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Letter: Hatch decision hurts walking horses
First Published Jul 18 2014 04:15 pm • Last Updated Jul 18 2014 05:33 pm

The PAST Act (H.R. 1518/S. 1406) applies to Tennessee Walking Horses, Racking Horses and Spotted Saddle Horses and bans caustic chemicals applied to a horse’s pasterns and the use of cruel devices that create pain for the sake of an exaggerated gait. It will allow the walking horse industry to thrive and rebuild the reputation of the breed.

How could Orrin Hatch’s aides allow him to sign on to a bogus bill authored by the Tennessee delegation? They can’t have done their research on the PAST Act, or he would not have signed onto a bill sponsored by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., that will only preserve the cruel status quo rather than making meaningful reforms to protect horses.

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The PAST Act has momentous support from the American Horse Council, American Veterinary Medical Association, every state’s Veterinary Medical Association and the majority of walking horse owners. But harmful "alternative" legislation has been introduced solely so that a small faction of the industry can continue to abuse horses for profit without consequences.

Sen. Hatch, and the rest of Utah’s Congressional delegation, should choose HR 1518/S 1406. As yet none of Utah’s delegation have signed on to the PAST Act.

Bill Coon


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