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Metro Ordinance Banning Walking Horses Deferred



The bill before the Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County that would ban the showing, exhibiting and sale of Tennessee Walking Horses, Racking Horses and Spotted Saddle Horses in Nashville was deferred tonight at the Council’s meeting. The bill, introduced by Kathleen Murphy, would ban the use of weighted shoes, action devices and pads on any Tennessee Walking Horse, Racking Horse or Spotted Saddle Horse in Nashville.  The bill was deferred until the next meeting of the Council on August 6, 2019.

The sponsor, Murphy, had Humane Society of the United States Tennessee Director, Eric Swafford in attendance at the July 16th meeting to help lobby for the bill that mirrors much of the language in the PAST Act, written by HSUS and originally introduced by Rep. Ed Whitfield from Kentucky who later retired from Congress while under ethics inquiries related to his handling of the PAST Act.  Whitfield’s wife was a lobbyist for the HSUS at the time when Whitfield agreed to introduce the PAST Act.

The deferral of the bill will only temporarily delay the vote on the city ordinance that would go against federal law and ban the use of equipment that is allowed under the Horse Protection Act and proven to be safe for horses by the Auburn Study. The study confirmed the use of action devices weighing six ounces or less would not cause harm to the horse. There was confusion among many of the council members that had been told the proposed ordinance didn’t do anything not already done by federal law. Those members were surprised to learn that the federal law did in fact allow the use of the equipment attempting to be prohibited by Murphy in her proposed bill.

A copy of the original bill proposed by Murphy can be seen by clicking here.

Murphy did intend to propose an amendment to the bill that clarified some of the language of the proposed bill but did nothing to change the intent of the bill to ban the showing, exhibiting or sales of Tennessee Walking Horses, Racking Horses and Spotted Saddle Horses that wear a weighted shoe, action device or pad.

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