Tennessee Horse Slaughter Bill Stalls in State Legislature

LUCAS L. JOHNSON II  as it appears in the Daily News

Butchering Companion Horses is a No Go

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The sponsor of a state Senate proposal that seeks to encourage the commercial slaughter of horses in Tennessee withdrew the measure Wednesday, but said he likely will revive it if a similar bill makes progress in the House.

Republican Sen. Mike Faulk of Kingsport took the legislation off notice in the Senate Commerce, Labor and Agriculture Committee. A House floor vote on the companion bill has been delayed until Monday evening.

Faulk said the proposal is intended to encourage Tennessee to develop rules and regulations in case a commercial slaughter operator wants to locate in the state and “properly, humanely … dispose of horses.”

“I don’t care for the notion of a horse slaughter plant,” he said. “But it’s one of those parts of the cycle of life that is necessary. As repugnant as it may seem to someone who has a horse that is a pet, the fact of the matter is, that animal is eventually going to die.”

Opponents of the bill argue that it would unfairly discourage legal challenges of horse slaughter or processing plants by requiring plaintiffs to submit a deposit worth 20 percent of the facility’s worth.

Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper issued an opinion earlier this month that requirement is constitutionally suspect. He said the measure would conflict with state constitutional provisions forbidding “unreasonable and arbitrary barriers” to using the courts to settle disputes.

Rep. Janis Sontany has been a vocal opponent of the legislation. The Nashville Democrat said she doesn’t believe it has the votes in the House, where it was delayed three weeks.

She said she’s concerned the company that would come to Tennessee might be foreign and have “no regard for our environmental health or workplace safety laws.”

“It’s breed for greed,” Sontany said. “As long as we have a horse slaughter plant in Tennessee we’re going to see between 80,000 and 100,000 horses come through our state to be slaughtered. We don’t want that.”

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  1. It is not a “necessary part of the cycle of life” as Sen Faulk states. Do we slaughter our cats and dogs at the end of their life (or usefulness as slaughter opponents always view other sentient creatures) just because they are eaten in other countries? No. Same holds for horses. They are not livestock. They are not food. I’d like to find out the group behind trying to pass all these slaughter and ag-gag laws. Wonder if it is ALEC the same group passing stand your ground laws in states around the country.


    • It seems Sen. Faulk can’t see the forest for the trees; like so many who can’t differentiate between ‘euthanasia’ and ‘slaughter’, this just plumb went over his head. What sort of horse is a slaughter house looking for? The healthy young viable ones.

      What a dolt.


      • Ditto, Lisa! I guess that’s what makes this crazy world go around, but it makes you wonder where these people come from, such as; Sen. Faulk?! What a crazy statement!!!


    • Key pro-slaughter players is DC: Charlie Stenholm – former TX rep lobbyist, Tom Lenz – DVM PRCA (pro rodeo cowboy assoc), Bill Brewer – Exec Dir National Cutting Horse Assoc (X-VP of AQHA), Peter Cofrancesco III – Pres AQHA


  2. Take a moment and send an email to Senator Faulk – I did.
    Let him know that people all over the country are watching this and it would be a sad reflection on
    his state.


  3. This is just a “hiccup” in the quest to market equines deemed a nuisance (DOI, USDA, ranchers, resource sucking machines and their wild equine removal mania), excess (regardless of reckless breeding, training, sport, ownership) and plain old PROFIT (for anything that can be marketed living or dead).

    They’ll be back…….I promise you. They’ll be back, so KEEP paying attention even if we get antislaughter and roundup legislation. The evil in the world will always be back and use every trick, covert action and outright lie/disguise to achieve the ultimate goal of cruelly murdering equines, stealing land and resources all to make a greasy buck for profit.


  4. Thank God for Rep. Janis Sontany! I don’t know how to better sum up the evil business of horse slaughter than “breed for greed”!

    We will have to fight this city to city and state to state until we have a federal ban. We continue to fight, and we will ultimately win.


    • Really?…they don’t butcher equines in Norway? Happy to hear that, but as a Nordic country (countries) the Swedes butchered Exceller.

      BTW…your contention that it is NOT going on in Norway (land of the racers, rodeo, hunter/jumpers, dressage, etc) is admirable. But where do your equines go and how do they die in the “global” market?

      I get tired of stupid….on both sides!


      • Well, I think that came out a little different that what I meant. I mean that we do not bucher our horses like this mass slaughter that you are reffering to here. Most of the horses that are put down are being “killed” at home, with their owners, but some are sent to slaughter houses, yes, but they are usually put down as fast as possible, and very few are shot. In Norway we have a number of strict rules that secure anmal welfare, although, we still have the gruesome furfarms, which i hope to god is being closed up as soon as possible!

        And… I’m not stupid, haha, just love animals and know that most of them are secure an happy here in Norway, which is a very animalfriendly country 😉


  5. lavageit ~ How are horses killed/stunned in Norwegian slaughter plants? I associate “putting down” with euthanasia, NOT slaughter. What exactly are your rules?

    Just wondering….


    • They are given eh, what is it called in english? A shot of a medical thing in their veins or with a machine that you have in forn tof their forehead that sends out a needle which shortcuts the brain, so they die almost instantly. And I think i formulated my sentences wrong, but of course awful things are done to animals in Norway also, but i must say i think the USA are extreme! I do not mean to offend anyone there, so please dont take it personally!


      • Are we talking about the same thing? I sounds like you’re talking about euthanasia instead of slaughter.

        Is this thing they put in their veins something to calm them or what? Normally, slaughter animals are not killed, but only stunned because having the heart still beating helps in the bleeding out process. The animals actually die from blood loss,


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