Press Release

Senator Mike Crapo Endorsed by Animal Wellness Action for Work to End Horse Abuse, Animal Testing Mandates

BOISE, ID – Today, Animal Wellness Action announced its endorsement of U.S. Senator Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, for his leadership and support of mainstream animal welfare issues in Congress.

Crapo has long-been the leader of legislation that would amend the Horse Protection Act of 1970 to help the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) stamp out abuses in the show horse world, and recently backed legislation to end federal animal testing mandates the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

“We applaud Senator Crapo’s longtime leadership of the PAST Act to end the painful scourge of soring that’s marred the show horse world since the 1950’s,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action and a past president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association. “Crapo’s work to protect our iconic American equines and repeal Depression-era federal animal testing mandates that drive up drug costs and time to market will save countless animal lives and I hope Idahoans send Mr. Crapo back to Washington for another term.” 

“Horses have helped humanity for thousands of years and tolerating trainers who injure their feet to win ribbons at horse shows is no way to repay the debts we owe them” said Wayne Pacelle, president at Animal Wellness Action. “And what a waste of life to run through beagles and primates in drug tests when superior, non-animal testing methods are available. Senator Crapo deserves the support of all Idahoans who respect animals.

Crapo cosponsored both the FDA Modernization Act, S. 2952, and the FDA Modernization Act 2.0, S. 5002, led by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., that passed the U.S. Senate in in September and would eliminate a decades-old statutory mandate for animal testing in drug development that claims the lives of as many as 59,000 beagles, 68,000 primates, and more than a million other animals. This mass loss of life, preceded by pain and torment for these hapless animals, comes without much of any benefit to human health. Between 90 and 95 percent of drugs found safe in nonclinical tests fail during human clinical trials. Adverse reactions to drugs are the nation’s fourth leading cause of death. 

Crapo has since the 115th Congress been the leader of the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, S. 2295, that would amend the HPA to help eradicate the painful practice of soring Tennessee Walking, Racking, and Spotted Saddle Horses. Soring is the intentional infliction of pain to horses’ front limbs by means of applying caustic chemicals such mustard oil, diesel fuel, or croton oil to the skin or inserting sharp objects in the hooves to achieve and artificial pain-based high-step known as the “Big Lick” that’s prized in the show horse world. Crapo’s PAST Act would eliminate the use of large, stacked shoes and ankle chains in the show ring, increase penalizes for violators caught soring, and eliminate the current self-policing scheme the USDA’s own Office of Inspector deemed “corrupt” and “ineffective” by replacing it with licensed USDA inspectors at no cost to the taxpayer. 

Crapo has also worked to advance anti-soring regulations during the Obama, Trump, and Biden Administrations that would achieve two-thirds of the PAST Act and worked with leaders at Animal Wellness Action on compromise legislation that the Tennessee Walking Horse industry finds more palatable to help stamp out soring and modernize the inspection process with science-based objective testing protocols. 

Animal Wellness Action is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) whose mission is to help animals by promoting laws and regulations at federal, state and local levels that forbid cruelty to all animals. The group also works to enforce existing anti-cruelty and wildlife protection laws. Animal Wellness Action believes helping animals helps us all. Twitter: @AWAction_News