Don Blazer


       You ought to be knowin' before you're goin'.

       Congress ought to make that a law before they make any other laws…especially laws about the slaughter of horses or the transportation of horses for slaughter.

       But no, Congressmen and women apparently seldom give consideration to the consequences of their laws.  (Harsh statement?  How's our country doin' these days?) 
Congress reacts (sort of a knee jerk or just plain jerk) to their counterparts--emotion-driven non-thinkers who never consider anything but their short-sighted pleas for action.

       I'm not saying that there aren't some things that I'd like to see changed about how horses are slaughtered or transported.  I think both should be done in the most humane manner possible, which as most experts will attest, was how it was done in US slaughter plants.   If we could make it even more humane, I'd support that.

       But banning the slaughter of horses in the US, whether for human consumption or otherwise, did nothing more than create a worse fate for the horse, many horse owners and most operating within the horse industry.   Lawmakers didn't think about the consequences; mostly they didn't think.

       And why base the ban on the slaughter of horses for human consumption?  It is silly and stupid to protest the horse suffers more if his remains are to be eaten by a human.  

       Euthanize the horse in the most humane manner you can think of, and the horse is still dead.  Believe me, the horse hasn't given one thought to whether or not a human will consume his remains, nor has he given thought to the idea that someone may write a poem about him, or put flowers on a special maker to commemorate his being.   The horse is dead.

       The thoughtless actions of Congress have created greater suffering for a lot of horses…now, sick, or old, or lame or starving, or happy and healthy, horses are being shipped to farther distances to be slaughtered in much less humane ways.

       Are you happy about your law which had no plan as to how to care for the 100,000 horses per year which could no longer be slaughtered in the US?

       Are you happy about the horses now being abandoned, starved, uncared for?  Maybe you're proud that the horse rescues are overrun with horses they can't take in, or that it's necessary to create new groups to "meet the needs of unwanted horses." 

       Are you happy about horses being shipped longer distances without food or water in filthy cramped trailers.

        Aren't you proud of your poorly thought-out laws?

        Congress and emotional non-thinkers must be proud, because they are about to do it again.

         John Conyers (D-Mich) and Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind) introduced the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act to essentially stop the export of horses to Canada and Mexico.

         Has anyone given any consideration to what this bill means?

         First it means there will soon be criminal activity involving the transportation of horses for slaughter.  If there is a market demand for horse meat, the market is going to get horse meat.

         Second it means the horses are going to be transported in even worse ways than they are today.

        Thirdly it means someone has to enforce the law.  Who is going to do that--another agency ill-equipped to do the job, but happily spending taxpayer dollars?

        Jump in Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) who introduced the Horse Transportation Safety Act (HR 305) to prohibit the interstate transport of "any" horse in a double-deck truck.  The US Dept. of Agriculture proposed rules to prohibit the transport of horses to slaughter in such vehicles. 

        Kirk said he was prompted to introduce the legislation due to an accident in which a double-deck truck carrying horses overturned killing or causing to be euthanized 18 horses.

        Neither bill has given consideration to the consequences.  And neither addresses the inhumane treatment of horses if and when it does exist.  (I know that it often does exist.)  

        The problem is not that the truck is a double-decker; it's that the horses aren't being treated humanely in many cases…but there are plenty of laws already on the books to deal with inhuman treatment of animals.

       While federal lawmakers are going in one direction, North Dakota lawmakers are setting aside money to study the possibility of opening an equine processing plant.

        And according to Utah state senator Dennis Stowell, the Utah State Legislature is considering a resolution calling on the U.S. Congress to discontinue work on the bill making it illegal to send horses to other countries for slaughter.   Wyoming legislature is also requesting the matter of horse slaughter be left to the states, and the Missouri legislature is asking Congress to leave the matter of horse transport to slaughter up to the states.

        "The actions in Washington, D.C. have created a problem for horse owners," said North Dakota Rep. Rod Froelich, D-Selfridge.

        No kidding, Rod!!!

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