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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/1/09

Legislation for Horse Slaughter Will Not End Export or Abandonment Issues

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Message Valerie James-Patton

Even though bringing the slaughter facilities back into the U.S. will undoubtedly reduce the numbers of horses exported, just as they were in the past, thousands of horses will still continue to be exported to Canada, as well as to Mexico when those facilities run low.

Up until recently, the media was flooded with articles stating that our horses were now being exported due to animal welfare groups and the ban on horse slaughter. Ironically, they were never exported because of a ban on horse slaughter; they've been exported because there isn't one. That's why one is so badly needed.

Currently other state resolutions are making their way though state legislation processes. North Dakota lawmakers have agreed to a $50,000.00 grant to study the feasibility of a horse slaughtering facility in their state, and Montana's resolution, which includes

legislation to protect against anyone from attempting to prosecute or block the construction or process of a horse slaughter facility, has just passed the state's House, and now moves to the Senate for a vote. Rep. Jim Sacia of Illinois is attempting to overturn the legislation in Illinois that closed Cavel in 2007, and that legislation is currently awaiting the final House vote in Illinois. Other states, such as Arizona, Tennessee, Minnesota, South Dakota, Kansas, and Arkansas have legislation pending. Utah and Wyoming, Rep. Wallis's state, have already passed their resolutions in the state's House and Senate.

Even if these resolutions should pass state House and Senate hearings, there is still federal legislation that has removed funding for USDA inspection of horse meat that they would have to try to overturn before any facility could begin operations. This does give horse welfare advocates a little bit more time to block the assault from Rep. Wallis's NCSL and the state legislators following her lead.

The only way to protect U.S. horses from state legislators with their own personal agendas, such as Rep. Wallis and the NCSL, is to pass a federal ban against the slaughter of horses. The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009 (HR 503), needs to be swiftly passed through Congress. Federal legislation will take priority over state legislation, and block the chance for states to try to open horse slaughter houses in the U.S. Without this federal legislation against slaughtering and exporting for slaughter, U.S. horses are doomed.

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Legislation for Horse Slaughter Will Not End Export or Abandonment Issues

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