November 2, 2018

Taylor Swift Joins Animal Wellness Action in Calling out Marsha Blackburn’s Cruel Reputation Towards Animals

Taylor Swift, the mega-pop star, hasn’t just weighed in on politics for the first time in her career. She’s also weighed in on the politics of animal cruelty, by sending out an image and link to Animal Wellness Action’s op-ed in the Knoxville News Sentinel condemning Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn for her repeated efforts to thwart animal welfare reforms to her 112 million Instagram followers.

Some weeks ago, Swift weighed in on the Tennessee competitive race for U.S. Senate, aligning herself with former Governor Phil Bredesen and condemning Marsha Blackburn. She took issue with a number of Blackburn’s positions, but it wasn’t until last night that she weighed in on Blackburn’s appalling record on animal issues.

This race has been on the radar screen of Animal Wellness Action because Marsha Blackburn has been the leading opponent of the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act – legislation that would end the painful practice of soring Tennessee Walking Horses.

For the past five years Blackburn has repeatedly protected and defended violators of the Horse Protection of Act of 1970, a bill authored by former U.S. Senators Joe Tydings (D-MD), who passed away last month, and the late Howard Baker (R-TN). The Act, although well intended, failed to stop the practice of soring by leaving loopholes that corrupt trainers and owners have exploited to continue their barbaric treatment of horses.

Blackburn has received a steady stream of campaign contributions from these lawbreakers. Each year, they participate in competition for World Championship prizes at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville, Tennessee. The horses exhibit an unnatural high-stepping gait that can only be induced by injuring the horses front legs by applying chemicals or by otherwise hurting them.

Blackburn’s defense of soring practitioners is consistent with her general approach on animal issues. She’s one of the worst 8 Members of Congress when it comes to animal protection and has a mile-long record to prove it. She’s voted in support of horse slaughter, the killing of swimming caribou, and killing of mother bears and their cubs in their dens during hibernation. She’s voted to keep the ivory trade alive, and she even opposed legislation to protect people and their pets when natural disasters strike.

This isn’t the first-time a major celebrity has stepped in to help, but there are few people with the extraordinary reach of Taylor Swift. We’re grateful for her support, and we’re grateful that she considers Animal Wellness Action an ally in the fight for animals.

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