TN’s Niceley Slips Horse Slaughter Provision into Bill

Information Supplied by Laura Allen of Animal Law Coalition

More “Back Room” Politics at Play

Tennessee Rep. Frank Nicely is back this session with another effort to smooth the way for a horse slaughterhouse to open in the state. House Bill 3619 just cleared the House of Representatives Agriculture Committee and could be scheduled for a vote by the full House at any time.

Until the committee hearing the bill simply directed the agriculture commissioner to post and keep current statistics and other information required to be collected about equines and to provide that information upon request to the Tennessee Equine Association.

Harmless enough, except that during the committee hearing on March 13, 2012, Nicely introduced amendments under a new declaration that “the General Assembly intends to encourage the location of equine slaughter and processing facilities in Tennessee that meet…requirements”. The new provisions approved by the committee would make it more difficult to challenge issuance of a permit for a horse slaughter facility by requiring a bond equal to 20% of the estimated cost of building the facility or operational costs, if those can be determined.  Venue would be limited to the court where the facility is located and not also where the defendant can be found or does business.

A challenger would be required to pay the slaughter facility’s legal fees and court costs if a court finds the suit was without merit or brought for an “improper purpose” including harassment, delay or interference. If a plaintiff does not prevail ultimately after obtaining an injunction, the plaintiff “is liable for all financial losses the facility suffers” as a result of an injunction halting  operations.

The bill is similar to a Montana law passed in 2009.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

If you live in Tennessee, find your state legislators here. Write or call now and urge them to vote NO on H.B. 3619.

31 comments on “TN’s Niceley Slips Horse Slaughter Provision into Bill

  1. Come on now. We knew he was going to do this; where are the horse loving politicians? Why is it that the only way pro-slaughter gets their bills passed is in this underhanded way? If their bills are what the public wants then why don’t they just put them out there instead of doing it the sneaky slight of hand way? Answer: The PUBLIC, more then 70%, don’t want horse slaughter that’s why. And putting these bills in without anyone knowing is the only way they get past. Come on horse loving Congress, its your turn to put some bills in when no one is looking for them. We want our horse protection bills past and we want them past NOW!!! Past HR 2966 and S1176! And for good measure pass S 1281 too!

  2. OHhhhh!!!! This guy is a gem!

    In a search for a bio of “it”, I found out that Rep Niceley (R- Knoxville? Strawberry Plains? 19th District) keeps killing bills that would felony “cockfighting” in TN (one of 13 states that refuse to make cockfighting a felony, thereby increasing penalties).

    There you have it folks……I’ll keep searching for his bio and I am sure a SFTHH reader that lives in his district might have some interesting information and opinions.

    • In the quest for bio of Nicely, it appears there are more than a few “Niceley’s” roaming the available Tennessee legislative venues.

    • REPEATING….anything that attempts to improve animal welfare is blocked covertly, insidiously by FARM BUREAU.

      If you are in Ag and cares or a voting person that has a Fed rep and Sen……start bashing Farm Bureau factually with state and fed reps.

      This idiot in TN doesn’t want to penalize cockfighting (gee, there’s a good Friday night date, dinner included?).

    • Lisa, he should be sent copies of that wonderful letter by Cynthia Macperson that SFTHH published this week. That was sooo fantastic, and it had wonderful facts in it.

  3. Just shows that every aspect of horse slaughter is dark, secretive, fraudulent and can never stand the light of day. These politicians know full well that if they were to bring up a bill like this as a stand alone it would never pass. I’m becoming more and more of a believer in line item veto.

  4. Morgan, good point about the line item veto. Even though you do not live in Tennessee everyone should be jamming his telephone lines because the horses or other equines could be coming from your state. I call them the Dregs of Society, worse than roaches, at least they come out some time. This Legislators make the back door deals in the dark because they know they will be bombarded with calls. I think all these Ag guys need to start looking into recalls of beef and other products. Don’t they have enough with this or are they thinking that some day people will realize what they are eatting. Its bad enough cattle are not suppose to be given chemicals and are suppose to be
    free of diseases and bacteria. Don’t think I want an ecoli burger or botulism sandwich…I am going to call this fellow’s office and voice my concerns…in fact everyone should do it! Call the local newspaper and tell them his gig is out!!! 80% of Americans say NO WAY TO HORSE SLAUGHTER!!! So why do these Legislators continue to try and force this down the citizens of their state? $$$$$$$$ We need to pass the federal legislation before any state gets to the point of opening.

  5. TN folks need to start NOW to end this legislation before it gets any further. Then, when the timecomes, vote Nicely out of office.

  6. I’m getting more and more disgusted with the people we put into office, who are suppose to represent “We the People”! They continue to play politics, as usual, with little to no regard to it’s constituents. Dancing around the issues, while making their own rules, seems to be what they do best. Appalling!

