U.S. Senate Committee Approves PAST Act Favored By Humane Society Of The U.S. For Protecting Walking Horses

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on Wednesday approved the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act (S. 1406/H.R. 1518) by voice vote. The bill is supported by the Humane Society of the United States, which said the PAST Act "will end the decades-long abusive training method of soring, which involves the use of chemicals and devices on the legs and feet of Tennessee walking horses to force them to perform the high-stepping 'Big Lick' gait."

Rep. Marsha Blackburn is sponsoring a bill that HSUS claims would protect owners and trainers who allegedly abuse horses.

Senator Lamar Alexander has submitted a bill that he said is a compromise between the two measures.

Keith Dane, vice president of equine protection for the HSUS, said: “Horse soring is a disgrace, but growing momentum for the PAST Act means that reform is within reach. Today’s committee action was a significant step forward. Congress should ensure a sound future for Tennessee walking horses by passing this legislation on the Senate floor without delay.”

The HSUS and Humane Society Legislative Fund "expressed their thanks to Senators Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., and Mark Warner, D-Va., for their leadership on S. 1406, and to Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., Ranking Member John Thune, R-S.D., and Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., for their support during today’s committee markup.

"The PAST Act will fortify the federal Horse Protection Act, which was passed in 1970 but contained loopholes that have allowed soring to thrive in factions of the Tennessee walking horse industry. The bill's needed reforms include eliminating the failed industry self-policing system, banning devices used in the soring process from the show ring, and strengthening penalties to provide a meaningful deterrent against abusing horses to cheat at horse shows. 

"The PAST Act is co-sponsored by 51 senators and 269 representatives. It is endorsed by the American Horse Council and more than 50 other national and state horse groups, the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners, and state veterinary groups in all 50 states, key individuals in the Tennessee walking horse show world, and many others."


Officers Interrupt Burglary On 6th Avenue; Brady, Mincy Arrested

Officers answering a burglary in progress call on 6th Avenue wound up making three arrests. Charged with aggravated burglary were Mark Stephen Brady, 45, of 2111 Rogers Road, and Jason Ott Mincy, 34, of 3203 S. Orchard Knob Ave. In an incident on Friday, the homeowner said her neighbor told her there were individuals breaking into her home and taking items out. Officers ... (click for more)

Police Catch Group Trying To Get In East Brainerd Residence

Police arrived as five people were involved in targeting a residence in East Brainerd. Arrested at the Joiner Road unit near East Brainerd Road were Thomas Robbins, 19, of 5230 Usher St.; Austin Clemons, 20, of 6220 Shallowford Road, and Deion Brooks, 22, of 2120 Delano St. They are charged with aggravated burglary. Others were questioned and released. Witnesses said ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Couldn't Manage Public Education

I have been reading the buzz about Signal Mountain and other small municipalities considering a move to form their own school district within their municipal boundaries.  It is quite the comedy hour considering the notion that small cities that for decades could not even manage small sewer systems or 911 districts, are somehow going to do a better job with public education ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: School Board Can’t Wait

It took the Hamilton County School board nine months before the group hired a search firm to find a new superintendent. But you mark my words – the Department of Education will undoubtedly implode if our leaders wait another nine months simply hoping for some type of mystical salvation. In the last week Signal Mountain leaders have all but given notice they will form their own district ... (click for more)

It's Tennessee Vs. Nebraska In The Music City Bowl

 Tennessee has accepted an invitation to play the Nebraska in the Music City Bowl on    Dec. 30   at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. Tickets for the Music City Bowl will be available for purchase in the coming days via AllVols.com. "Our entire program is excited about representing the University of Tennessee at the Music City Bowl," Vols ... (click for more)

UTC Women's Hoops: Mocs Host Stetson Tonight

Coming off an 80-60 road win against UT-Martin Saturday, the UTC women's basketball team hosts Stetson tonight at McKenzie Arena at 6:30 p.m. Stetson (8-1) has won four in a row and is led by guard Biantt Saunders is six points  away from breaking the Hatters all-time scoring record currently held by Sasha Sims, who scored 1,617 points from 2010-14. In the UT-Martin ... (click for more)