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We want to thank Congressman Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Sen. John Walsh, D-Mont., for co-sponsoring HR 1518 and S1406, the PAST Act, which will reform the federal Horse Protection Act to end the cruel act of horse soring: a horrifying practice in which trainers pursue the exaggerated “Big Lick” gait by burning horses’ legs with caustic chemicals, or wedging hard objects into the tender soles of their feet. This is torture for the sake of a blue ribbon at a horse show and monetary gain to the owner and trainer, and this unconscionable and illegal treatment has been going on for 50 years, throughout the Tennessee walking show horse industry.

The PAST Act will end the failed industry self-policing system, ban the devices that are implicated in the soring process, and crack down on perpetrators with heightened penalties. We in Montana are for protecting defenseless animals, and we are proud that two of our legislators have already signed on as cosponsors of this legislation.

Don’t be confused by the two sham alternative bills that recently have been introduced by Tennessee legislators, supported by a small but influential minority of their constituents, who want to continue soring horses for money and ego.

We urge Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., to join the bipartisan group of over 300 federal legislators who have cosponsored the PAST Act: The only anti-cruelty, anti-crime legislation before Congress that can truly end soring. It is time to get H.R. 1518/S. 1406 to the floor for a vote.

Jan and Mike Sousa, Huson

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