Horse Slaughter Prevention: A Question of EthicsPublished December 27, 2010
It is truly an abomination that the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act -- a pending bill -- has not yet been put into law. While the sale or purchase of horse meat is illegal in the USA, slaughtering horses in the United States remains legal, with the exception of California, Texas and Illinois, the only three states which have banned this cruel and inhumane practice. Since no Federal law yet exists preventing horse slaughter, their forward-thinking ban has no impact on the rest of the country. The Equine Cruelty Prevention Act would have made Horse Slaughter in the United States illegal, but this pending bill continues to keep dying in committee. Without the passage of this crucial law all horses remain at risk of falling into the hands of killer buyers. To illustrate the urgent need for legislators to finally take action to finally pass the Equine Cruelty Prevention Act, I was outraged when I read an article posted on the Americans Against Horse Slaughter Facebook page, featuring the news item concerning Sue Wallis, Wyoming State Representative, (R-Campbell) who, a few months ago announced her plan for her new business, under the name Unified Equine LLC. In this operation, horses will be slaughtered and their meat sold within the state of Wyoming. At the same time Wallis is promoting legislation that will favor horse slaughter operations. Wallis claims that all the horses that end up in her "state-of- the-art" slaughter plant will be thoroughly evaluated by veterinarians and trainers, and only those animals considered unusable, unsuitable for training or dangerous will be humanely "processed" Horse slaughter is anything but humane, so how is this possible? This writer also considers these plans a total conflict of interest. Dubbed by one of health department official as a "fraud," the legislation, named the "Food Freedom Act," is a bill that would end all regulation of food sold directly to consumers. This would not only permit Wallis' slaughter plant to sell uninspected horse meat, but also boost the sales of the Wallis family business which sells homemade jellies and syrups. Since American horses are not considered food animals, they are frequently treated with drugs, many of which are anti-inflammatory pain killers containing carcinogens, making them unsuitable for human consumption. But while Americans no longer eat horse meat, according to an article published on the Animal Coalition website in November 2010, Wallis proposed a law to force the uninspected meat on prisoners and school children. Fortunately, in an effort to prevent this travesty, according to the article, Patricia Fazio, PhD, a Wyoming resident, has filed a complaint with state officials in which she is "calling for an investigation of ethics laws and securities fraud" by Rep. Wallis. The complaint also questions Wallis' "use of 501(c)3 charitable designations to solicit funds for her promotion of horse slaughter." Wallis runs several organizations that are interrelated, change constantly, and has websites that seek funding for supposedly "educational" or "charitable" endeavors, but they appear to be highly political in nature and aimed at passage of laws from which she can personally benefit financially; such as horse slaughter. The complaint has been turned over to the Legislative Services for review, according to the Wyoming Minority Floor Leader, Rep. W. Patrick Goggles. The Wyoming Attorney General and the Secretary of State's Ethics Disclosure and Compliance Offices have been asked to investigate these allegations by Dr. Fazio, as well. Stay tuned for further updates. Share your opinions about this story in a comment.