And more states are proposing bans on horse slaughter.
The Rhode Island House of Representatives has passed a resolution calling for passage of the Equine Prevention of Cruelty Act, H.R. 503/S.B. 727, which would stop the slaughter of American horses for human consumption.
H.R. 6026 recognizes that:
Horse slaughter is not humane euthanasia and is in fact animal torture and cruelty; and
Horse slaughter has been detrimental to the communities where slaughtering facilities have been located, with significant negative impacts to these communities ranging from nuisance odors to chronic sewer and environmental violations; and
Horse slaughter has been found to increase and abet horse theft; and
Horse slaughter is not a means of controlling numbers of unwanted, abandoned or neglected horses, but, rather, is a for-profit operation driven by a demand for horsemeat in some foreign countries; and
American horses are not raised, fed and medicated within the FDA guidelines established for food animals, making them potentially unfit and unsafe for human consumption; and
In America, horses are an icon of our history, traditions, and culture, revered for their contributions to the building of this country, their companionship and special bond with people.
Polls show the overwhelming majority of Americans oppose horse slaughter. Horse slaughter for human consumption is illegal, in fact, in the U.S. because Congress defunded the ante-mortem inspections required by federal law for horses that would be used for food.
New York is considering a ban on this sleazy, sordid practice. Find more information about the New York bill here.
Also, pending bills in New Jersey, A. 551 and Wisconsin, S.B. 142 would ban horse slaughter for human consumption in those states.
Why worry about state bans if horse slaughter for human consumption is illegal in the U.S.?
Well, Congress could re-fund the inspections at some point. Also, pro-horse slaughterers have had several bills introduced in some state legislatures that call for the defeat of the federal bill, H.R. 503/S.B. 727.
In North Dakota and South Dakota they have actually asked for substantial taxpayer dollars to "study" the feasibility of building horse slaughter facilities there. The foreign investors that would own these slaughter houses expected American taxpayers to fund feasibility studies for their private slaughtering operations. South Dakota rejected the study, but sadly, North Dakota's legislature agreed to it.
In Montana the state legislature agreed to limit access to the courts and hamstring the ability of citizens and judges to challenge construction of a horse slaughter house by what were described as "Belgian" investors. Nice protection for foreign investors that make their profits from animal cruelty. Gov. Brian Schweitzer has issued an amendatory veto that would limit these changes to the judiciary. The matter is now back before the state legislature.
The upshot of these legislative resolutions and bills is to persuade the American people to call for the defeat of the federal bill, H.R. 503/S.B. 727 and the re-opening of the slaughter houses in the U.S. Horse slaughterers also hope to create a market in this country for horse meat. Currently, horse meat is not consumed in the U.S. But they want Americans to start eating their companions and friends.
The profit from this practice will, of course, remain with the foreign investors. There is no tax revenue or good jobs for the states so willing to accommodate these foreign investors. There is only environmental and health hazards, sewer problems, nuisance odors, substantial clean up costs, increased horse theft and the stigma of allowing a practice that profits off animal torture.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Support Rhode Island's bill, H.R. 6026. Urge the Rhode Island Senate to pass this resolution. Find an email and phone list for Rhode Island state senators here. If you live in Rhode Island, go here to find your state senator.
Also, go here to help pass a ban on horse slaughter for human consumption in New York.
Write or call New Jersey legislators found here and urge them to pass the ban in bill, A. 551. The bill is stuck in the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. Contact these committee members and urge them to pass A. 551. Albano, Nelson T. - Chair Amodeo, John F. Conaway, HerbWisconsin legislators can be found here. Here is an email directory for Assembly (House) and Senate members. Write or call these legislators and urg them to pass S.B. 142 would ban horse slaughter for human consumption in that state. The bill is now in the Agriculture and Higher Education Committee. Contact these committee members and urge them to pass S.B. 142.