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Congressional Hearing on Anti-Horse Slaughter and Soring Legislation Set for Thursday May 26 – World News Report

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AWA executive director Marty Irby testifying at a House hearing on H.R. 1754 in January 2020

AWA executive director Marty Irby testifying at a House hearing on H.R. 1754 in January 2020

Chairwoman Jan Schakowsky and Other House Committee Leaders to Focus Attention on Bills to End Horse Slaughter and Injuring Tennessee Walking Horses Competition

We applaud Chairwoman Jan Schakowsky for highlighting the PAST Act that would stamp out the terrible practice of soring I’ve witnessed since childhood.”

— Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action

WASHINGTON, DC, USA, May 22, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — On Thursday evening, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce – which just recently included the FDA Modernization Act as a rider to a larger FDA reform bill to address needless animal testing – announced it is also going to dive into debates about the treatment of horses in the United States. The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Commerce and Protection, led by lifelong equine protection advocate Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., will hold a hearing on the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 5541, and the Save America’s Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act, H.R. 3355, scheduled for 12:00 PM EST on Thursday, May 26.

The substance of these measures have both been consistently reintroduced in each Congress since 2012. PAST would amend the Horse Protection Act (HPA) of 1970 help end soring – the intentional infliction of pain to Tennessee Walking Horses’ front limbs in order to achieve an artificial high step known as the ‘Big Lick’ that’s prized in small rural parts of Tennessee and Kentucky. SAFE would bring an end to the gruesome trade in horse meat and the slaughter of American equines shipped to Mexico and Canada – some 23,000 in 2021. Animal Wellness Action (AWA) leaders have long pressed for passage of both bills.

“We applaud Chairwoman Jan Schakowsky for highlighting the PAST Act that would stamp out the terrible practice of soring I’ve witnessed since childhood,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action and a past president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association who testified before Congress in 2013 in support of the measure before Schakowsky’s Subcommittee. “Animal Wellness Action has worked with the current leaders in the Tennessee Walking Horse breed to forge revisions to PAST that would secure swift passage of the measure in the Senate and hope the hearing next week leads to a mark-up that will offer the opportunity to make changes and implement the only viable path that will bring resolution to the issue.”

“The overwhelming majority of Americans oppose the slaughter of equines to be served up as a delicacy in foreign countries,” said Scott Beckstead, director of campaigns for AWA and the Center for a Humane Economy. “It’s long past time that Congress align federal law with our values as a people and pass legislation to bring an end to the predatory horse slaughter industry, because until that happens, American equines, both wild and domesticated, will be at risk of landing in the slaughter pipeline.”

“My grandfather spoke often about compromise,” said Ben Tydings Smith, grandson of the late U.S. Senator Joseph D. Tydings who authored the HPA designed to stamp out soring. “He spoke often about compromise related to the HPA, and how he reached across the aisle to the late U.S. Senator Howard Baker, R-Tenn., to pass the measure and secure the very first law to protect our iconic American equines — whose very backs this country was built upon. He knew the HPA wasn’t perfect, he knew the measure could have done more — but he also recognized that the perfect should never be the enemy of the good, and that supporting progress for horse protection was the right thing to do. The status quo was not acceptable to Joe Tydings.”

Background:

The PAST Act, H.R. 5441/S. 2295, introduced in the 117th Congress by U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo, R-Ida., and Mark Warner, D-Va., and Reps. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., Schakowsky, and Kurt Schrader, DVM, the only veterinarian in Congress, passed the House by a vote of 333 to 96 in 2019. It was renamed in 2019 the U.S. Senator Joseph D. Tydings Memorial PAST Act at the request of the Tydings family to honor the late Senator who passed away in late 2018. The bill died on arrival in the Senate due to lack of support from key leaders in the Upper Chamber.

PAST would eliminate the use large, stacked shoes, and ankle chains that are placed on horses’ feet to exacerbate pain in the showring and produce the Big Lick; revamp the USDA’s inspection program, and provide felony level penalties to give teeth to the HPA.

Following PAST’s passage in the House in 2019, with the bill dead on arrival in the Senate, AWA leaders worked with the industry for 19 months on revisions to the bill that would bring support from the top organizations in the Tennessee Walking Horse breed, and Senators from Tennessee and Kentucky who have long opposed the measure, but that effort was torpedoed by the Humane Society of the U.S. and Humane Society Legislative Fund. AWA also worked with leaders in the breed to secure more than $3 million in record breaking funding for enforcement of the Horse Protection Act in 2022. The opportunity to make revisions to PAST still remains with Tennessee Walking Horse leaders who have conceded soring must end.

The SAFE Act, H.R. 3355/S. 2732, introduced in the 117th Congress by U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Reps. Schakowsky and Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., would permanently ban the transport of horses bound for slaughter. A similar bill to ban horse slaughter saw a hearing in the previous Congress in the Health Subcommittee, but no further action occurred beyond that in either chamber. Irby also testified in support of the SAFE Act and legislation to end doping in American horse racing in a January 2020 hearing before Schakowsky’s Subcommittee as well.

As a result, AWA conceived and shepherded to passage an alternative anti-slaughter measure – led by Reps. Troy Carter, D-La., Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., John Katko, R-N.Y., Schakowsky, Cohen, and Rep. Dina Titus, D-N.V., as well as co-chairs of the Congressional Horse Protection Caucus Andy Barr, R-Ky., and Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., and cochairs of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus Vern Buchanan, and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., — that would have simply banned the transport of equines across state and federal lines for the purposes of slaughter, through the House in June of 2021 by a voice vote with little to no opposition. That measure was endorsed by more than 225 equine related businesses, groups, organizations, and a wide array of stake holders that included The Jockey Club, The Breeders’ Cup, Water, Hay Oats Alliance, New York Racing Association, and others. Unfortunately, just like PAST, the measure died in the U.S. Senate where it continues to be an uphill battle to pass horse protection legislation in the 117th Congress.

