URGENT ALERT: MONTANA CONSIDERS HORSE SLAUGHTER BILL
February 17, 2009
The Montana State House of Representatives is currently considering a bill that would enable the construction of horse slaughter plants in Montana – and which would severely restrict citizen action to oppose their construction. Introduced by Representative Edward Butcher (R-Winifred) , H.B. 418 flies in the face of American public opinion and fiscal responsibility.
Horse slaughter is a brutal and un-American trade in which our horses – animals not raised for slaughter – suffer enormously to satisfy the whims of high-end diners in Europe and Asia. So horrid is the trade that the country’s sole remaining horse slaughter plans (all European-owned) were shut down under state law in 2007. Meanwhile, the United States Congress is considering a federal ban that would permanently end the slaughter of American horses here or abroad. Montana Representative Edward Butcher and his supporters are seriously out of step with current thinking, yet the Montana House Agriculture Committee, which held a hearing on the bill last week, is poised to move the legislation out of committee as early as the end of this week.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
If you live in Montana, please take a moment to contact members of the House Agriculture Committee TODAY – with the exception of the bill’s sponsor - and ask them to OPPOSE H.B. 418. Contact information is shown below. Respectfully let them know that:
· The establishment of a horse slaughter plant in Montana would be fiscally irresponsible.
· There is currently a federal restriction in place – passed by the United States Congress – that would prohibit the federally required inspection of horsemeat, thus preventing its sale outside of Montana state lines.
· The United States Congress is expected to pass a federal ban on horse slaughter in the near future making this state bill irrelevant.
· H.B. 418 contains language, which would severely restrict the ability of American citizens from challenging the construction or operation of a horse slaughter plant. The restrictive language sets a dangerous precedent that could impact other sectors of civic life.
· Horse slaughter is a cruel and predatory business that purposely seeks out healthy horses; it does not provide a humane outlet for so-called “unwanted” horses as its proponents would like the public to believe.
· Americans don’t eat horses, nor do we raise them for slaughter. The vast majority of Americans oppose horse slaughter – and passage of H.B. 418 will be a proverbial black eye for Montana.
Montana House Agriculture Committee
Jopek, Mike (D) (Chair)Butcher, Edward (R) (Vice Chair) (H.B. 418’s sponsor – Do Not Contact)French, Julie (D) (Vice Chair)Bean, Russell (R)Belcourt, Tony (D)Caferro, Mary (D)Dickenson, Sue (D)Fleming, John (D)Furey, Timothy (D)Hoven, Brian (R)Howard, David (R)Kerns, Krayton (R)MacDonald, Margaret (D)McClafferty, Edith (D)Randall, Lee (R)Regier, Keith (R)Roundstone, J. David (D)Taylor, Janna (R)Wagner, Bob (R)Warburton, Wendy (R)
How to Contact Legislators
Call the Session Information Desk at 406-444-4800 to leave a message for as many as five legislators or one legislative committee per call. Your message will be delivered directly to the legislators. The TTY (Telephone Device for the Deaf) number is 406-444-4462.
You may send a message by clicking here: http://leg.mt. gov/css/sessions /61st/legwebmess age.asp.
You may also use the e-mail addresses provided with the legislative http://leg.mt. gov/css/Sessions /61st/roster. asp?HouseID= 0&SessionID=94% 20 and published in legislative guides.
Address letters to:Rep. XXXXMontana House of RepresentativesPO Box 200400Helena, MT 59620-0400
Please be sure to provide your Representative with your name and mailing address, and as a constituent, request a response on this issue. Please also share our “Dear Humanitarian” eAlert with family, friends and co-workers, and encourage them to contact their legislators, too. As always, thank you very much for your help.
Please note AWI's new address and telephone number.
************ ********Christopher J. HeydeDeputy Director, Government and Legal AffairsAnimal Welfare Institute 900 Pennsylvania Ave, SEWashington, DC 20003http://www.awionlin e.org/http://www.compassi onindex.org/