Congressman Cohen Applauds Passage of PAST Act

July 25, 2019
Press Release
Widely supported animal protection measure prohibits horse soring

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.


Congressman Cohen has been a part of the leadership team for the PAST Act since the measure was first introduced in 2013 and has been the top champion against soring since his days in the Tennessee State Senate. 


The bill’s name was changed this year to honor the memory of the late Senator Tydings of Maryland, who introduced the Horse Protection Act  in 1970 and fought to end this form of animal cruelty. The measure that passed today had 308 bipartisan House cosponsors and is supported by 46 senators. 


Congressman Cohen made the following statement: 


“The natural gait of the Tennessee Walking Horse is a wonder to behold and has long been revered by horse lovers.  The practice of soring—burning, cutting, lacerating—these beautiful creatures just to exaggerate their gate and win horse shows is beyond reprehensible.  I am so pleased that more than 300 House members are sponsoring The PAST Act. How we treat animals is a reflection of our national character.  Today, we can be proud that the House has spoken loudly on behalf of horses and those who love horses.” 


Congress intended to end this practice when it passed the Horse Protection Act of 1970 but a series of audits and an undercover investigation have shown the practice, known as “soring,” persisted in some competitive horse performance venues. 


The PAST Act is supported by Animal Wellness Action, the Animal Wellness Foundation, the Humane Society of the United States, American Horse Council, American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners, the veterinary medical associations of all 50 states, the National Sheriffs Association, United States Equestrian Federation, Citizens’ Campaign Against Big Lick Animal Cruelty, and hundreds of other veterinary, animal protection, and equine groups from around the country.