions.
Soring is the intentional infliction of pain in Tennessee Walking Horses, Spotted Saddle Horses, and Racking Horses to produce a high-stepping, unnatural gait. Despite being illegal for more than 40 years, insufficiencies in funding and other resources needed for enforcement at the federal level have contributed to a culture of corruption where this abusive, unethical practice remains prevalent in shows and auctions in certain pockets of the country.
"Soring of horses is an inhumane practice that veterinarians are, unfortunately, still seeing. It has crippling physical and mental effects on horses," said Dr. Douglas Aspros, veterinarian and AVMA president. "It's sad when winning a show takes precedence over the health and welfare of the horse. As veterinarians, we simply can't stand by and allow horses to be abused. We encourage Congress to quickly pass H.R. 1518 and put an end to the inhumane and unethical practice of soring, once and for all."
Specifically, H.R. 1518:
"Soring is one of the most significant equine welfare issues in the United States," said AAEP President Dr. Ann Dwyer. "Federal legislation is the only action that will end this decades-long abuse of horses, and we urge all within the veterinary and horse-owning communities to join us in supporting this bill's passage."
For more information on the AVMA and AAEP's efforts to end soring, visit the AVMA's Soring Resource Page at https://www.avma.org/soring