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PSHA Corrects Misinformation About Industry's Opposition of Whitfield Amendment



Shelbyville, TN – Today, the Performance Show Horse Association (PSHA) reacted to misleading and inaccurate testimony given by U.S. Representative Ed Whitfield Tuesday to the Rules Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.  Whitfield was pushing to add an amendment to the Farm Bill that would destroy the walking horse industry and benefit his wife.
 
Last month Tracy Boyd, President of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeder’s and Exhibitors Association (TWHBEA), took a personal position to support an amendment to the Farm Bill that would put an end to the walking horse industry.  Boyd was not speaking for his association, in fact, the International Board of Directors of TWHBEA voted overwhelmingly to oppose the Whitfield amendment.
 
The amendment would completely eliminate an industry that generates hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity each year and tens of millions of dollars to charities throughout the country.  Proponents of the bill are telling Members of Congress that the industry supports the bill, which is categorically untrue. 
 
While we understand Mr. Boyd’s frustration, it will not do anything to eliminate soring as even Mr. Boyd points out, the pads and action devices do not harm the horse.  But his endorsement is unfortunate, as the legislation would punish the vast majority of those who are doing the right thing and eliminate the majority of show divisions.
The walking horse is the most tested and inspected horse in the entire equine industry and it is working.  At a recent show, the Fun Show, where the USDA along with the SHOW HIO were in attendance, the industry’s compliance rate was 97%.  We still have work to do, but we will continue to place our emphasis on the welfare of our great horse along with consistent enforcement of the HPA.
 
Supporters of the walking horse oppose the amendment because it would:

•       Eliminates a total division of the equine breed, impacting more than 10,000 horses that would be deemed no longer fit for their intended purpose;
•       Takes from hard-working taxpayers, hundreds of millions of dollars without cause or any scientific evidence;
•       Eliminates self-regulation that is far superior than that of the federal government whose services he wants to expand; and
•       Creates a federal agency that will need to exponentially increase its budget to do the same thing that the current Horse Protection Act allows.

 

Mr. Whitfield failed to tell his fellow Members is that he is sponsoring this amendment because his wife is a paid lobbyist for the Humane Society Legislative Fund, one of the main advocates for this amendment.  This action by Mr. Whitfield would appear to be a violation of the House Code of Official Conduct and a violation of House Rule 25, Clause 7.
 

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