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Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman's courtesy in allowing me to speak on this. I appreciate the leadership of Mr. Cohen. This is the culmination, hopefully, of years of struggle to try and end this barbaric practice.
There are those who are apologists for the industry. It shouldn't take this long, and repeated efforts, with hundreds of cosponsors, Congress after Congress after Congress. It has been my privilege to work with Mr. Whitfield from Kentucky, Ted Yoho, Kurt Schrader, our colleague from Oregon, and lately the leadership of Mr. Cohen, raising the banner and moving forward.
We should have zero tolerance for this barbaric practice. Forcing horses to be tortured, looking at the devices that they use to train them to have that distinctive gait. Concrete shoes.
We have had hearing after hearing here on Capitol Hill, and whenever we have an opportunity for people to be exposed to the abuses of this industry and see these barbaric practices, people marvel that we haven't been able to stop it.
Part of the problem is the self-regulation of the industry and that there isn't a sense of urgency to stop torturing these animals.
Mr. Speaker, I have been pleased to work repeatedly with colleagues on a bipartisan basis to stop it. I don't know what the compliance rate is, whether it is 96, 97, 90. The fact is, we are talking about hundreds of horses being tortured and for no good reason.
I strongly support the legislation from my colleague and the vast coalition that has been put in place to end this barbaric practice.
Some of the champions that have been involved in the past, like the Humane Society, have been there repeatedly, working to get the support, get the cosponsors, get it passed; but despite overwhelming support, despite a terrible record in protecting horses, it has taken far too long.
I am hopeful that this Congress will finally put an end to the barbaric practice, stop temporizing, stop apologizing for those who abuse horses and end this horrific practice once and for all.
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