Thursday, February 07, 2008

Bill promoting horse slaughterhouse in S.D. dies

The issue of horse slaughter has received plenty of coverage over the last few months as the last American facilities have closed, and the debate is not slowing down. In South Dakota, a state senator recently introduced a bill to allow $1 million in state loans to fund the building of a horse slaughterhouse there, and the response against it was overwhelming, reports Bill Harlan of the Rapid City Journal.

The bill died in a Senate committee last week, "but not before lawmakers sounded off about the hundreds of e-mails and telephone calls they received from out-of-state opponents," Harlan writes. The Animal Welfare Institute, a non-profit advocacy group in Washington, D.C., led the campaign against the bill. The group's Web site listed the numbers and e-mail addresses of the committee members and provided talking points. The committee's chairman said he received more than 1,000 e-mails and 600 calls in the space of two days. The bill was defeated after state officials testified against it, saying that it was unclear whether such a facility is even legal anymore in this country.

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Frank Kloucek, D-Scotland, defended his proposal, telling Harlan, "There's a market for it and a need for it." Kloucek said that because of the end of horse slaughter in the United States, there is more neglect and humane societies are "overwhelmed." (Read more)

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