To the editor:

The drop of Barnum and Bailey’s final curtain a few years ago exemplified a changing attitude among Americans: We’re questioning the morality of confining and abusing animals for our entertainment. Unfortunately, with “soring,” we’re still grossly mistreating horses in order to be entertained.

Soring is the deliberate infliction of pain — with caustic chemicals and sharp objects — on the legs and hooves of horses to force them to walk with an artificial and exaggerated gait, known as the “Big Lick.” With the plethora of amusements we have in 2019, do we really need to torture these beautiful creatures so we can “ooh” and “ahh” at their prancing?

The Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R.693, came to a House vote recently. Prevention of cruelty should not be a partisan issue, and for the most part, it wasn’t. Every Minnesota representative voted ‘yes’ for this reform Except Tom Emmer of District 6. The measure passed overwhelmingly in spite of him, but we have to ask if we can tolerate in office someone who can tolerate the willful, mercenary and brutal abuse of horses! Please contact Rep. Emmer to let him know of your disappointment and your expectation that he will vote for the animals next time an animal protection issue comes up.

Meanwhile, the bill moves to the Senate. Please contact your U.S. senators, urging them to show respect for horses by cosponsoring the PAST Act (Senate Bill 1007) and asking Senate leadership to bring it to the floor for a vote.

Kathy Coughlin

Oak Grove

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