By Debbie Coffey, PPJ Gazette Investigative Reporter
Wyoming faces attack of the horse eaters
Although Wyoming has at least one ethics law concerning its legislators, nobody seems to have gotten around to enforcing that pesky thing. Sue Wallis (“Slaughterhouse Sue”) hasn’t even bothered with a revolving door – she has just parked her butt in two different chairs at the same time – as a Wyoming State Representative (R) and also as the Executive Director of a trade/lobbying “mutual benefit corporation” called United Organizations of the Horse (UOH). UOH states it is concerned with “excess” and “unwanted horses” and claims that’s the reason it’s pushing so hard to reinstate horse slaughterhouses in the United States.
What they’re really pushing for is using horse meat for food. The UOH has an “Equine Assurance Program” which is supposedly about horse meat food safety.
A big problem with UOH’s “excess” and “unwanted” horse drivel is that UOH has taken financial contributions from the Biotechnology Industry Organization (www.bio.org). This is the huge, big bucks, powerful lobbying arm of animal cloning companies including ViaGen (which is actively cloning horses – genetic engineering companies including Monsanto, and pharmaceutical and chemical companies.
If UOH is so worried about unwanted horses and excess horses, why are they taking money from an organization lobbying for making MORE horses, and cloned ones at that? Does it make sense to develop ways to make artificial animals while killing off the natural ones?
About 249 associations have been throwing money at UOH, including Cattlemen’s Associations from about 23 states, livestock and stockmen associations, trucking associations, the U.S. Export Meat Federation and CropLife America (which represents members like Monsanto, Dow, DuPont, Sygenta, etc.)
Beefmagazine.com ran an article this year with “talking points” for horse slaughter, stating that there are millions of people starving in the world, and asking “From a moral standpoint, can we afford to put any viable protein source off limits?” They mention the word “moral” but they don’t bring up any moral or safety issues about eating cloned horses (or cloned cattle).
Skewed studies were used by the FDA when it made the decision that cloned animals were safe to eat: “Not Ready for Prime Time: FDA’s Flawed Approach to Assessing the Safety of Food from Animal Clones” I don’t think the FDA has even studied cloned horses in any of its food safety assessments.
UOH is an ardent supporter the Bureau of Land Management’s roundups of our wild horses. And, Sue Wallis really wants our excess and unwanted horses. Lots of them. About 200 a day. She’s working hard to get money for a slaughterhouse near Guernesey, Wyoming, that will be operated by Unified Equine LLC, a “new legal entity.”
UOH claims it won’t have anything to do with this operation, so why is Sue so busy looking for financing for it and, just last month, writing press releases that it’ll be ready in about 6 months?
Sue Wallis also introduced HB122, The Disposal of Livestock Act, which Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal recently signed. He was the U.S. Attorney General in Wyoming for many years; so didn’t he wonder if there could be a conflict of interest? If I notice questionable ethics by Sue Wallis from another state, can’t he see anything right under his nose? What is Wyoming’s Attorney General doing? Playing Tiddlywinks? There seems to be double-wide loopholes in Wyoming’s ethics laws that Slaughterhouse Sue has managed to squeeze through.
Beefmagazine.com talking points also include: “We believe all animals are sacred and must be harvested with dignity and gratitude.” Would this be the same dignity and gratitude that caused slaughterhouses to be closed down in our country in 2007? Would this be the same dignity and gratitude mentioned in a report by the General Accounting Office? “GAO Asked to Investigate Cruelty to Horses”
As R.T. Fitch pointed out, Sue and her mini-me, Dave Duquette of United Horesemen’s Front (which works side-by-side with UOH) have participated in activities at the Simon Bucking Stock Sale, owned and operated by Joe Simon, who was a kill buyer for Beltex.
Last, but by no means least, Beefmagazine.com’s talking points include “There are fates worse than slaughter. A quick, painless death in a slaughterhouse plant is far preferable to a slow and agonizing death of starvation.”
Preferable to whom?
Caloric restrictions might be agonizing for Sue, but if she’d prefer to be the first in line at that Unified Equine LLC slaughterhouse she’s been working so hard to get up and running, I’ll even send in money to UOH.