McCormick applauds congressional approval of bill to ban animal cruelty

Lisa McCormick applauds the passage of the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, which would prohibit the horse soring, or the despicable act of deliberately inflicting pain on a horse to force them into an exaggerated high-stepping gait known as the big lick.

The bill passed the House of Representatives last week by an overwhelming 304 to 111 bipartisan vote.

“The PAST Act expands soring regulation and enforcement at horse shows, exhibitions, and other locations by establishing a new system of inspection and increasing penalties for violations, which is needed because some unscrupulous trainers still cause unconscionable injury and pain to these majestic animals,” said McCormick, an equestrian who started riding at Union County’s Watchung Stable when she was nine years old.

“If this becomes law, trainers will be banned from using caustic chemicals, such as diesel fuel and mustard oil, on a horse’s skin and will no longer be able to insert sharp painful objects into their hooves,” said McCormick.

Lisa McCormick
Lisa McCormick

These techniques are not only considered cheating in competitions, but also cause horses distress, and may lead to lameness.

“As a strong supporter of animal rights, and as a former horse owner, I am thrilled we are one step closer to ending the inhumane practice of horse soaring,” said McCormick. “The PAST Act will prohibit the intentional injury to the hooves and legs of performance walking horses.”

“Horse ‘soring’ is one of the worst cruelties imaginable—where scofflaw trainers deliberately torment Tennessee walking horses to get them to fling their front legs high, just to win a cheap blue ribbon in a show ring. It’d be like forcing an Olympian to wear broken glass in her shoes so the pain will make her leap higher over the hurdles,” said Sara Amundson, president of Humane Society Legislative Fund. “The Senate should follow suit quickly to get the PAST Act over the finish line and USDA should note the broad bipartisan support for stronger enforcement to end this torture.”

“I am extremely disappointed that 111 Republican members of Congress voted against this legislation, apparently in reflection of the cruelty that come in teh GOP seem to celebrate,” said McCormick. “I am grateful to Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), and Congressman Vern Buchanan (FL-16) for sponsoring this legislation and appreciate that the entire New Jersey delegation voted to approve the measure.”

The bill now advances to the Senate with a clear message that the American people will not stand for animal cruelty in any form.

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