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Walking Horse Amendments Not Included in Farm Bill



The House Rules Committee decided which of the over 100 amendments would be included in the House Farm Bill yesterday and neither the amendments from Rep. Tom Marino nor Rep. Scott DesJarlais will be included in the floor debate.  Marino, along with democrat Steve Cohen from Tennessee had submitted an amendment that would have forced the USDA to publish its proposed rule that would ban the pad and action device from Tennessee Walking Horses as well as abolish the HIO system.

Rep. DesJarlais’ amendment was the text from the Senate bill introduced by Senator Lamar Alexander from Tennessee for an independent inspection entity, objective, science-based testing and strict penalties for violators.  Given the controversy surrounding the amendments, neither was moved forward as part of the new House Farm Bill.

The Senate Farm Bill will be upcoming soon and lobbyist Jeff Speaks expects fully there will be another attempt by the HSUS to get the PAST Act or some version close to it attached in the Senate version.  The Walking Horse industry continues to push for independent inspectors, veterinarian approved objective and scientific inspections and penalties that remove those violators from being able to compete.

The HSUS is adamant that any solution include the ban of the pads and action devices used in competition by Tennessee Walking Horses, despite no scientific evidence that either the pad or action device causes any harm when used within the current parameters set by the Horse Protection Act and regulations.

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