Legislation aims to improve equine welfare


Soring and safe transportation of horses are top priorities on AVMA legislative agenda.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) kept its sights on numerous pieces of legislation throughout 2013 and will continue to monitor issues this year. The lobbying arm of the AVMA focuses on bills that would affect the veterinary profession and pursues one of several courses of action: to actively pursue passage, support, remain neutral, actively pursue defeat or ignore. Efforts to eliminate soring and to improve the safety of horse transportation are the top equine issues.

To see the full AVMA legislative agenda, download this PDF. Click hear to watch a video wrap up of the AVMA's legislative work in the past year by Mark Lutschaunig, DVM, director of the AMVA's Governmental Relations Division.

Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2013 (PAST)

AVMA: Active pursuit of passage

The AVMA and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) continue to actively support efforts to eliminate soring and improve enforcement of the federal Horse Protection Act. “Despite more than 40 years after the Horse Protection Act, which made soring illegal in shows, sales or exhibits, the horse show industry has failed to police itself,” says AAEP President Ann Dwyer, DVM. “A sored gait is still rewarded in the show ring.” The PAST Act would make the actual act of soring illegal, further restrict the devices that can be used on horses when they’re shown, increase penalties against violators and, for the first time, require the U.S. Department of Agriculture (rather than horse industry organizations) to license, train, assign and oversee inspectors to enforce the regulations.

Horse Transportation Safety Act

AVMA: Active pursuit of passage

This bill prohibits a person from transporting a horse in interstate commerce in a motor vehicle (except a vehicle operated exclusively on rail or rails) containing two or more levels stacked on top of one another.

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