Your Turn . . . 11-13-03
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When horse is the course
Thank you for your article "Neighsayers" [Pete Sherman, Nov. 6]. Having worked on this issue for several years, including helping to draft the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, a federal legislative horse slaughter ban, I am pleased to see the leadership of Rep. Bob Molaro. He realizes that horse slaughter is cruel and opposed by most Americans. Having witnessed unimaginable cruelty firsthand at the DeKalb horse slaughterhouse prior to its fire, I can attest to the need for legislation banning this terribly cruel industry. Ending horse slaughter is an important issue and is beginning to receive the serious attention it deserves.
I did want to comment on one statement in your article. You write, "Most horse owners seem to be ambivalent about the matter," but I think that couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, it is the horse owners who are driving this issue. In Texas it was horse owners from outside of the humane community who were the biggest supporters. That can be said of the situation in Illinois and most certainly from the federal perspective. I am also executive director of the National Horse Protection Coalition. The Coalition was founded a couple of weeks ago and is dedicated to ending horse slaughter in the U.S. Members of the group include horse industry organizations, humane groups and horse rescuers. [Opposition to horse slaughter] is a very broadly supported effort that continues to grow each day. For more information on horse slaughter and efforts to end it please visit: www.saplonline.org/Legislation/ahpa.htm
Society for Animal Protective Legislation
Federal legislation needed, as well
Thank you for publishing the article entitled "Neighsayers." It was very well written. I would like to add a few points.
The 42,000 number given by the USDA for horses slaughtered does not include the ones sent to Canada and Mexico for slaughter. The U.S. bill H.R. 857 would stop this practice as well as all slaughter in the United States. California has already passed a bill to outlaw horse slaughter and it has stopped approximately a third of the cases of horse theft and has not resulted in more cases of neglect and abuse. I urge everyone to call their U.S. Representatives and Senators and ask them to co-sponsor and support this bill.
Also it was stated that a captive bolt gun is as humane as a bullet. That is true with both only if they hit the mark the first time they are fired. This is often not the case with horses at slaughter plants as they are terrified when they smell blood and hear the screams of other horses and try to escape. They need to be properly restrained and/or sedated. This is not done.
Wealthy people in other countries should not be eating our noble horses.
Horses know no party
We do not raise horses to eat nor do we eat them. We are against horse slaughter and do not want to see [the Cavel International plant] reopen in the state we live in. Support Rep. Robert Molaro and [his bill] to stop the slaughter of horses for human consumption. It is not a Republican or a Democratic issue: it is an American issue.
Dan and Melissa Dietz
A lesson in character
Let's clone Nate Haasis, the quarterback for Springfield's Southeast High School. In the Nov. 2 edition of Oklahoma City's Sunday Oklahoman, I read a small news item in which Nate asked officials to erase his record-setting pass from the record books. It appears Nate discovered that his coach and the coach for Cahokia High School had conspired to allow him to make this pass with little or no opposition. Nate stated that he did not want to diminish the cooperation and hard work of his teammates.
It is a shame that a high school boy had to teach character to those hired to teach him. It is also a shame this was not a front-page item in my newspaper. . . .
The current business and political leaders in the United States could learn a much-needed lesson from this young man. Perhaps a good multiple cloning of Nate Haasis would help to ease the character shortage this country is currently experiencing.
Thank you, Nate, for the breath of fresh air.
Oklahoma City, Okla.
Two steps back for taxpayers
The Bush Administration's pandering to big business never stops. Just when you thought companies like Halliburton were fleecing taxpayers enough, along comes the President's Energy Bill.
I am wholeheartedly opposed to the Energy Bill going through Congress right now. It would give big oil companies over $10 billion in tax breaks and line the pockets of nuclear companies. The President's Energy Bill takes two steps back for American taxpayers and ten steps forward for big business.
Dr. Karen Troy