Butcher’s HB 418, the Horse Slaughter Legislation Hearing is Today

by jhwygirl

A reminder to all you folks out there that HB418, the proposed law that would authorize “investor-owned equine slaughter or processing facilities” is set for hearing today at 3 p.m.

You can read more about this vile piece of legislation here at 4&20 or here at Left in the West or here at Will Work For Fish. And in those posts are other informative links that give even more information.

If you haven’t called or emailed yet, please take the 2 minutes necessary to do so and let the entire Senate Agricultural Committee know – in one easy, quick phone call – that this legislation isn’t something that we want here in Montana. You can do that by calling the Session Information Desk at 406-444-4800. Your message will be delivered directly to the entire committee. The TTY (Telephone Device for the Deaf) number is 406-444-4462.

Know that there are lobbyists up there – rumor has it Conrad Burns is chief cheerleader behind this whole sordid fiasco, and may even make an appearance today – lobbying away for this bill for outside corporate interests which include facilities in Canada and breeders who need somewhere to dispose of their “mistakes”. Burns has, in fact, had his heels dug in to promoting these facilities going back to 2004 when he slipped a clause into an appropriations bill that legalized the slaughter of wild horses on BLM grounds, and allowed the product to be shipped overseas. Now, all he wants is more facilities to do so.

And don’t you bet that isn’t true – otherwise, why do you think this bill is geared towards “investor-owned” facilities? Who else, frankly, would afford the old Senator Burns lobbying fees?

Somehow, I’m doubting Conrad’ll have the you-know-whats to show up backing this bill in person. I’m guessing he’ll probably send a friend.

  1. Pronghorn

    The fact that a tainted character like Burns is involved in this sleazy business should give pause–HUGE pause–to any Dem who might be considering a yes vote on this loser.

  2. Pronghorn

    As for those Dems who’ve sponsored the bill and/or already voted for it, I hope their constituents ask them to please explain themselves on these issues:

    –why did you vote to curtail Montanans’ rights to challenge these facilities?
    –Having viewed the FOIA documents (as any responsible, homework-doin’ legislator would) at http://www.kaufmanzoning.net/ why have you knowingly chosen to subject horses to this brutality?
    –Having read the former TX mayor’s testimony (as any responsible, homework-doin’ legislator would) at http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dgnc2c58_0fmfx2jfj why would you knowingly violate our Constitution’s guarantee of a clean and healthful environment?
    –How do you plan to ensure meaningful oversight/regulation (for both humane and environmental infractions) with actual teeth in it?

    That’s for starters. Add your own.

    • I had to head to other important stuff as I was listening to the debate – which began at 3.

      I went and checked once I got home, and they didn’t vote, but the audio archive isn’t loaded yet, either, on to the website.

      Sen. Cliff Larsen did reply to me today to tell me that he intended to vote no (he’s on the Ag committee).

      Interesting, much of the opponent testimony was centered around the environmental/constitutional issues surrounding the bill. Even Anne Hedges, of Montana Environmental Information Center, testified that she didn’t have a problem with a horse slaughter facility, per se, but she did have a problem with a bill that violated Montanan’s constitutional rights with concern to environmental laws and judicial review.

      Someone else noted that the cost – they had checked – for taking a dead horse (sorry folks, I know this is pretty frank) is $30 in Gallatin County. So the cost of a bullet and the dump is $30.50 – yet proponents of the bill were saying how slaughter was the most economical way to deal with their aging and cripple “pets.”

      Makes me sick, Wulfgar!.

      I’ve had to put down my pet. It’s hard. You do it. I sat and held that dog until it was no longer warm. Horses live longer than the average dog – how can someone call their horse a pet and then think that it is more humane to take their pet to a horse slaughter facility than it would be to take a gun, say a prayer, hug the animal and put it down. Or get someone else to do it for them.

      It is other motivations behind this. It isn’t motivated by wanting to be humane. And oddly – the proponent testimony was largely from horse owners who argued for this “humane” solution to dealing with old and cripple horses.

  3. Pronghorn

    Thanks for the report. Could the horse owner proponents have been shills for the industry? Or really that dumb, or in denial, or….??? Glad to hear that SD 50 Senator Larsen is opposed.

    • What was odd – or ironic – is that the bulk of the proponent testimony was from horse owners and how they supported it because it was best for their “pets”, while the opponent testimony was largely focused on the rules and regulations this industry has shown it has a propensity to ignore, and the constitutional and environmental issue.

      In other words – proponents went at it from an emotional issue, and opponents went at it from a legal issue.


  4. g. morrison

    Montana is setting a path of destruction by allowing the use of tainted horse meet
    if any slaughter houses open.
    Most horses destined for the slaughter house have health problems and are loaded with chemicals that were designed to alleviate their pain or health condition.
    Now, that will be on the plate of those who wish to eat horse meat.
    People need to realize, if there is no blood testing done of the meat to rule out unhealthy conditions in the animal then they risk ingesting food that will poison their body.

    I thought the USDA could not afford inspectors for these
    plants? What if a horse comes through that has had a
    rattlesnake bite?
    What if a horse come through injected with penicillin for so many days due to infection?
    What if a horse comes through with selenium poisoning?
    What if it is loaded with de-wormer or even bute?
    What if a mare inherited hormonal problems and is flooded with estrogen overload?
    What about the horses with cancer inside their system?

    How desperate can someone be to want to eat meat from a business unregulated for producing meat?

  1. 1 Slaughter Clears Hurdle | Northernhorse.com Blog

    […] Butcher’s HB 418, the Horse Slaughter Legislation Hearing is Today – from 4&20 Blackbirds […]

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