Congress vs. states over horse slaughter
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2009:
BISMARCK, BOISE, HELENA, WASHINGTON D.C.–A political race
to the wire over horse slaughter pits Congressional support for the
proposed Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act, which would prohibit
interstate transport of horses for slaughter, against a field of
state legislation written to expedite the resumption of horse
slaughter, suspended in the U.S. since the last three horse
slaughterhouses closed in 2007.
The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act 2009, introduced by
Representative John Conyers (D-Michigan) had 103 cosponsors as of
Montana governor Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat, had on his
desk a bill passed by the Republican majorities in the state house of
representatives and senate to encourage construction of a horse
“The bill would require those challenging a slaughter
facility permit to post a bond worth 20% of its construction costs.
It would also prohibit courts from halting construction of a facility
once it has been approved by the state,” summarized Associated Press
writer Kahren Deines.
The North Dakota Senate was meanwhile considering a bill
passed by the state assembly which would allocate $50,000 to study
the feasibility of opening a horse slaughterhouse. At least 10
states were considering or had already passed resolutions asking
Congress to defeat the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act.
The resolutions were boosted by publicity over horse neglect
and abandonment cases, which typically peak each year in late
winter, when hay supplies are low and prices are high. Despite the
weak U.S. economy, however, ANIMAL PEOPLE files indicate that the
numbers of horses involved in such cases in early 2009 are similar to
the numbers involved when horse slaughter was booming.
“The pro-slaughter side has used the media to great effect,
seeding articles that have wrongly tied horse neglect and abandonment
cases to an end to domestic slaughter,” observed online equine
issues commentator Alex Brown. “Sadly these stories are easy for
general audiences to believe and allow politicians to justify their
position on a bill without researching the veracity of the claims.”