Sent: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 8:55 PM
Subject: Horse owners urged to oppose flawed equine welfare bill - comments needed
Horse owners urged to oppose flawed equine welfare bill
Wednesday, September 10, 2008 3:22 PM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. - The Montana Farm Bureau is urging Montanans to contact the House Judiciary Committee in opposition of H.R. 6598, deceptively named the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act.
Now is the time to get off your hands and let all of the congressmen on the House Judiciary Committee know you oppose H.R. 6598, said Renee Daniels-Mantle, chair of the Montana Farm Bureau Equine Committee. If enacted into law, this bill would make it a federal crime to buy, sell, own, or transport a horse, alive or dead, with the intent to use it for human consumption. The crime would be punishable with a fine and up to three years in prison. This bill is moving fast."
The bill is moving fast.
"It came up only six weeks ago and is already going to be voted on by a committee Wednesday, Sept. 10," said Daniels-Mantle.
This bill is being driven by animal rights activits. Passing this bill is their way of attempting to permanently ban horse slaughter, said Daniels-Mantle.
This bill would affect the property rights of horse owners by taking away the value of their property with no compensation," she said. "It will flood the country with unwanted horses and offers no solution to the immediately necessary food, shelter, and care of 100,000 horses a year at a low estimate. This bill will ultimately take away a functioning system, based in an agricultural market, and replace it with a publicly funded welfare program with no solution and no existing funding or bureaucratic monitoring. Most importantly, it will immediately sentence thousands of horses to a long and slow death by starvation and neglect at a time when horse owners and range lands are least able to cope with the rising costs of fuel and feed.
Even the animal rights movement acknowledges there are too few sanctuaries to assimilate these animals. This means in the first year alone, the U.S. would need a minimum additional 2,700 such facilities, according to the American Association of Equine Practitioners.
At the same time, care standards at existing facilities are not set by USDA, and are lower than those at dog and cat shelters. Plus, it is estimated to cost over $2,000 per year to house and feed each abandoned horse, not including veterinary or farrier services. It will cost $127 million in just the first year to properly care for these animals if this legislation is enacted.
"The people who care the most and know the most about horses and their management should have the greatest influence on the laws that impact our industry and the animals we are devoted to," said Daniels-Mantle. "The animal rights movement has a well established and well-funded political machine already in place. Its voice is drowning out the voice of the horse industry. The time for horse owners to act is now.
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