UPDATED: March 2019. Hanaeleh’s mission is to promote horse advocacy and welfare. Here’s an update on three important bills that effect the welfare of equines in the U.S. right now. Take action today – be a voice for horses!
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The PAST Act (Horse Protection Act)
House of Representatives H.R. 693
The PAST Act strengthens the ability of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to enforce the Horse Protect Act (HPA) of 1970 by banning the use of devices using in soring and strengthening penalties for trainers who still abuse horses. Although Congress tried to stop soring more than four decades ago with the Horse Protection Act, the abuse is still widespread in a small segment of the industry. Those who stand to profit from this illegal activity go to great lengths to cover their tracks and pressure their legislators to defend the status quo.
“Soring” involves the intentional infliction of pain on a horse’s legs and hooves to force the horse to perform an exaggerated, high-stepping gait known as the “Big Lick.” Unscrupulous trainers use caustic chemicals that burn the horse’s flesh, chains, cutting and heavy, stacked horseshoes to accomplish this artificial gait rewarded in show rings.
Additionally, the USDA, led by Secretary Sonny Perdue, has frozen a final rule that would achieve urgently-needed reforms like The Past Act. The rule was seven years in the making with strong bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress, and hundreds of horse organizations, veterinarians and animal health / protection agencies. Secretary Perdue can publish this final rule at any time – there is no reason to delay any further.
What You Can Do
- If your representative supports The Past Act (HR 693), call and thank them!
- If not, call your Representative and let them know you want The PAST Act (HR 693) passed to bring horse soring to an end once and for all.
- Write the Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, and let him know you support The PAST Act. Demand that he put an end to this terrible abuse.
Attn: Secretary Perdue
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20250
The SAFE Act (Safe American Food Exports Act) to End Horse Slaughter.
House of Representatives H.R. 961 – Click Here for a List of Cosponsors
Senate Bill: TBA
The SAFE Act would prohibit the purchase, sale or transportation of horses across U.S. borders for the purpose of slaughter and human consumption. Not only is horse slaughter incredibly inhumane and cruel, but horses are routinely given medications that are toxic and cancerous to humans. Horse meat should not end up in the American food supply.
Hanaeleh, the Humane Society of the United States, Animal Welfare Institute, International Fund for Horses, Equine Welfare Alliance, Inc., Habitat for Horses and Veterinarians for Equine Welfare as well as the 80% of Americans are against horse slaughter. For more details, click here.
What You Can Do
- If your representative or senator supports The SAFE Act, call and thank them!
- If not, call your representative and senator and urge them to cosponsor The SAFE Act H.R. 961.
- If not, get ready to call your senator and urge them to cosponsor The SAFE Act as soon as the bill is introduced.
Horseracing Integrity Act of 2019
House of Representatives: There is a bill in Congress right now to stop the abuse and reform the industry to focus on equine welfare.
This bill authorizes the creation of a new Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Authority with the power to set uniform racing medication rules, anti-doping control rules, testing and procedural rules, and prohibit the use of any substance or medication within 24 hours of a race. The rules set by the Authority would apply not only to Thoroughbred races, but Quarter Horse and Standardbred races as well. The adoption of a national, uniform standard for these rules in horseracing is in the best welfare of the horses and promotes cleaner competition for the industry.
What You Can Do
- Call your Representative and urge them to cosponsor the Horseracing Integrity Act (HR 1754) to protect race horses and ensure a level playing field for the animals, jockeys, trainers and fans.