No animal deserves to be harmed or tortured, and certainly not for sport. And yet, there are horse trainers across the country who intentionally hurt horses in order to win competitions.
Soring is a cruel tactic where a trainer applies substances or devices to horses’ limbs to make each step painful and force an exaggerated high-stepping gait rewarded in show rings. While it has been outlawed, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that there are still trainers engaged in this inhumane practice.
Thankfully, the U.S. House of Representatives took a big step towards finally eliminating soring this week. The Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act was passed with bipartisan support. This bill will step up enforcement activity and increases penalties for those found guilty of soring. It increases the charge from a misdemeanor to a felony - which is subject to up to three years' incarceration, raises fines from $3,000 to $5,000 per violation, and permanently disqualifies three-time violators from participating in horse shows, exhibitions, sales or auctions.
Animal cruelty is unacceptable, and there needs to be consequences for those who harm vulnerable animals.