A Good Week on the Horse Front

Let us now finally move past the I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby perjury and obstruction of justice trial. All I had and have to say about it I already have said here and here and here and here. His new trial motion will fail. He will be given a prison sentence. He will remain free on bond pending appeal. His appeal will fail. He will go to prison. He will probably be pardoned after the presidential election and before President Bush leaves office. Enough said.

Let us instead focus upon the two bits of very good news this week on a subject that loyal readers know is near and dear to my heart-- stopping the slaughter of our horses for human consumption. The House Natural Resources Committee approved a measure Wednesday that would "reinstate a ban on the commercial sale and senseless slaughter of wild free-roaming horses and burros" that roam on public land. The ban was in place for a generation before it was eliminated from the rolls in a shady way in 2005 by the GOP-controlled Congress. "Horses have long been a living symbol of the American West. When Americans picture the West, I highly doubt they envision wild horses being rounded up and sent to commercial slaughterhouses to be processed into cuisine for foreign diners," said the measure's sponsor, U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall.

Good News, Part II is this. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday upheld a lower court ruling that bans the sale of horsemeat for human consumption, a ruling that jeopardizes as never before the two inhumane slaughterhouses now operating in Texas. State legislators, no doubt prompted by lobbyists representing the foreign-owned plants, are trying even as I write to get around the ruling by changing Texas law. But the handwriting is on the wall. The only other rendering plant in America that slaughters horses for human consumption overseas is in Illinois and state lawmakers there moved late last month to stop the practice.

Slowly but surely, the good guys are making progress against the bad guys to stop a practice that has no business in this country.

By Andrew Cohen |  March 8, 2007; 9:08 AM ET
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I'm a horse lover, have been riding horses since I was 10 and only quit wanting a pony when I realized I wanted a full-size horse.

And I became a fan of eating horsemeat when I was living in Kazakhstan, where horses--as a mode of transportation and a dietary staple--were part of the culture of a once-nomadic life. I don't find it disrespectful or inhumane, so long as the slaughter is done properly. But I can't see a logical or moral reason to prevent American horses from being eaten by hungry, horse-loving Americans (or foreigners).

Posted by: Amanda | March 16, 2007 03:24 PM

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