Letter: Ayotte is cracking down on animal abuse
The Humane Society of the United States expresses its thanks to Sen. Kelly Ayotte for her work to crack down on animal abuse.
Ayotte introduced the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, S.1406, to protect Tennessee walking horses from the gruesome practice of “soring” – deliberately inflicting of pain to horses’ front hooves or legs to produce an exaggerated gait known as the “Big Lick,” rewarded in some show competitions. Reps. Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster are cosponsors of the companion bill in the House, H.R. 1518.
Often, caustic chemicals are used to blister horses’ legs, hooves are cut painfully short, and torturous mechanical devices are applied – making it extremely painful for these graceful creatures to walk. A Humane Society undercover investigation of Hall of Fame walking horse trainer Jackie McConnell exposed how he abused horses for the sake of a blue ribbon. Ayotte’s bill upgrades a federal law against soring that has not been updated in four decades. Stopping cruelty to animals is the right thing to do. Animal advocates are grateful to Ayotte for leading the way on this crucial legislation to protect horses, so that we can finally stamp out cheating and cruelty at Tennessee walking horse shows.
(The writer is president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States.)