WHR Copyright 2006

Dear David,

Knowing your interest in Tennessee Walking Horses, I wanted to bring to your attention an issue that could potentially impact this important industry.

H.R. 503 was introduced in Congress in February 2005 to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption. Regardless of the merits of the bill’s goal, there are problems with the bill’s approach. The bill aims to accomplish its goal by amending the Horse Protection Act (HPA), the law which governs the inspection and regulation of walking horse events. Many members of the walking horse community have expressed concerns to me that by amending the HPA, H.R. 503 will undermine the important progress that has been made between the federal government and the industry in regulating walking horse shows and events. Further, the HPA has not been amended since 1976. By doing so, H.R. 503 could set a dangerous precedent that could be used by extreme groups for narrow political goals.

H.R. 503 is currently being reviewed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The walking horse industry is vital to the economy and community of Middle Tennessee and, as a Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I will work hard to make sure that H.R. 503 in its present form does not come to the House floor for a vote.

Bart Gordon

Member of Congress