Courtesy of Fran Jurga
Has the nationwide obsession with the economy (Just how poor
am I? I dunno...how poor are you?) pushed some other close-to-the-heart issues
to the back burner?
A press release published Thursday in Washington informs us
that US Representatives Jim Moran (D-VA) and Elton Gallegly (R-CA) will
co-chair the newly formed "Congressional Animal Protection Caucus (CAPC)," a
bipartisan organization committed to raising awareness of animal welfare issues
in Congress. CAPC replaces the Friends of Animals Caucus that existed in
The press release says that, through non-partisan forums and
briefings, CAPC will seek to highlight important issues affecting animals and
upcoming animal welfare legislation. CAPC will also track the progress of
relevant legislation, provide members of Congress with dependable information,
and attempt to build broad coalitions in support of common-sense, humane animal
In the 110th Congress, the old caucus was instrumental in
the passing tougher animal fighting legislation and tightening animal welfare
regulations in the 2008 Farm Bill. Priorities for the 111th Congress include
beefing up legislation banning the slaughter of horses.
Meanwhile, west of the Beltway, some states--make that quite
a few states--are initiating states-rights or "home rule" resolutions
that could possibly lead to legalized horse slaughter in certain states.
Whether the slaughter they would like to usher in is for meat export purposes
is not clear; much of the legislation in Washington has been specific to
slaughtering horses for meat, slaughter advocates might find some loopholes.
One loophole that may be open is "on the hook"
export of horse carcasses, as is done in England, where export of horse meat,
per se, was stopped.
According to an article in Monday's Salt Lake Tribune, Utah is leading the pack of the
"horse slaughter resolve" states, while action is also in process in
the states of Arizona, Kansas, Minnesota, Wyoming, Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri
Utah's HJR7 voices the state's approval of the export of
horses for slaughter and has passed the House and Senate; the nonbinding
position statement will be sent to President Obama, both houses of Congress,
and Utah's congressional delegation.
Blogger's note: To refresh your memory, President Obama was
one of the sponsors of anti-horse slaughter legislation in the Senate that led
to the closing of foreign-owned US horse meat processing plants. What you may
not recall: The recently impeached governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, was
hailed by anti-slaughter advocates as a hero when he signed the order to close
the DeKalb slaughter complex in that state in 2007.
Blagojevich's role in anti-horse slaughter legislation was
generally overlooked in the controversy over his impeachment.
Now that Obama and Blagojevich have moved on (or up, or out,
as the case may be), slaughter advocates are obviously losing no time reversing
things in that state.
An upcoming vote by the American Quarter Horse Association
on March 9 adds to the slaughter story: slaughterhouse by-products include
uteruses from slaughtered mares that are required for cloning cultures. A
plentiful supply of viable uteruses is critical to the cloning industry and
adds to the complexity of both the horse slaughter and cloning debates, much as
does the medical use of human stem cells from warehoused embryos in the
If I had a crystal ball, I think I would be able to see the
stately columns of the US Supreme Court shining in its depths when I ask it
where the horse slaughter debate is headed.
Read more on The Jurga Report: http://special.equisearch.com/blog/horsehealth/
Blogger Fran Jurga is a freelance writer based in