House Committee Rules on Rep. Ed Whitfield Ethics Probe

Whitfield violated House rules, though unintentionally, by allowing his wife to lobby for anti-soring legislation.

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The U.S. House of Representatives’ Ethics Committee has found that Representative Ed Whitfield (R-KY) violated House rules by allowing his wife to lobby in favor of anti-soring legislation, including the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, but that Whitfield’s breech of the ethics rules was unintentional.

In 2013, Whitfield introduced the PAST Act with the goal of amending the Horse Protection Act of 1970, which forbids soring. If passed, the PAST Act would have forbid trainers from using action devices and performance packages, increased federal penalties for anyone who sores a horse, and required the USDA to assign a licensed inspector if a Tennessee Walking Horse show management indicates its intent to hire one. That legislation died in committee.

In 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives Ethics Committee said a complaint had been lodged against Whitfield alleging that Whitfield’s wife, Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) consultant Constance Harriman Whitfield, unfairly influenced the congressman about the legislation.

Whitfield denied the allegations

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Written by:

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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