While the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act has languished in the bowels of our federal bureaucracy for years, if anyone has any question how fast the government can move when big business tells them to jump, South Dakota shows the American people who our “public servants” are really interested in serving.
Despite only being introduced seven days ago, S.B. 170 already has a hearing scheduled in the Senate Agriculture Committee this Tuesday, 1/29/08 at 10:00 am.
Though built in South Dakota, a horse slaughter plant in any state will profoundly affect American horses everywhere and we have the right to speak out against this shameful and disgraceful move by those who only measure life by the pound!
Here’s what you can do to speak up for those who can’t!
1. Please call all members of the South Dakota Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee to let them know that you oppose S.B. 170. If you live in South Dakota, tell them. However, you needn't be from South Dakota to call - passage of S.B. 170 will affect horses and people from across the United States. They can be reached at their Capitol offices by calling the operator at 605-773-3821.
Senator Jay Duenwald
Chair Senator Cooper Garnos (cosponsor)
Senator Tom Hansen,
Vice Chair Senator Gary Hanson (cosponsor)
Senator Frank Kloucek (cosponsor)
Senator Jim Lintz
Senator Kenneth McNenny
Senator Jim Peterson
Senator Dan Sutton (cosponsor)
2. Call your United States Senators and Representative and urge them to cosponsor and support speedy passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (S. 311/H.R. 503). The federal bill, which has enormous and growing Congressional and public support, will prohibit the slaughter of horses in the United States for human consumption, as well as their export for the same purpose. Its passage will nullify S.B. 170 or any similar legislation. You can reach your legislators by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.
In addition to your own feelings on horse slaughter, here are some points to raise in your calls:
Americans overwhelmingly oppose horse slaughter and this has resulted in the closure of the remaining foreign-owned domestic plants. South Dakota would be out of step with public sentiment if the state legislature passes S.B. 170 into law and this will reflect unfavorably on the state.
The overwhelming majority of horses they would slaughter come from other states, including stolen horses and horses sold under false pretenses.
Given that the federal American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act is anticipated to move in 2008, the loan made available via S.B. 170 would be fool hardy. The state risks pumping scarce taxpayer dollars into an industry that is likely to be shut down under federal law.
The FY 2008 Omnibus Appropriations bill (which funds the federal government) currently before Congress includes a provision that prohibits the use of federal tax dollars for the inspection of horses going to slaughter ? without which the animals cannot legally be slaughtered. It is anticipated that like measures will be included in future spending bills, too. South Dakota could find itself with a slaughterhouse that cannot operate due to federal funding restrictions.
The REDI fund, through which the loan would be made, is designed to promote job growth in South Dakota. The fact is that a horse slaughter plant would employ only a handful of low-paid, unskilled workers who are more likely to be a drain on the economy than a bonus.
The establishment of a plant in South Dakota would have a negative environmental and economic impact on the hosting jurisdiction. Disposal of blood, tissue and other waste associated with operating a plant would likely stress pre-existing sewer systems and could even require significant public expenditure to fortify the infrastructure.
American Herds offers these other suggestions to help protect American horses from this cruel and inhumane fate!
Introduced on 1/22/08 with the hearing scheduled just 7 days later, you can read S.B. 170 for yourself at the following link- http://legis.state.sd.us/sessions/2008/170.htm
Help make the people of South Dakota aware of what their representatives are planning to pull right under their noses by contacting as many media sources before Tuesday as you can.
Here are some quick links. You can write one letter and send it to all of them to let your voice be herd!
firstname.lastname@example.org (ABC affiliate)
email@example.com (NBC affiliate)
firstname.lastname@example.org (KNBN news team)
KEVN FOX news has an online form for contacting them -