Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Animal Welfare

How we treat animals is a direct reflection of our character, both as individuals and a nation. Throughout my legislative career, both as a state Senator and as a Member of Congress, I have sponsored and supported legislation to ensure the humane treatment of animals, as well as to protect our nation’s wildlife. I am proud to be a member of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus and to have had The Humane Society of the United States and Defenders of Wildlife recognize my voting record with a 100% rating.

Ending Horse Soring

Horse “soring” is a cruel practice that some trainers use to ensure that their horses walk with a desired high-stepping gait, such as the Tennessee Walking Horse. I sponsored the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act to end this cruel practice.

Protecting Wildlife

I cosponsored the Refuge From Cruel Trapping Act to ban the use of possession of cruel body gripping traps in the Natural Wildlife Refuge System.

Animal Cruelty

As a State Senator in Tennessee, I sponsored legislation to make aggravated animal cruelty a felony, as well as legislation that allow owners to receive damages in cases of intentional or negligent acts resulting in the death of a pet.

I have cosponsored legislation such as the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, which would extend federal jurisdiction to cases involving intentional crushing of animals. Additionally, I cosponsored the Pet and Women Safety Act to prohibit threats of acts of violence against a person’s pet under the offenses of stalking and interstate violation of a protection order.

Animal Use in Research

We cannot as a government allow abuse towards animals in research to continue.  Our humanity is diminished when we not only allow but actively sanction and financially support such abuse.

To end these abuses, I cosponsored the Animal Welfare in Agricultural Research Endeavors Act, which would close the loophole in the Animal Welfare Act that exempts U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) from adhering to federal animal welfare standards. I also cosponsored the Battlefield Excellence through Superior Training Practices Act, which would require the Department of Defense to conduct research on human-based simulation training methods and replace live tissue training by 2020. Live tissue training is inflicting wounds seen in combat situations on animals for the purposes of surgical training by medical personnel.

More on Animal Welfare

July 25, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) applauded today’s House passage of the U.S. Senator Joseph D. Tydings Memorial Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, to prohibit the intentional injury to the hooves and legs of performance walking horses such as Tennessee’s iconic walking horses. The vote was 333 to 96.

March 26, 2019 Press Release


WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) was the only member of the Tennessee Congressional delegation to receive a perfect score on the Defenders of Wildlife Conservation Report Card for the 2nd Session of the 115th Congress.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

“I’m proudly working hard to protect our wildlife and its habitat and am encouraged by this acknowledgement of my voting record by Defenders of Wildlife.”

February 27, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Representatives Steve Cohen (TN-09), Peter King (NY-02), Dina Titus (NV-01) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) today introduced the Horse Transportation Safety Act, a measure to ensure the safe and humane treatment of horses on roads and highways by ending the exploitation of a regulatory loophole designed to ban transport of horses in double-deck trailers.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

January 28, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a member of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus and a prime sponsor of two anti-animal cruelty bills in the last Congress, again received a “100+” score from the Humane Society of the United States for his leadership on its issues.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

September 27, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the House Aviation Subcommittee, hailed passage of his Planes Ensuring Total Safety (PETS) Act that was made a part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill that passed the House on a vote of 398 to 23 and is expected to be considered in the Senate soon. See his remarks on the House floor here.

August 28, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) commended Senators Mike Crapo of Idaho and Mark Warner of Virginia for their recent letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting the department vigorously enforce the Horse Protection Act and prevent the intentional injury to horses participating in the ongoing Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville, Tennessee. Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

March 15, 2018 Press Release

Washington, DC – March 15, 2018….Congressman Dan Donovan (NY-11) today introduced legislation banning dogs from overhead compartments after Kokito, a French bulldog, died on a United Airlines flight. Kokito’s owner says a flight attendant required her to put her 10-month old dog in the overhead compartment and he did not survive the flight. Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-9) is the lead Democratic cosponsor on the legislation.

March 9, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) received a 100 percent score on the Defenders of Wildlife 2017 Conservation Report Card for his support of a variety of environmental conservation measures during the first session of the 115th Congress. He is one of only two members of the Tennessee delegation to receive a perfect score.

October 13, 2017 Enewsletters

Dear Friend,

October 12, 2017 Press Release

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Congressman Walter B. Jones (R-NC) today introduced the Horse Transportation Safety Act. This bipartisan legislation would prohibit interstate transportation of horses in a motor vehicle containing two or more levels stacked on top of one another. It would also create civil penalties of at least $100 for each horse involved.