House joins with Senate in opposing federal horse slaughter regulations
Amid the flurry of bills being passed Monday at the close of the legislative session, the Idaho House joined with the Idaho Senate in approving a memorial, sponsored by Rep. Ken Andrus, R-Lava Hot Springs, opposing federal regulation of house slaughter.
The memorial comes as a preemptive move to pending legislation in the United State Congress. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., has proposed legislation that would penalize anyone engaging in selling, trading, or any other action that would lead to human consumption of horses. Though Conyers' bill has 180 co-sponsors, it has yet to make it out of committee.
Andrus told lawmakers that though they may not agree with horse slaughter, more federal regulations are not the way to go in managing horses. He said that the Bureau of Land Management spends more than $25 million a year in managing wild horses, which Andrus said is a "problem." According to Andrus, there are no horse processing plants in the U.S. after a court decision in 2007 ended the practice. He urged lawmakers to support the memorial because he said that plants in the U.S. were better inspected than plants in Canada and Mexico, where horses are currently sent for processing.
The text of the memorial makes clear the intent of the Idaho Legislature, and what it would like Congress to do. From the memorial:
... Congress is urged to oppose federal legislation that interferes with a state’s ability to direct the transport and processing of horses and is encouraged to discontinue language in the yearly appropriation bills which has effectively ended processing of horses in the United States ...
The memorial, already approved by the Senate, will now be sent to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Vice President Joe Biden, and members of Idaho's congressional delegation.