Article by Laura Allen of Animal Law Coalition
“Slaughterhouse” Sue is the Lowest of the Low
Wyoming state Rep. Sue Wallis, is the self-styled leader of an effort to legalize commercial horse slaughter for human consumption. It’s not often that you see someone making animal cruelty their life’s work, their raison d’etre.
It’s just not inspiring.
But if anyone personifies the grizzly and sleazy practice of horse slaughter, surely it’s Rep. Wallis.
As a state legislator, Rep. Wallis is supposed to be bound by certain ethics laws. Under the WY Constitution, for example, a legislator “who has a personal or private interest in any measure or bill proposed or pending before the legislature shall disclose the fact to the house of which he is a member, and shall not vote” on it. Wyo. Const. Art. 3, § 46 Under the state Ethics and Disclosure Act, Wy. Stat. § 9-13-101-108, specifically, § 9-13-103, “[n]o public official…shall use his office or position for his private benefit”; and § 9-13-106, “A public official…shall not make an official decision or vote on an official decision if the public official…has a personal or private interest in the matter… A public official… shall abstain from voting on the decision and from making any official decision in the matter. The public official’s… abstention from voting must be recorded in the governmental entity’s official records.”
A recent request to investigate Rep. Wallis for ethics violations was sent to the Wyoming state House of Representatives, Secretary of State and local prosecutors. It was alleged that despite these clear laws, Rep. Wallis has failed to disclose her personal and financial interest or abstain from voting on legislation to promote horse slaughter. Worse, she has actually sponsored bills to try to pave the way for opening horse slaughter houses.
Why does this matter? Wallis has formed a company, Unified Equine LLC, and has been soliciting investment for the design and operation of a horse slaughter house. She has announced the production of “Unified Equine Products” and stated “meat, hide, hair, byproducts – will be marketed through every available legal market.” She has announced that “Unified Equine Programs” “will be creating new jobs” at a horse slaughter house her company would own and operate. She would profit personally from horse slaughter. It creates a blatant conflict of interest with her position as state legislator. She is using her position as legislator to introduce legislation that would directly benefit her company.
Also, Rep. Wallis as the self-proclaimed “Executive Director” of United Organizations of the Horse has acted as lobbyist for horse slaughter at the same time she is supposed to be serving as a legislator. She has boasted her position as state legislator is the pro-horse slaughter contingent’s “greatest resource”. She has used her position as legislator to obtain a seat on the National Council of State Legislatures, Agriculture and Energy Committee, a non-governmental lobbying organization that promotes state interests. She has used the position to promote horse slaughter. All which benefits her company.
On top of that, her company is soliciting investors for a business that is not legal or economically viable: Not only is commercial horse slaughter for human consumption illegal in the U.S., there is no market in the U.S. for human consumption of horsemeat or its use in pet food. To be a viable business within Wyoming which is what Rep. Wallis proposes, with its population of 544,270, such a facility “would have to …sell approximately 10,000,000 pounds of horsemeat per year, or 18 pounds for every man, woman and child in the state”.
Rep. Wallis’ fellow Wyoming politicians refused to hold her accountable under these ethics laws, saying her plans to build a horse slaughter house are just so much talk. Tell that to the investors and public she is soliciting to invest in her horse slaughter house under the name Unified Equine LLC.
So much for the WY Ethics and Disclosure Act.
The local prosecutor in Rep. Wallis’ district also decided not to pursue other claims of criminal fraud such as her “truck raffle” that was supposed to raise money for her horse slaughter efforts. Yet, there was never a truck that was actually raffled and at one point, Rep. Wallis asked participants, people who purchased tickets, if she could just keep the money and dispense with the raffle. After the prosecutor declined to pursue the allegations, evidence surfaced of missing money and a bait and switch in connection with the truck raffle. Hopefully, the prosecutor will take another look.
This doesn’t even include the allegations still swirling about (1) Wallis’ questionable use of IRS designated charities to raise money, (2) her Food Freedom Act dubbed a fraud by a local health department official and which would allow consumers to eat tainted horsemeat produced presumably by her slaughter house, and (3) her alleged failure to comply with securities laws in connection with investment solicitations for her horse slaughter house. Then, of course, there is the misuse of Temple Grandin’s name in connection with the misnamed “Summit of the Horse” and in promoting Rep. Wallis’ planned horse slaughter house….
Rep. Wallis should not be “emboldened” by her fellow politicians and local prosecutor’s failure to hold her accountable. Instead, they should be ashamed.
It should be no surprise that someone like this is the “leader” of the pro horse slaughter effort. As the Equine Welfare Alliance documented in a report submitted to the Government Accountability Office in 2010, horse slaughter is “violent…and cruel”. “Documents obtained by the Freedom of Information Act from the USDA depicts how cruel and inhumane the transport to slaughter is”. Dr. Lester Friedlander, DVM & former Chief USDA Inspector, testified before Congress in 2008, “The captive bolt is not a proper instrument for the slaughter of equids, these animals regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck, they are fully aware they are being vivisected.”