Click here to visit Animal Wellness Action’s microsite on the PAST Act, and here to view Irby and legendary horse trainer Monty Roberts, “The Man Who Listens to Horses,” discuss soring and the PAST Act in depth.

Animal Wellness Action is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) organization with a mission of helping animals by promoting legal standards forbidding cruelty. We champion causes that alleviate the suffering of companion animals, farm animals, and wildlife. We advocate for policies to stop dogfighting and cockfighting and other forms of malicious cruelty and to confront factory farming and other systemic forms of animal exploitation. To prevent cruelty, we promote enacting good public policies and we work to enforce those policies. To enact good laws, we must elect good lawmakers, and that’s why we remind voters which candidates care about our issues and which ones don’t. We believe helping animals helps us all.

Marty Irby
Animal Wellness Action
+1 202-821-5686
email us here
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Monty Roberts and Marty Irby discuss the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses





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Why this key Jets player is glad a rival cut him

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Jets receiver/returner Braxton Berrios didn’t have to wait long to learn how hard it is to keep a roster spot in the NFL.

Berrios, a 2018 Patriots sixth-round pick, spent his rookie season on injured reserve and New England cut him in 2019 before he ever played a snap.

But the Berrios isn’t bitter about his brief time with a team that is now his biggest rival.

“Really, I feel like I got a PhD in football (in New England),” Berrios said on the “Adam Schefter Podcast. “It didn’t work out for whatever reasons. And looking back it’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”

The Jets claimed Berrios soon after he was cut and he has found a way to contribute ever since: Berrios has been the backup slot receiver since 2020 and set a career high in catches (46) and receiving yards (431) last year. But his big breakout came on special teams, where he became one of the league’s best returners on the way to a first-team, All-Pro selection.

“I kept going, obviously, and found ways to be productive,” Berrios said. “Obviously, in the return game was the first way. And then I really, really wanted to make sure I was seen as a receiver as well, and really over the last two years I’ve gotten a lot more of those opportunities. Then you marry those opportunities with now being named the first-team All-Pro last year as a kick returner: it’s finally full circle, it’s maybe starting to work out a little bit.”

Berrios admitted that he felt he had his “back up against the wall” on the Patriots’ talented roster. He certainly doesn’t have to worry about the Jets cutting him as he enters his fourth season with the team: Berrios signed a two-year, $12 million earlier this year.

But even if Berrios isn’t mad at the Patriots, there is one thing that should have the Jets extremely motivated when they play their rival this fall: the Jets haven’t won a game against New England since 2015.

Thank you for relying on us to provide the journalism you can trust. Please consider supporting us with a subscription.

Andy Vasquez may be reached at avasquez@njadvancemedia.com.



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Wildwoods Are Next in Line for Beach Replenishment

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Most New Jersey beach towns should be jealous of Wildwood. The city has the widest beach on the Jersey Shore, stretching 1,500 feet from boardwalk to surf in some places.

But Wildwood has its headaches, too. Some beachgoers complain the sandy expanse requires too long a schlep to the water’s edge. The beach also collects pools of water, which can breed insects and become health hazards, and the sand drifting down from the north tends to clog storm drainage pipes. Plus, there’s all that beach to clean.

Since 2014, Wildwood has gladly allowed the neighboring borough of North Wildwood to borrow truckloads of its sand every winter—including some that clogs those drainage pipes.

[RELATED10 Years After Hurricane Sandy: What’s Next for the Jersey Shore?]

Now the city of Wildwood is poised to sign the state-aid agreement required for a 50-year partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers and the state Department of Environmental Protection for beach replenishment and maintenance. North Wildwood has already signed. Once the deal is in place, the Army Corps can proceed with its Wildwoods project, probably starting in fall 2023, pending easements from private property owners at various locations along the beach.

The centerpiece of the project will be a series of dunes totaling 25,000 linear feet (about 4.7 miles) from North Wildwood to Wildwood City and south to Wildwood Crest and Diamond Beach. (Wildwood Crest and Lower Township, which includes Diamond Beach, also have to sign their own state-aid agreements.) To build the dunes, sand will be taken from a substantial swath of Wildwood’s beach all the way south to Wildwood Crest.

North Wildwood has reason to seek the Army Corps’ help; its sand perpetually drifts south each winter, leaving beachfront properties vulnerable. For Wildwood, the Army Corps should be able to solve several problems, explains Carl Groon, a projects coordinator for the city.

For one thing, the width of the beach will be reduced by several hundred feet at some points, meaning shorter walks from boardwalk to water and less beach to clean. Second, grading the beach with a greater slope from the new dunes to the surf, should help eliminate the pooling problem. Finally, in the event of extreme storms, the dunes should mitigate flooding.

Groon says Wildwood’s new dunes will range in height from 14 to 16 feet. They will be built between the city’s five piers, each at a different distance from the boardwalk, depending on existing structures and other factors.

The dunes will create some obstacles for Wildwood spectator activities. “If they shrink our beach, we will have less beach to use for events,” acknowledges Groon. However, he adds, “I think it’s well within our ability to make it all work.”

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Sleepy Hallow Involved In Chair-Throwing Brawl In NJ Restaurant

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