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.
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.
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
[WASHINGTON, DC] – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) released the following statement commending the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) and Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) finalization of proposed changes aimed at ending the horrific practice of horse soring. Soring, the intentional infliction of pain on horses’ feet and legs to achieve the high stepping pain-based, “big lick” gait, has plagued both the Tennessee Walking Horse breed and the great state of Tennessee for more than half a century.
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) has sent a letter to Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Director James Comey to raise concerns about the agency’s use of an abusive contractor and a controversial medical training method that involves harming and killing animals.
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today received a perfect 100% score on the Defenders of Wildlife Conservation Report Card for the 1st Session of the 114th Congress. Congressman Cohen was the only member of the Tennessee Congressional delegation to receive a perfect score.
[WASHINGTON, DC] – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a longtime champion for animal rights and welfare, received a perfect 100+ score from the Humane Society on its legislative scorecard for 2015. Congressman Cohen, who received the highest rating out of all members of the Tennessee Congressional delegation, was noted for being an original cosponsor of H.R. 3268, the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act.
[WASHINGTON, DC] – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a longtime champion for animal rights and welfare, received a perfect 100% score from the Humane Society on their legislative scorecard for the 113th Congress. The Congressman, who received the highest rating out of all members of the Tennessee Congressional delegation, was noted for being an original cosponsor of H.R. 1518, the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act.