Horse slaughter creates a culture of cruelty.
As a business, horse slaughter is sleazy. This practice devastates communities, taking resources and leaving waste and blood literally flowing in the streets, odors, pollution, and debts that leave communities struggling to absorb tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid fines and other costs. For more….
The vast majority of Americans oppose horse slaughter. They understand it is an arcane, cruel practice best left in the past. In 2010 Americans fended off the pro-horse slaughter efforts of the likes of Rep. Wallis, and there appears to be little stomach for resurrecting horse slaughter in this country. We may not be able to get rid of a sleazy politician, but we can take away her “cause”: In this Congressional session, 2011-2012, let’s put an end to the sleaze, the cruelty, the suffering of these animals, and ban the export of horses for slaughter for human consumption. It’s the perfect time.
- Wallis’ Wyoming Horse Slaughter Plant Plans Turn Flaky (rtfitch.wordpress.com)
- CALL on WYOMING AUTHORITIES for INVESTIGATION…Sign Petition to Save Horses from Sue Wallis (ourcompass.wordpress.com)
- Pro Horse Slaughter “Summit” Not Happy with Dr. Grandin (rtfitch.wordpress.com)
- Pro Horse Slaughter Politician Suffers Another Stinging Setback (rtfitch.wordpress.com)
- Horse Slaughter is Bad for the Economy, the Community and the Taxpayer (rtfitch.wordpress.com)
- “Summit of the Horse” a Misnomer (rtfitch.wordpress.com)
Categories: Horse Slaughter, The Force of the Horse
Good piece. I wouldn’t feed my dogs and cats horse meat. GROSS!
Great article Laura!
Thank you for your grit and determination, RT and LL. Godspeed.
Yes, it’s the perfect time as Senator Mary Landrieu is preparing a Bill against horse slaughter for our 112th Congress.
4% Fair Tax Averages on America’s 9.2 Million Horses
Replaces Horse Slaughter with Logic and Value
A. *Horses under 501©3 is 0.00 tax until Adopted.
B. *est. $1,200 valued horse in range of $300-$2,500 is $48 tax.
$48 x 4mhorses = 1billion.9m.2k Revenue
go to https://sites.google.com/site/horsesasnationaltreasure/home Petition
site, for more figures.
This is vast revenue to pay for land, training, and wages for Committees to
oversee America’s horse industry, including reclaiming the Wilderness Preserves
for Our Mustangs.
Rebuild America with pride.
We built this Nation with horses.
We can do it again.
Sanctuaries should not only foster horses but should be learning facilities to
teach responsible horse ownership. Sanctuaries become county revenue builders
as fees are paid for horse adoption, trail rides, horseback riding lessons, and
host competitions. Ideally, Sanctuaries should adjoin Federal land already
utilized by equestrians or with promise to do so, such as land owned by The Army
Corps of Engineers, State Parks and National Forests.
I read this and could only think of Marc Beckoff’s quote in his book, THE ANIMAL MANIFESTO: Science is catching up with what many lay observers already know from living with animals ever day. This growing understanding can help us see and relate to animals as fellow subjective beings rather than as objects. I like what Australian Bradley Trevor Grieve writes in his book Priceless: The Vanishing Beauty of a Fragile Planet:
“For endangered species we are both their greatest enemy and their only hope. These wonderful creatures will not argue their case. They will not put up a fight. They will not beg for reprieve. They will not say good-bye. They will not cry out. They will just vanish. And after they are gone, there will be silence. And there will be stillness. And there will empty places. And nothing you can say will change this. Nothing you can do will bring them back. With so many lives hanging in the balance, the paths we choose today will decide the fate of the world. So it’s up to us. It’s up to you and me to decide who lives and who dies.”
When I read “CHEER for horses” by Baxter Black in in Friday’s paper (2/25/11), I thought it would be some kind of celebration of horses. I nearly barfed when I realized it was a celebration of SLAUGHTERING and EATING American horses! Is CHEER some new outgrowth or incarnation of UOH?
I couldn’t find a CHEER (Centers for Humane Euthanasia and Equine Recycling) website, so I don’t know if it’s already set up or just in the planning stages.
BTW, he suggests if someone doesn’t want to eat their own horse, they could exchange the meat with another person. So if they don’t want the kids to ask if their favorite pony is on the dinner plate, they can simply state, “No, this is someone else’s pony.” I’m sure they’ll leave “favorite” out.
Since he also suggests the meat could be donated to feed people in Africa, Italy, and North Korea, the article has shown up on a few “humanitarian” websites. I wonder if those “humanitarians” realize they’d be sending send toxic meat to poison those they want to “help”? Beef would be a better choice, but I don’t know if U.S. producers would want to “donate” ANYTHING now that prices are so high.
