Press Release from the Equine Welfare Alliance
Horse Hating State Legislators Crawl Out From Underneath Rocks
Chicago (EWA) – On February 1st, Utah Senator David P. Hinkins introduced joint resolution S.J.R 11, titled “A Resolution Expressing Opposition to Federal Restoring our Mustangs Act.” The resolution expresses opposition to federal bills H.R. 1018 / S. 1579, known collectively as the ROAM Act. The only problem is that the ROAM Act was from the 111th Congress and no longer exists.
The ROAM act was passed by the House of Representatives on July 19, 2009 but was never taken up by the Senate and died with the end of the 111th Congress. Though initially popular among wild horse advocates, growing suspicion that ROAM could be used by the Obama Administration to implement its “Salazar Plan” caused it to lose support.
The “Salazar plan” would remove mustangs from their native habitats in the West, sterilize them, and leave them to die out on Midwestern feedlots. So intent is the Administration on this plan, that it rejected a private refuge plan offered by Madeleine Pickens, wife of oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens. That plan would have left the horses on a large tract of their native lands which the Pickens had purchased.
S.J.R 11 culminates a massively misguided campaign against America’s wild horses and in favor of restoring horse slaughter. Nearly hysterical Legislation introduced in many Western states has often been based on incorrect facts and has included some incredible language.
A 2009 bill by Ed Butcher of Montana was actually passed making it impossible to sue anyone wishing to build a horse slaughter plant in the neighborhood without first posting a forfeitable bond equal to 20% of the cost of construction.
The Butcher bill was apparently based on the mistaken belief that US horse slaughter plants had been closed by frivolous law suits filed by (as Ed Butcher described them) “two bit hippies”. All three US plants were in fact closed by state laws prohibiting the slaughter of horses and or the sale of horse meat for human consumption.
Horse slaughter plants have indeed been notorious for their discharge violations, and attempts have been made by municipal governments (not activists) to close them on that basis. The Dallas Crown plant in Kaufman Texas was fighting a legal battle against the town of Kaufman when it was ordered closed in 2007. The plant had violated its sewer discharge limits for years.
Likewise, the Cavel plant in DeKalb Illinois had been in continual violation with its sewage discharge requirements between its rebuilding in 2004 and its closing in September of 2007. But none of those violations closed the plant for a single day. The Cavel operation moved to Saskatchewan, Canada where it was eventually closed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for “health violations”.
Armed with this information, the town of Hardin Montana actually passed an ordinance (2010-01) to protect their community from a slaughter plant Ed Butcher announced he was going to help open there.
Perhaps the most outrageous bill (LB.306) was introduced this year by Nebraska Senator Tyson Larson. LB.306 would make it a punishable offense for any animal rescue or humane organization to refuse to accept an equine offered to it.
But despite all these strange, probably unconstitutional bills, the Hinkins’ bill is the first to require time travel for its implementation. Perhaps Hinkins can make up for this problem with a bill requiring arriving airline flights to announce “Welcome to Utah, please set your watches back two years”.