Save the Next Barbaro From Slaughter
It was a big deal on Capitol Hill, apparently, but not a big deal on teleivsion or online. A House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee held a public hearing Tuesday on the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, a rare species of legislation whose titled aptly describes what it does and whose overwhelming appeal ought to be self-evident. The bill would make it illegal for horses to be slaughted here in the States (where there is currently an industry that caters to overseas consumers of horse as meat).
Full disclosure: I own two horses. And I have lived around them for most of my life. I support horse rescue efforts, am working on a doozy of life-saving plan for harness horses, and am truly surprised when everyone I know doesn't immediately rush to support the cause as well. So I won't pretend to be unbiased or objective on this one. Most of the time I can at least understand the "other side of the story." On this, I do not.
It is shameful that horses can legally be slaughtered for money in this country. It is shameful that our federal government hasn't done anything to stop it until now. It is particularly shameful that last year the Congress blocked efforts to get it done. And it will be even more shameful if the careful momentum that has bulit up for this legislation falls victim again, as so many other good intentions, to the sleaze of politics.
The only people in the country who are against the Slaughter Prevention Act are, predictably, the folks in the horse slaughter business, who have brainwashed themselves into believing that they are just a regular part of the supply and demand chain of commerce, like grain farmers or dairymen, and those who believe that horses, like all other "private property," shouldn't be regulated by the government. Surely, even now those constituencies pale in comparison to the millions and millions of people who have been touched over the past two months by the triumph and tragedy of Barbaro, for example, or the tens of millions more who would be appalled if they knew what happens to unwanted horses in their own country. And, surely, even the current crop of particularly inept politicians in the nation's capital can understand that this is the no-brainer issue of all time; horses deserve at least this much protection.
In September, the legislation will go to the floor of the House. I will be following it between now and then for me and for you and I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, your elected representatives will be back near you for their summer break and to get busy campaigning. Tell them to back this bill. Remember, always, there are more good horses than there are good people.
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Posted by: Flabbergasted. | July 26, 2006 10:45 AM
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