Okay, it's not really called the PAID Act, but we'd like to think that's what it's called:
|Thanks to the Voters Who Approve of HR 1518/s 1406 FB page|
Most of you probably already know that Marsha Blackburn, paid Congressperson of the TWH industry (she was given $70,000 in donations at the Celebration last year) put together her own version of changes to the HPA. Here's a good explanation from Thehorse.com (click for article):
On Feb. 26, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) introduced HR 4098, or the Horse Protection Amendments Act of 2014. Blackburn's bill would create one horse industry organization (HIO) to manage shows where Tennessee Walking Horses would be exhibited. Under HR 4098, that HIO would be composed of equine veterinarians and industry experts who would develop and implement protocols, guidelines, testing policies, and inspection policies for the industry. Under the legislation, these industry experts would be drawn from states most impacted by the Tennessee Walking Horse industry. The bill also requires that testing used during horse inspections be done “though objective, science-based methods and protocols,” and preserves the oversight structure between the Walking Horse industry and the USDA. The bill does not forbid trainers from using metal chains, or stacks and pads used in performance packages.
While this sounds all happy and dandy, it actually puts the industry right where they want to be. It would give them one HIO, which the industry has already established by putting together the IIS, or ISS, or some other such crap...honestly, I can't keep track of it anymore. Somehow SHOW is not defunct, or PSHA is...??? Seriously, more alphabet soup. At any rate, having one HIO that will be run by the abusers puts those foxes at the front door of the hen house to usher other foxes right on in.
Plus, in requiring "objective, science-based methods and protocols," this buys them time to find ways to escape detection. Objective and science-based methods are already available and tests have already been done. The Industry just ignores it because it scientifically shows that the horses are still being sored. (See refusing to release swabbing results of 2012 Celebration; general ignorance of Dr. Turner's six-year thermography study and the results.)
A few days ago, Lamar Alexander -- who strangely, had co-sponsored both the PAID Act AND the PAST Act -- released a more detailed PAID Act that just adds on some useless penalties and expresses that only veterinarians should inspect horses. Which, with the USDA, they already do. Another good explanation of the bill from Thehorse.com (click for article):
On April 1 Alexander, along with senators Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), introduced legislation modifying HR 4098 bill to require the HIO created in Blackburn's bill contract with “equine veterinary experts”; those experts would advise the HIO on the methods of testing for banned substances and about the interpretation of test results. Alexander's bill also creates a 30-day suspension of horses found to be sore for the first time; penalties rise to 90-day suspensions for each subsequent offense. Finally, the bill would establishe a 4-year term limit for anyone who serves on the HIO board of directors.
So, we need your help yet again! Please OPPOSE both of these bills on POPVOX. Click here for HR 4098 and click here for S 2913. REMEMBER: These two bills need to be OPPOSED!
Next, here's a great video from The Tennessean Editorial Board with supporters of the PAST Act talking about why it's necessary. Former Senator Joe Tydings, who authored the original HPA, Donna Benefield, and Attorney Clant Seay provide wonderful insight. Click here for Billy Go Boy's post about it.
We have also started an FTTWH Twitter account! Our goal is to tweet about important information that our Congresspersons need to know about soring and supporting the PAST Act. http://twitter.com/FortheTWH and @FortheTWH. Please follow us and retweet so we can get the word out and get as much support as we can!
I also want to announce that I'm not going to be posting on this blog as much for awhile. I have some other pressing work to take care of. But the FTTWH Facebook page and FTTWH Twitter account will still run as it's an easy place to share and give out information. I also HIGHLY recommend following Billy Go Boy's website for lots of great up-to-date information.
So, to keep up with who's supporting the PAST Act and who we still need to contact, go to Govtrack.us to keep an eye on those who are supporting it.
House Support: HR 1518
Senate Support: S 1406
Key things the Congresspersons will want to know:
1. This will be at no cost to the taxpayer to pass and implement as the funds for the HPA are already established.
2. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), American Association for Equine Practitioners (AAEP), the American Horse Council (AHC and largest lobbyists in DC for horse-related issues), and Veterinary Medical Associations across the U.S. are in full support of the PAST Act. Click here for the list of endorsements from across the United States.
3. The Industry has not been and never will correctly police themselves as HPA violations continue to pile up each year. The time has come for the USDA to take over inspections and for the tools used to sore horses to be gone from the show ring.
THANK YOU to everyone for all your hard work!