Federal Equine Protection Legislation Advances

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Saratoga Scenic Sarah Andrew

Two key pieces of equine protection legislation advanced out of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Consumer Protection June 24, most notably the Save America's Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act, H.R. 3355, which would permanently ban the transport of horses bound for slaughter. The measure was endorsed by more than 225 equine-related businesses, groups, and organizations, as well as a wide array of stake holders which included The Jockey Club; The Breeders' Cup; Water, Hay, Oats Alliance (WHOA); and the New York Racing Association (NYRA).

Advancing alongside was the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 5441. PAST would eliminate the use of large, stacked shoes and ankle chains that are placed on Tennessee Walkers' feet to exacerbate pain in the show ring and produce the 'Big Lick' action. It would also revamp the USDA's inspection program and provide felony level penalties to give teeth to the HPA. The advance puts the bills in motion and creates an opportunity for additional legislating in the House and Senate.

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