The SAFETY Act was stalled in a congressional committee earlier this week, meaning horses are still not safe from the slaughter pipeline.
Readers who have followed this issue, for example, for the past 20 years will answer, “Uh-huh, and so what’s new?” They are legitimate skeptics. During that time, various versions of federal law intended to outlaw anything related to horse slaughter were born and disappeared on a regular basis, buried in development. committee, suffocated at an early age by special interests without public support.
For those who believe in the polls, it is found that more than 8 in 10 Americans oppose the slaughter of horses. Chances are that the concept is abstract to most people polled, because the reality of horse slaughter is gruesome enough to bring that number closer to 10 out of 10. But 8 out of 10 is one. quite strong statement of philosophical and practical intent.
One look at the slaughterhouse photos accessible through the United States Department of Agriculture is enough to make the stomach inside out. However, this is a family publication, so you will have to take my word for it. I once tried to attack this issue over the Thanksgiving holiday by sharing a selection of horsemeat recipes. That didn’t go too well. I was accused – again – of having a cryptic sense of humour.
In a reasonably civilized democracy, citizens can make laws that support their understanding of their culture. And just as Americans welcome all cultural differences, 8 out of 10 don’t think that understanding applies to the slaughter of horses as a source of human food. Yes, they are considered commercial goods. But they are not raised as a food crop, and there is nothing in the literature that says an option for the final use of horses should be slaughtered for sale in the market. If nothing else, their position is in stark contrast to the traditional forms of slaughterhouses. There is no such thing as humane horse slaughter.
Few bills of nature, other than those intended for defense, can boast the kind of bipartisan support enjoyed by the SAFE Act. Its co-sponsors range from Adam Schiff of California to Matt Gaetz of Florida, with 29 Republicans joining hands in the aisle in an effort to nail the horse slaughter coffin.
But now this barrier, rolled out with a last-ditch effort by opponents of the overall slaughter ban, has prevented the SAFETY Act from abolishing the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The next stop will be the full House of Commons and a floor vote, where the law is fully passed but secured thanks to 222 co-sponsoring members, including original sponsors Jan Schakowsky, Party member. Illinois Democrat and Vern Buchanan, Florida Republican.
Christopher Heyde of Blue Marble Strategy was interested in the fight against horse slaughter. His pedigree in the effort goes back more than two decades, when the movement was fueled by the commitment of John Hettinger, purebred breeder and sales company executive. Hettinger died in 2010, but Heyde moved on, and he could almost taste victory around this time, even if time ran out in the working life of the 117th Congress.
The commission’s failure, according to Heyde, came in the form of a letter of objection from the USDA excluding items in the SAFE Act that have since been enacted in 2021 and are believed to have been handled at the committee level. . There is also a letter, presented by Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers of northeastern Washington state, that raises unfounded concerns about something called the National Tribal Horse Coalition, which purports to represent for the benefit of five Native American tribes, three of which are located in Washington. and two in Rodgers’ 5th Congressional District.
It is said that wild horses are crossing some reserved land. They are being compared to pests that need to be eradicated, but for a profit if possible, as slaughtered horses can still be legally sold and transported across several state lines and into Canada and Mexico. If the sale, purchase, and transportation of horses for slaughter are prohibited by the SAFETY Act, some sovereign Native American communities will have to turn to other forms of feral horse management — like the United States surrounds. surname.
“We have tried many times over the years to work with the tribes on this issue,” says Heyde. “And the pipeline has been there for 20 years.”