Mystery of Trump’s nomination of Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture

MARCH AGAINST HORSE SLAUGHTER — For horses a lot hangs on who is eventually appointed as Secretary of Agriculture. Former George Governor Sonny Perdue was reportedly nominated but confirmation hearings still have not been set. So Perdue remains unconfirmed.

Although not a food animal in the US, the person appointed to head up the Agricultural Department will be in a powerful decision making position that could dangerously impact the lives of horses because of the slaughter issue.

Except for Bravo Packing in New Jersey where horses are reportedly killed for zoo meat etc (they do not return our calls), horses are not slaughtered on US soil. However, some 130,000 to 150,000 horses are sent across US borders a year for the purposes of slaughter. The resulting horse meat is freeze packed and shipped overseas for human consumption.

Horse lovers were concerned from the moment it was reported that Sonny Perdue was nominated to head up the US Department of Agriculture. Perdue is pro horse slaughter.

However, according to a Vox report Perdue has not actually been officially nominated.

Sonny Perdue, [ ] Trump’s nominee to serve as agriculture secretary, has not yet been confirmed, and nobody knows why.

It’s not that Democrats are obstructing his confirmation — since changes to the Senate’s filibuster rule, they can’t block a Trump nominee unless they recruit three Republican “no” votes. And in the case of Perdue — unlike, say, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos — they aren’t trying to do this. Nor are they resorting to extraordinary measures like the all-night debate that stalled Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s confirmation, or the committee walkouts that dramatized ethical issues hanging over the heads of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin or Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

The reason the Senate hasn’t yet approved his nomination is that he hasn’t actually been officially nominated yet. Paperwork hasn’t yet traveled down from the executive branch to the Senate, so no hearings have been scheduled, even though Perdue does not appear to be a controversial nominee.

There’s little to no reason to be hopeful Perdue will not eventually be nominated, or is there? Vox also reports:

Perdue’s nomination appears to be in limbo due to either the FBI background check or to financial conflicts of interest considered by the Office of Government Ethics. But it seems nobody is entirely sure whether there’s an actual problem, how serious the problem is, or whether the vetters are simply overwhelmed with other work.

In the meantime the USDA and others are in limbo until someone is nominated and confirmed.

In the meantime, US horses as ever are still at risk of slaughter and there seems no end in sight.

Sonny Perdue. Photo by Jason Getz / Getty Images.


Tuesday’s Horse
Trump picks former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to head up Agriculture; January 19, 2017.

Other Media
5 Reasons Why Food Experts Are Worried About Trump’s New Agriculture Secretary;; by Clint Rainey; January 2017.

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