FRANKFORT, KY — Kentucky is marketed as the Horse Capital of the World, the State with “unbridled spirit”, as seen in its logo.
Tragically, this unbridled spirit does not extend to the safety, well-being and benevolent treatment of the horses it so proudly hails as an integral part of its history, economy and culture.
Kentucky is renowned for its lack of animal protection laws and that extends to its horses. According to some, Kentucky ranks in the bottom five in animal welfare but most recently there have been claims it is at the very bottom.
Here are two examples involving racehorses. There are many more.
1. There is nothing on the books that governs how many times a racehorse can be whipped or for how long before it becomes cruelty or abuse, a Churchill Downs veterinarian smirked several years ago.
2. When PeTA exposed horrific acts of cruelty exposed in a shocking undercover video Kentucky horseracing officials were asked to review it, and claimed they saw nothing wrong.
Now the Kentucky State legislature is laying the groundwork to bring horse slaughter to Kentucky.
In February 8, 2017 Kentucky State Senator Robin Webb introduced SB 139. SB 139’s intent is to change the horse’s classification from a domestic animal to a livestock animal.
Updated March 8, 2017; 12:08 pm
Despite the news about the existence of SB139 going viral with people all across Kentucky contacting the State Legislature opposing the measure, the bill passed out of the Committee unanimously 15-0-0.
The next step is to send it to the full House for a vote. If it passes there the bill will be sent to the Governor to sign into law.
It’s not over yet. Please continue to speak out against this bill.
According to Horse Talk NZ, “Webb stressed the designation is important to make sure that horses are not classified as companion animals, similar to household pets. She emphasized that her bill did not deal with taxation, with the state’s 6-percent sales tax required when buying feed, bedding and equipment used for equines, with all other livestock exempt.”
Although Webb claims she has been “working on this for years”, what is this sudden appearing interest in changing the horse’s classification from domestic animal to livestock in Kentucky? Horse slaughter.
The current political climate in Washington DC has radically changed and not for the better concerning animals.
Lawmakers in the nation’s capital are already warning horse protection lobbyists like us that they feel it will be nigh to impossible to continue the defunding of USDA inspections necessary to export horse meat. If this happens, it throws the doors wide open to the return of horse slaughter on US soil.
Horses are not livestock and should not be deemed so.
Horses are not raised as food animals.
Horses are given numerous drugs which bars them from entering the human food chain.
Having horses re-classified as livestock would skirt the above issues and market toxic horse meat to unsuspecting consumers.
With the new restrictions put on the live export of horses for slaughter to Canada looming at the end of the month, Kentucky legislators in favor of SB 139 are already counting the money.
We also know from recent experience that there have always been plans if horse slaughter were to return to US soil that the horse meat would also be pedaled for institutional use such as prisons, mental institutions, nursing homes, elderly care facilities and even schools.
Say SB 139 has nothing to do with horse slaughter. It is still a terrible idea for horses to be re-classified as livestock. It would remove what few protections they have.
Stop them dead in their tracks.
KENTUCKIANS. MAKE THE CALL.
If you are a resident of Kentucky please telephone 1-800-372-7181 and state your opposition to SB139. Make your argument against it from any of the information above.
We must act quickly.
We are developing an intensive social media campaign to boycott Kentucky products such as the Kentucky Derby, the Kentucky Derby Festival, the Kentucky State Fair, the Kentucky Horse Park, Kentucky University basketball (i.e. UK, UofL, WKU) and Kentucky bourbon.
This campaign will hit the moment SB 139 makes it out of the State Senate.
If you would like to help, please let us know.
UPDATED 7:11 pm EST
We are receiving emails asking who Kentucky State Senator Webb is. She made an abuse headline in 2013, “State senator cited for violating Horse Protection Act“.
Here’s what the article stated in part:
According to the USDA’s database of Horse Protection Act violations, Webb was ticketed for violating the “scar rule,” which establishes criteria to look for certain scars on the horse that are considered evidence that a horse has been “sored” and is ineligible to compete. Webb, as owner, was cited as a responsible party for two horses, Air Force One and Showstopper.
There’s more. Remember the HSUS video that caught Jackie McConnell beating a Tennessee Walking horse? Webb defended him.
Last week, Webb told the Herald-Leader that the Tennessee walking horse has been “demonized,” particularly in light of a video, shot by an undercover investigator from the Humane Society of the United States, showing top walking horse trainer Jackie L. McConnell abusing horses in his Tennessee barn.
Webb said the footage, in which McConnell was shown striking tied-up horses in the face, was taken out of context.
“You don’t know what happened five minutes before or five minutes after. . . These are animals that are very dangerous,” Webb said. “Every breed has training techniques that animal-rights groups find offensive.”