BB is a columnist for “Western Horseman”, so expect this article to show up in their magazine pretty soon.
This is sad… I saw that and it was sick… To think of all the young girls who get exposed to this BS. Is Western Horseman still popular?? mar
I cannot express my thanks enough for all that you have done RT & LL. Sue Wallis is the definition of evil. I have read many articles about her, she is truly inhumane! Now, if you can only do a piece on Sen. Tyson Larson from Nebraska, that would be great! His pal in the Senate also uses Dr. Temple Grandins name for the promotion of their proposed slaughter facility. There are 3 or 4 articles in The Journal Star.com. Work your magic RT!
Looks like this slaughter plant employed a grand total of 46 people:
Dallas Crown Employee list information supplied by the City of Kaufman
One has to wonder,
In the current economic crisis which has impacted the horse industry
Where is this “glut of unwanted horses” coming from?
Bananas, seaweed, cheeries ? Those are not someones pets they are not living -breathing things. There are cattle in this world, that is, their pupose -food-. Man’s foot print in history stands beside the horses- not the cow . The horse can be your best compainion, when did anyone ever say that about a cow, sheep, or even a chicken(even they shoud have a more merciful end than I have seen). The ranchers of this country when they see an animal that has no more use to them, they just need a profitable way to dispose of it, unfortunately they do not see animals the way most of use do, they don’t even want to waste a bullet on them. Feed the hungery, give me a break doesn’t anyone know how much food we throw away every day in this country, meat, vegetables, fruits, we don’t need horse meat to add to that list. The world will be all for the slaughter, I am sure, after all they are eating our pets, not theirs. Good grief after they have exhausted our horse supply what is next, our cat and dog shelters, some people eat them too, that don’t make it right. Hope this gets back to Baxter Black, but I have several of his signed books that just went to the trash and will never purchase another.
When pro-slaughter advocates need to put a down-home, folksy, horsey face to their message they can defer to horse slaughter supporters like Baxter Black, who, until a few years back, was in the closet about his horse slaughter advocacy. (You know, sort of like finding out Santa Claus is actually into kiddie porn when he isn’t delivering presents to boys and girls.) This latest missive from Black is just more of the same, tired propaganda the pro-slaughter camp keeps hawking — and shows how out of touch he is with the majority of horse owners who disagree with him.
Baxter’s a “Founding Leadership Team” member of the United Organizations of the Horse (Wallis and Co.), and the ridiculous website ‘AMillionHorses” is his brainchild.
He writes a column titled “On The Edge of Common Sense” which, ironically, pretty much sums up his opinions: He can’t quite seem to reach out and touch common sense, but instead stares longingly at it from ‘the edge’…
Geri, you are right on target about the food that is thrown away. I am finding out from friends and people who operate sanctuaries about the food that is thrown in dumsters by many of the Giant Corporate Supermarkets and Pet Stores–first hand accounts from people who have asked to be given the outdated (but still edible) meats, produce and dry dog and cat food. They were told NO–even by upper management people. Cat and Dog food is dumped OUT OF THE SACKS into the dumsters so that it can’t be retrieved or locks are put on the dumsters. I won’t print the names of these chains here, but they are one’s are practically household words.
People have fought this disposal of foods before and it needs to be done on a local level. I believe… Go to the mayor and ask what can be done… have places set up that can use this food and then work out a plan. It is not like we cannot do something about this, we can… mar
This poor excuse for a human, is too SICK for words!! At least words that shouldn’t be printed in public. Why can’t “she” just go crawl back under her rock, & stay there for all eternity!! WHO, in their right mind, would ever even think about voting for her???? How does she, or, can she, remain in office! Why don’t the people vote her out!? Everything she “proposes” is illegal, unmarketable, inhumane, repulsive, toxic for human or pet consumption, &, just plain GROSS!! Even people that may not love animals, or those who fear animals, should be completely turned off by her. Americans do NOT eat horses, horses are stuff of fairy-tales & legends, most every little girl’s dream, proud, regal steeds that carried knights in shining armor, carried soldiers into battle, pulled wagons across the plains, plowed fields, helped the Plains Indians hunt bison, ran our races, participated in shows, gave us their trust, love & loyalty. Surely people can see through her & her selfish greed & lies!
Laura, EXCELLENT article! Do we have any recourse after the state legislators and state officials do nothing to uphold their own laws?
Yes, this is the burning question, WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND? Certainly not BB or Sue Wallis & the likes. They know how to use political rhetoric & propaganda.
Mar, Good idea–I’ll pass it on and see what can be done
Amazing how the BLM can put a halt on trapping the Mustangs and Burros, just like that!! Also, amazing how they can put all that cattle in the Mustangs Sanctuary, JUST LIKE THAT!!!!!