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Idaho Senator critical of proposed federal horse slaughter ban

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The Idaho Senate is considering a memorial telling Congress not to impose new laws that could put more restrictions on horse slaughter. A similar plan failed in the Senate last year after passing the House.

The federal legislation, proposed by Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, would penalize possessing, selling, shipping, or receiving a horse, a horse carcass, or horse flesh for the intent of human consumption. Those actions would carry a fine or prison term of up to three years. Conyers introduced the legislation last January. The plan has 180 co-sponsors, but hasn’t moved out of a U.S. House subcommittee since March 2009.

Sen. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, is pushing for Idaho to come out against the proposal before Congress acts. “I think it’s important for the states to weigh in, and that’s what I’m asking Idaho to do,” he said Monday after introducing the new memorial in the Senate Agricultural Affairs Committee. The wording of the memorial changed since last session and has been expanded to include all horses, not just domestic horses. “This is more precise and more targeted,” Brackett said. “In addition to that, the problem has become more acute with each passing year. There’s more unwanted, uncared for, and neglected horses, so the problem is still growing and still out there.” He said the economic recession is affecting horses and their owners. “Sanctuaries, safe havens, and rescue operations are literally being overwhelmed and the number of horses continue to increase every year. With the high cost of feed and hay and the down economic times, people are literally abandoning their horses. That results in a growing problem on public lands as well as parks, or wherever they get dumped out.”

The Senate is also considering a change to state law that would formally legalize the humane slaughter of horses. That proposed legislation from Sen. Tim Corder, R-Mountain Home, and Brackett’s memorial are both awaiting full hearings in the Senate Agricultural Affairs Committee.

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A memorial would oppose a federal plan to limit horse slaughter for meat, A memorial would oppose a federal plan to limit horse slaughter for meat, A memorial would oppose a federal plan to limit horse slaughter for meat, A memorial would oppose a federal plan to limit horse slaughter for meat, A memorial would oppose a federal plan to limit horse slaughter for meat
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  1. ihavequestions

    The anti-slaughter cult calls the issue of unwanted horses a ‘myth.’ I don’t know how they have managed to isolate themselves from the realities of the bad economy, but people are really hurting financially. The buyers for horses just aren’t there anymore. A friend of mine has had an annual production sale of very nice foals for the past 25 years. 2009 will be his last, because he was practically giving them away and even that was hard to do. That’s a sign of the times. Responsible breeders have cut way back or stopped breeding horses altogether, but the backyard breeders are still churning them out. You can’t fix stupid. Like it not, domestic horse slaughter plants served a need and reduced suffering overall.

  2. Lynn

    Horse slaughter only provides those who are still breeding an easy way to get rid of the non sale horses. Over breeding is what needs to stop. By bringing back horse slaughter you are encouraging breeders to keep on breeding. Don’t they understand supply and demand? It is the economy that is causing too many horses. And there is not enough rescues that should be supported by breeding associations. People are starting to get the message but associations like AQHA and TB breeders who still encourage their members to breed. Why wouldn’t they, that is how they get their money, from registration fees. It must start there if we are ever going to get this all under control. And sorry but I don’t believe their are too many wild horses. There are 37,000 on the range which has been made smaller by the BLM. Yet there are 7.5 million cattle grazing on those same ranges for cheap. Once the cattle are removed and if the number of wild horses go up then I will believe it. But until then I feel it is the ranchers who are pulling the strings in Washington. One more thing, Italy, the biggest eaters of horse meat is thinking about outlaw it. They feel they need to have respect for the animal who has done so much for man. So why waste money on bringing back horse slaughter when there won’t be any buyers. Besides the new EU rules will limit the horses that will be going to slaughter unless they are raised for slaughter. This will again put horse breeders in a bad light as American do not and will not eat horse meat so there is no reason to support this kind of business. Its time to move on and let our horses be and just love them for their big hearts and the love they give us back.
    Support HR 503, HR 305 and S727!!!!

  3. carole garvey

    I have been in the horse industry for years and the REALITY of horse slaughter is just this: the horses go to auction, where a “killbuyer” {a person buying horses for meat} will bid on them at the end of auction when the general public leaves he pulls around and loads up the horses in a stock trailer where they are all crammed together kicking and fighting in fear and haul them hundreds of miles. They don’t stop for water or rest as of date they go to Mexico. Mexican workers literally stab these horses in the back of the neck until they are dead usually more times than once. NO ANIMAL DESERVES THIS TREATMENT.
    When there were slaughter plants in this country, the horses would be killed with a nail gun type instrument. They don’t go down easy and its horrifying. They scream and carry on and try to get away. The horses in line to be slaughtered can hear this and smell the blood and also are terrified. So anyone thinking this serves a need or reduces suffering is badly mistaken. Don’t believe me? Then go to YouTube and look for horse slaughter. There is money to be made in horse meat now it seems for Russia little do they know we worm our horses with chemicals every 6 to 8 weeks and a lot of horses get Phenylbutazone for inflammatory conditions. This drug is a carcinogen for humans the list of drugs horses get goes on and on depending what purpose the horses are used. I have a big problem with a country that lets a child predator out to live on our streets to prey on our children but yet is so worried about our horses.
    “If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.” ~St. Francis of Assisi