  7. Those Congress people work for us the public and seems like they keep going against us, are we still living in the USA, they used to listen to us but what is happening there in Washington???? All they need to do to stop the war on horses is pass SB1176 and HR2966 very simple what seems to be the problem??????????? Looks like we need to clean house there get them out of office they have been in there long enough!!! Why is it still in committee for how much longer?

      • Trouble is they are always replaced with more of the same. Ben Franklin said we should clean them all out every 200 years and start over.

  8. Everyone in Tenn needs to jump on this so that they can nip it in the bud before it starts!!! Horses are not raised for human food that is disgusting!! No state wants this awful business in their neighborhood, it will ruin your neighborhood in a hurry say no to horse slaughter!! It all about $$$$$$!!!!

    • Louie, thanks for info on that website. I’ll be going there and encourage everyone against horse slaughter to go there, too.

  9. Knoxville is home to the University of Tennessee. Surely there is someone more educated and sophisticated to represent this district that the inappropriately named representative. Wonder what his opposition is like.

    Michael Vick goes to federal prison for two years due to his role in a dog-fighting ring, and this bozo thinks cock-fighting doesn’t deserve felony status. Our state just charged five workers at a turkey processing facility with animal cruelty.

  10. yah the best way to pass horse slaughter prevention act is to tack it onto the next big bill, you guys should call the sponsers of both bills and ask them to make that happen, by tacking the horse slaughter prevention act provisions onto the next big bill.

  11. Just shared this on Facebook. Hope friends and family see it and helps us…

    God that kool aid is addicting! May it be an addiction I NEVER EVER get!

    • Margaret:

      I think you have to copyright “kook-aid”…..it is funnier and so much more appropriate in the long run.

  12. http://www.politifact.com/tennessee/statements/2012/feb/23/frank-niceley/house-committee-chairman-claims-state-agency-deliv/

    From the Memphis Commercial Appeal Politifact

    “Frank Niceley on Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 in a House Conservation and Environment Committee meeting…

    Our ruling

    In relying on an unsubstantiated urban myth (or shall we say a “rural myth” in this case?) Niceley broke what should be a cardinal rule of public speaking — make sure there is some shred of truth to a claim you are making. This one has been debunked before elsewhere and deserves to be again. When questioned, Niceley fell back to the history of red wolves, but even that displayed a misunderstanding of what actually was a federal program that experts said was unsuccessful.

    Niceley’s statement is definitely a real howler — Pants On Fire.”

  13. I’ve known this guy for years, have been to his farm. I am saddened by this. He started this once before with the support of the TN Walking Horse Exhibitors and Breeders Assoc. (TWH breeders are as bad as the thoroughbred industry for overbreeding) and the measure was stopped by TN animal rights groups. I will be involved in that process again.

    • Nell:

      I’m sorry, but you have known this guy for years and NOW you are saddened? He seems very consistent to me.

      Uhmmmm….animal rights groups? Don’t like the term “animal rights”; I’m animal welfare and eat meat. Your lexicon is suspect.

      BTW, do you use Farm Bureau products? Then you need to find a better “coop”; one that doesn’t support cruel handling, killing of equines peddling filthy, untested meat for humans.

      Just a thought.

    • than you, Nell, for speaking up in TN. I’m sure most of TN does not want horse slaughter plants any more than we here in MO.

      • Great! Glad you think Nell is a beacon of anti-slaughter.

        Question for you and Nell…just exactly why do legislators or local governments in those two states (and yes, there are more than TN and MO) feel they can foist equine slaughterhouses and Ag Gag laws on their constituents?

        Explain it to me….please. And Nell, still waiting for a reply to my post to you.

      • Denise, only reason I can think of for some of these politicians to try and force horse slaughter down our throats is merely that: they are politicians and most of them are crooks, money hungry, and don’t give a damn about what most of their constituents want. They’ll vote for whatever brings them money and power. Personally, I think if they elected any ordinary trash collector to run this country, he or she could do a better job.

      • Barbara:

        They do it because they know they can get away with it.

        Therefore, it is incumbent on the citizens to hold them accountable via calls, fax, email, visits and voting their lying, cheating, evil butts out of office.

        And don’t support Farm Bureau….find someone else to get your insurance from or start your own coop.

      • Denise, I’ve already cancelled my home insurance with Farm Bureau and in process of cancelling my auto. Also sent them a nasty note when they sent me something to renew my $30 membership. No more money from me! Now, if we could just get rid of the crooked politicians that easy.

      • Barbara…organize and vote those politicians OUT!

        Good start with Farm Bureau, but you have to spread the word and provide other alternatives to Farm Bureau.

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