MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT) -- Animal Rights groups promoting tougher federal Tennessee Walking Horse anti-soring regulations are planning a rally later this month in Washington.
The Walk on Washington planned for June 18 in the nation’s capital is intended to pressure lawmakers to pass the Prevent All Soring Tactics or PAST Act. Horses scarred by soring techniques will be on hand so that legislators can see the damage that horse soring does.
Knoxville attorney Esther Bell owns and rides a Walking Horse. She’ll be in D.C. for the Walk. She says the Act has already garnered considerable support.
“At this moment we have 286 House of Representative members who support the PAST Act. We have 54 senators who support the PAST Act. So this event is to draw national attention and to push the PAST Act on through to a vote and make sure that it gets passed in this term.”
Most of Tennessee’s legislative delegation is opposed to the PAST Act, including mid-state Rep. Marsha Blackburn.
“The economic impact of the Walking Horse industry is $1.5 billion. The Celebration Show in Shellbyville, Tennessee, brings in over $40 million to that community. This legislation emposes excessive regulatory burden on the Walking Horse industry, and could potentially eliminate the entire industry and thus the entire breed.”
Blackburn contends further regulation is uncalled for because she says federal reports show very little horse soring is taking place.