Letter to the Editor, March 30
HSUS disagrees with editor's article
Sadie Fowler's recent article ("Blackburn bill would protect Celebration," March 9) presents the big lick walking horse industry's views on federal legislation addressing the issue of horse soring, but is light on facts and long on rhetoric.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn's bill does nothing to end soring or protect horses, but instead protects the status quo of failed industry self-regulation -- and in fact codifies it. It permanently puts the fox in charge of the henhouse.
Rep. Ed Whitfield's bill (the PAST Act, H.R. 1518), which has earned the bipartisan support of 269 House cosponsors and 51 Senate cosponsors, fixes the problems that have plagued the walking horse industry for generations, and will remove the stigma that soring has brought upon the breed, the Celebration, Shelbyville and the state of Tennessee.
It misleads readers to ignore the many groups that endorse the legislation, representing the vast majority of horsemen and veterinarians: the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the American Horse Council, and dozens of walking horse groups and other breeds.
The broad horse industry and veterinary community agree that the Blackburn bill is the wrong answer, and the PAST Act is needed to actually protect horses and reinvigorate the walking horse industry and rural economy of middle Tennessee. The state's federal legislators should listen to these industry experts and stop catering to lawbreakers and the big lick crowd that helps to line their campaign coffers.
Vice President, Equine Protection
The Humane Society of the United States
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