Horse Meat from Here? Just Say No
Well, here’s one suggestion:
Not only no, but hell no!
That should be the message coming from Mr. Steenbergen, the Cheyenne City Council, the Laramie County Commission, Cheyenne LEADS, this area’s legislative delegation, the governor (who signed this ill-conceived legislation) and anyone else who cares about progress and prosperity in this community.
There are so many things wrong with this proposal from state Rep. Sue Wallis, R-Recluse, that it is hard to keep track of them. But let’s focus on the most important one: Cheyenne’s image.
How could Mr. Steenbergen and other community officials here not speak out — very loudly — against a proposal that will draw national disdain?
Does Cheyenne want to be known to potential employers and possible technology-minded residents (remember, the world’s largest supercomputer soon will be opening here) as a progressive community or as one that imports horses and puts some 7,000 of them to death every year?
Do community leaders hope to attract tourists or chase them away? Are they willing to face a potential national boycott from such groups as the Humane Society simply to allow a rogue state representative and her investors to try to peddle horse meat from Wyoming?
Does the Chamber of Commerce want people to enter town along a newly renovated West Lincolnway only to look across the railroad tracks and see holding pens for horses awaiting their turn in a slaughterhouse, mobile or not?
No, this is not what Cheyenne in 2010 should be about — not to mention such issues as the odors of holding and slaughtering of horses and the environmental implications of such a facility — and its leaders need to consistently speak up until this project is laid to rest for good.
It is true that the issue of what to do with horses as they reach the end of their lives is problematic. And parts of Ms. Wallis’ proposal make sense.
She would bring in the horses, triage them and then move out those that can be adopted or rescued. Unfortunately, the rest would be killed in some yet-to-be-explained “humane way.” Then the meat would be sold — though to whom and for what use remains unclear, given that there presently is no market for it.
But the city of Cheyenne must not be the location for this experiment. If Ms. Wallis wants it so badly, let her propose it for her hometown of Recluse in northeastern Wyoming, about 80 miles east of Sheridan, and see the reaction she gets there.
We are tired of Ms. Wallis trying out her far-out ideas (such as ending inspections on home-based foods) on the people of this state. But we are even more unhappy that she wants to add horse slaughter in Cheyenne to the mix. Local leaders like Mr. Steenbergen need to tell her to go away — in no uncertain terms.