  4. Deedee Thomas

    Carole, you are wrong. Horses were NOT killed with a “nail gun” which is an instrument to put housing together. They were euthanized with a captive-bolt instrument that kills instantly, and under VETERINARY SUPERVISION, unlike Mexico, where the spinal knife is used and horses are butchered still alive. Sending horses to Mexico made the problem worse, not better. We have no right to dictate to anyone what they can eat and what they can’t. In South America they eat guinea pigs. In the far east they eat cats and dogs. And I bet you eat hamburgers – uh-oh, they have to KILL cattle for that, right? And chickens for your KFC? Unless you are prepared to be a vegetarian, you need to get past the reality that animals have to be killed in order to be eaten and it doesn’t matter what kind of animal it is.
    You’re right that the trucks going to Mexico don’t stop for the comfort of the horses. You can thank PETA for that. In this country we had RULES. Now that’s been done away with.

  5. Deedee Thomas

    Yo Carole, google “chicken slaughter” for a good video on it. Did you know that poultry is EXcluded from the Humane Slaughter Act??? Their throats are cut and they are left fluttering to bleed out. Every day. In this country. Bet you’ve already had chicken this year, dear.

  6. Michael

    Tough situation, much as older cars are becoming, (yet without ears, and eye’s and a pumping heart,,, but wait,, in the eye’s of the beholder I’ve seen folks with the same passion for a car.). Should we condemn Metal Scrap yard’s to recycle?. Should we close down Slaughter Plants?. Sense of responsibility and reason go back to all the greatest testament, of witch all has been provided, moderation with all things!~! Extremist on either end care little
    about the youth to come through their self servant efforts, and lack of discussion, with the youth who will inherit these challenges. The JOY of having a child witness a new born colt, and seeing a thirty year old mare, in agony, be put down, is the crown of education as to how we live out lives. Moderation, is the key, how will you find you’re demise,, cremation, or burial. You are and energy, industrious, as the animals are put forth you’re energy much as the Native Americans did before us ( With Respect). MWS 20 year Farrier

  7. carole garvey

    I have just come across this response blog in a search for another topic and since I have read Dee-Dee and Michael’s response to my post I will say you both are clearly poor souls and your responses to this topic shows it. Its sad that you never clearly furtherd your education, It shows. I think you are both stupid.

  8. Brian Fahey

    There are several issues with this action.
    1.) By shutting down slaughter houses we have put people out of business and even more people out of work. This in hard economic times when a job is important for one’s livelihood.
    2.) This is another action of the Federal Government taking away even more freedoms from the people. No matter how well intentioned, this is not good governance.
    3.) My family had a large horse farm in the East, with upwards of 74 of these creatures. We have occasionally put animals down with the vet doing the work except for emergencies. The horses died instantly in either case.
    4.) Horses are better used for sport or work than food as it takes a great deal of food to get them to a weight and health to be slaughtered. That said, if a person wants to eat horse meat, so be it.
    5.) Most horse meat ends up on foreign tables, so by eliminating that market we are damaging our flow of money returning to the USA. Every dollar counts.
    6.) Most of what was written about horses being crammed in trailers is a blatant lie. When animals are taken to market, the owner wants the best dollar he can get. Every horse whether going to market to be slaughtered or going to a horse show to appear in an event, is apprehensive. It takes several days for that to disappear, if an animal shows up at a slaughter house in terrible condition, it is rejected. There is something most PETA people don’t want you to know. A large animal, cow, horse, buffalo, sheep, must not be stressed for several days before slaughter or their meat is not worth selling. It becomes infused with too much blood, and it looks terrible and has a poor taste.
    7.) The Video’s were created by PETA and are just like all their other actions, Total fabrications and lies. PETA has always created video’s that are sensational but lies.
    8.) This is an effort by both PETA and those who want us all to be vegetarians. This is only their first step in having all meat slaughter condemned. So where will we get out meats? From other countries !!!
    8a.) I have no problems with Vegetarians so long as they understand that not everyone can be a Vegetarian. I am a meat eater and if I don’t get meat my blood sugar goes wonky. Yes peanut butter helps, but not like meat, meat’s effects last hours not minutes.