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Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and TransportationIntroducedJuly 31st, 2013
- senate Committees
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A bill to amend the Horse Protection Act to designate additional unlawful acts under the Act, strengthen penalties for violations of the Act, improve Department of Agriculture enforcement of the Act, and for other purposes.
Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2013 or the PAST Act - Amends the Horse Protection Act (HPA) to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to prescribe regulatory requirements for the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to license, train, assign, and oversee persons who are to be hired by the management of horse shows, exhibitions, sales, or auctions and are qualified to detect and diagnose sore horses or otherwise inspect horses at such events. (The soring of horses is any of various actions taken on a horse's limb to produce a higher gait that may cause pain, distress, inflammation, or lameness.) Prohibits issuing a license to any person unless such person is free from conflicts of interest. Requires the Secretary, in issuing such licenses, to give a preference to persons who are licensed or accredited veterinarians. Replaces the current horse inspector appointment process under which the management of a horse show, exhibition, sale, or auction appoints inspectors with a new process requiring the Secretary to assign USDA-licensed inspectors after receiving notice that management intends to hire such inspectors. Requires the Secretary to publish on the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's website information on violations of such Act. Directs the Secretary to disqualify a horse the Secretary determines is sore for specified minimum time periods that increase after the first, second, and third instance. Prohibits a person in any horse show, horse exhibition, or horse sale or auction from: (1) showing or exhibiting any horse that is sore; (2) entering any horse that is sore for the purpose of showing or exhibiting the horse; (3) selling, auctioning, or offering for sale any horse that is sore; (4) causing or directing a horse to become sore for the purpose of showing, exhibiting, selling, auctioning, or offering for sale the horse; and (5) allowing any such activity with respect to a horse that is sore by the owner of that horse. Expands a list of activities designated as unlawful conduct under such Act to include a prohibition on showing, exhibiting, selling, or auctioning a Tennessee Walking, a Racking, or a Spotted Saddle horse with: (1) an action device; or (2) a weighted shoe, pad, wedge, hoof band, or other device or material if it is constructed to artificially alter the gait of such horses and is not strictly protective or therapeutic. Defines "action device" as any boot, collar, chain, roller, or other device that encircles or is placed upon the lower extremity of the leg of a horse in a manner that it can: (1) rotate around the leg or slide up and down the leg, so as to cause friction; or (2) strike the hoof, coronet band, fetlock joint, or pastern of the horse. Excludes from such term soft rubber or soft leather bell boots or quarter boots that are used as protective devices. Increases the maximum criminal penalties and maximum civil liability penalties for certain HPA violations. Expands the categories of activities the Secretary may disqualify a violator of such Act from participating in to include: (1) transporting or arranging for the transportation of a horse to or from a show, exhibition, sale, or auction; (2) personally giving instructions to an exhibitor; or (3) being knowingly present in a warm-up area, inspection area, or other area that spectators are not permitted. Permits the Secretary to permanently disqualify a person with at least three violations after notice and an opportunity for a hearing.