“Reason, logic, and fact dictate that we should ban horse slaughter in New York state.”
ALBANY — Fewer stories in horse racing have had higher highs and lower lows than that of Ferdinand.
The 1986 Kentucky Derby winner banked more than $3.7 million in a stellar career and went to the breeding shed in 1988. However, the champion thoroughbred was slaughtered in Japan in 2002, setting off outrage in the horse racing community.
That story was repeated Wednesday by Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, one of several state politicians who spoke out in support of a bill that would criminalize the transport of horses for slaughter in the Empire State.
“It is a shame and a tragedy,” Tedisco said, “and we as a state should be ashamed for allowing that to happen.”
The bill is sponsored by Rep. Deborah Glick and Sen. Kathy Marchione, among others, and the press conference was held in the well of the Legislative Office Building. The proposed legislation has support from both sides of the aisle, but may not be voted on in this current legislative session.
According to guest speaker Jack Knowlton, a Saratoga native who co-owned 2003 Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide, Ferdinand’s plight sparked similar legislation on the national level several years ago. However, that bill, H.R. 503, did not make it out of committee in the U.S. Senate.
“We’re a very diverse country,” Knowlton said. “There are a lot of interests in horse slaughter, particularly in the western part of the country, and that legislation still has not happened on a national level.”
Marchione spoke for several minutes, and she and Tedisco both said the proposed bill makes sense on many different levels.
“In 2010, 137,934 horses were escorted to Canada to be slaughtered,” Marchione said. “The vast majority were intended for human consumption, and horses at the slaughterhouses are treated with cruel indifference.”
“This should be based on reason, logic, and fact,” Tedisco said. “Reason, logic, and fact dictate that we should ban horse slaughter in New York state.”
The press conference also featured presentations by veterinarian Dr. Kraig Kulikowski and Summer Brennan of Little Brook Farm in Old Chatham.
“Horse slaughter is horse abuse,” Kulikowski said. “We need to start calling it what it is. As a veterinarian, I know what humane euthanasia looks like, and it doesn’t look like slaughter.”
“I’ve spent my entire life working with these horses that were discarded for various reasons,” Brennan said. “What I’ve found doing this is that there’s rarely anything wrong with the horse. It’s mainly the people that own them.”
All who spoke Wednesday agreed that public support of the bill is crucial…(CONTINUED)
Please click (HERE) to read the story in its entirety AND to Comment at the Saratogian
Assemblyman Tedsico speaking at 2013 Equine Conference last month
Dr. Kraig Kulikowski speaking at the 2013 American Equine Conference last month
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