Governor joins lawmakers in betraying Kentucky’s horses by tagging them as livestock

FRANKFORT, KY — On March 27, 2017, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed SB 139 into law.

Previous to SB 139 becoming law, Kentucky horses were categorized as domestic animals and had the protections that go with it. Not that animal protection is a high priority in Kentucky. Kentucky is in the bottom five of the country in animal protection; some put it last.

SB 139 tags Kentucky horses as livestock, a clear demotion in status and entitlement to desperately needed protections. It is clear to see what a sad day March 27, 2017 was for the horses of Kentucky.

In every legislative step taken for SB 139 to become law in Kentucky not a single negative vote was cast against it despite hearing from constituents strongly opposed to it. Of course, lawmakers in Kentucky may tell you differently. If they do they are lying.

Kentucky lawmakers may also tell you this is simply a necessary step towards awarding tax breaks down the line to horse owners in Kentucky. Again, untrue. This could have been done without reducing horses to livestock.

These same Kentucky lawmakers may also tell you that this has nothing to do with horse slaughter yet SB 139 conveniently opens the door to it.

We think it is a fair statement to say that the horse industry in Kentucky cares only about the money they make off these horses’ backs and precious little about the horses themselves. We see no evidence to the contrary. Where were they in all of this? Backing SB 139? Or will they now conveniently say that Kentucky lawmakers ignored them too?

The timing is interesting with the Kentucky Derby weeks away when the eyes of the world will be on Kentucky. How will they all be viewing this?

Now according to Kentucky the “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports” is run by a bunch of livestock.

RELATED READING

•  Supporters of Kentucky SB 139 respond to their critics in Blood-Horse article, March 18, 2017 »

So happy together — Supporters of Kentucky State bill SB 139 reducing horses to livestock status, March 7, 2017 »

Kentucky legislature setting the stage for the slaughter of horses with SB 139, March 5, 2017 »

 

 

 

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How ‘Black Beauty’ changed the way we see horses

Cross-posted from KERA News for North Texas
part of the NPR digital network

WRITTEN BY MICHELLE NORRIS

Horse in silhouette. Photo: iStockPhoto.com.
Horse in silhouette. Photo Credit: iStockPhoto.com.

NPR’s Backseat Book Club is back! And we begin this round of reading adventures with a cherished classic: Black Beauty by Anna Sewell.

Generations of children and adults have loved this book. With vivid detail and simple, yet lyrical prose, Black Beauty describes both the cruelty and kindness that an ebony-colored horse experiences through his lifetime — from the open pastures in the English countryside to the cobblestone grit of 19th-century England.

Sewell wanted the reader to see the world from a horse’s point of view and so Black Beauty tells his own story in these pages. His wise observations and unvarnished candor reveal much about both human nature and animal suffering.

Black Beauty was born at a time when horse power fueled almost everything: wars, agriculture, transportation, construction and factory work. Horses pulled barges. They hauled coal and granite. And they were also seen as a measure of wealth; the way one rode atop a stiffly controlled horse could convey style and stature. All of this meant horses were both exalted and often pushed past the point of exhaustion.

To better understand how Sewell’s book became a children’s classic and an animal rights manifesto we turned to Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jane Smiley, who has written several books about horses herself. Smiley also rides and grooms horses and has re-opened the pages of Black Beauty several times in her lifetime. The book, she says, offers different lessons in adulthood than when she first picked it up as a child. But Smiley says the central themes of courage, perseverance and the power of kindness are timeless.

“Black Beauty helped people see animals in a new way,” Smiley says. “As soon as you say that an animal has a point of view, then it’s very difficult to just go and be cruel to that animal. … [It showed] readers that the world is full of beings who should not be treated like objects.”

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This is a great gift idea, especially for young horse lovers. — Ed.

New AQHA equipment rules to ensure horse welfare

EDITED PRESS RELEASE

Cross-posted from TheHorse.com

Curb Bit with Chain. Google Image.
Curb Bit with Chain. Google Image. Photo not filed with original post.

The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Executive Committee has adjusted some rules regarding equipment use at all AQHA-approved shows and has approved a structure of fines and penalties that will be assessed to violators of these rules, the organization announced Sept. 14.

All of these changes are based on recommendations from the AQHA Animal Welfare Commission, which was appointed earlier this year by the Executive Committee to ensure the welfare of the American Quarter Horse. The Executive Committee also approved the Animal Welfare Commission’s definition of abuse: Any excessive and/or repetitive action to cause obvious distress or discomfort to a horse.

Beginning with the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show in November, the following training equipment, in addition to that listed in the AQHA rulebook, will not be allowed at any AQHA shows:

  1. Prohibited training equipment at all AQHA shows include riding in a curb bit without a curb strap, wire, or solid metal curb straps no matter how padded; wire cavessons; wire or cable tie-downs; bumper bits; metal bosals, no matter how padded; chambons; headstalls made of metal (even if encased in a protective material); twisted rawhide; rope (3/8-inch rope may be used with a slip [gag] bit with a smooth mouth piece only); running martingales with curb bits; or draw reins attached between or around the front legs;

  2. No one is allowed to ride a horse with a curb bit without a properly adjusted, approved curb strap or curb chain;

  3. A running martingale may be used with a snaffle bit only;

  4. Draw reins may be used on the show grounds as a training device so long as they are attached no lower than the elbow of the horse.

“The greatest danger to our industry is the inhumane treatment of our horses during their training and the resulting appearance in the show ring,” said Jim Heird, PhD, executive professor and coordinator of the equine sciences initiative at Texas A&M University and chairman of the AQHA Animal Welfare Commission.

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