On January 24, Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Ted Yoho (R-FL), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Ron Estes (R-KS), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Chris Collins (R-NY) reintroduced a federal bill to protect horses in the Tennessee walking, racking and spotted saddle horse breeds from the practice known as “soring.” The text is identical to H.R. 1847 in the 115th Congress and reintroduction of a Senate companion bill by Sens. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Mark Warner (D-VA) is expected soon. However, the bill has been renamed the “U.S. Senator Joseph D. Tydings Memorial PAST (Prevent All Soring Tactics) Act” – H.R. 693 to honor the memory of the former senator from Maryland who introduced the original Horse Protection Act enacted in 1970. Realizing that violators had found ways to evade detection and penalty under the Act, Sen Tydings worked to secure enactment of PAST until his death in October 2018.

Keith Dane, senior adviser on equine protection for the Humane Society of the United States, said: “The PAST Act will finally bring about the changes needed to end the abuse by the ‘Big Lick’ faction of the walking horse industry, and restore the integrity and reputation of this great American horse breed. House and Senate leadership are urged to respect the wishes of the many endorsers, cosponsors and the American people and bring this bipartisan legislation to the floor for a vote soon.”

The following House Representatives from Maryland have already cosponsored the bill: Anthony Brown (D), Elijah Cummings (D), John Delaney (D), Andy Harris (R), Jamie Rasking (D), Dutch Ruppersberger (D) and John Sarbanes (D). In the Senate, the following Senators from Maryland have already cosponsored the bill: Ben Cardin (D) and Chris Van Hollen (D). To contact your U.S. representatives and senators, call 202-224-3121 and ask them to cosponsor the PAST Act.