| PAST Act Reintroduced in Senate
Friday, May 25, 2018
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)-written PAST Act was introduced in the United States Senate Thursday by Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Mark Warner (D-Virginia). The HSUS-backed legislation would ban equipment used in competition, eliminate industry enforcement entities and cripple horse shows and the charitable contributions raised at Tennessee Walking Horse events.
The legislation was introduced with cosponsors Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Dianne Feinstein (D-California), Steve Daines (R-Montana), Edward Markey (D-Massachusetts), Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania), and Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri).
The sponsors and group of cosponsors supporting the HSUS written legislation represent states with very limited if any Tennessee Walking Horse participation and donít include any sponsors from the states with the highest populations of Tennessee Walking Horses, including but not limited to Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia.
The PAST Act has a companion bill in the House of Representatives introduced by U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Florida). Yoho and the HSUS tried and failed to add the PAST Act as an amendment to the Farm Bill.
The HSUS also had U.S. Rep. Tom Marino from Pennsylvania and Steve Cohen, a democrat in Tennessee, issue an amendment to the Farm Bill that would have forced the USDA to publish its rule that mirrors closely the PAST Act. That amendment also failed in rules committee.
U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais has introduced legislation championed by the industry that would put in place independent oversight, objective, science-based testing to eliminate soring and stiff penalties that would prevent habitual offenders from competing in Walking Horse events. This legislation was also introduced in the previous Senate by U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
It is unclear if Alexander and McConnell will reintroduce their version of the legislation in this Senate.
The HSUS has been extremely persistent in championing the need for the PAST Act, even though it would devastate shows that have both pleasure and performance horses and make it virtually impossible for small shows in rural areas to continue. The elected officials who have an understanding of the breed and clear understanding of the need for a change in the inspection process have failed to support the HSUS-written legislation.