Letters to the Editor

Rogers, Barr support soring show horses

How could U.S. Reps. Hal Rogers and Andy Barr support legislation that perpetuates the cruel and illegal practice of soring show horses?

Instead of supporting the much-needed Prevent All Soring Tactics Act, they have cosponsored a bogus bill introduced by Tennessee Congressman Scott DesJarlais that will only preserve the status quo.

Soring involves the deliberate infliction of pain to horses’ hooves and legs using blistering agents, chains, and weighted shoes to force them to lift their legs unnaturally high in the show ring; a gait known as the Big Lick. Although Congress passed the Horse Protection Act in 1970 to end the soring of show horses, this abusive practice has continued unabated.

The PAST Act will provide the necessary reforms to bring an end to soring, including prohibiting devices used in the process, increasing penalties for lawbreakers to create meaningful deterrents and abolishing the industry’s corrupt self-policing system.

The bill has the bipartisan support of almost 30 members in Congress and endorsements from the American Veterinary Medical Association, Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

I strongly urge Rogers and Barr to support the PAST Act.

Melissa Bowman