FOTO FRIDAY — A man herds livestock including horses in heavy snow in Altay, Xinjiang Autonomous Region, China, on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. We can only begin to imagine what life is like for horses in that vast, remote country.
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.
• Supporters of Kentucky SB 139 respond to their critics in Blood-Horse article, March 18, 2017 »
FRANKFORT, KY — Take action. Contact Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin saying you OPPOSE SB 139 becoming law.
On March 15, 2017, SB 139, the Kentucky State Bill reducing horses to livestock — removing what precious few protections they have — was sent to the Governor’s Office to sign into law.
Kentucky already has an abysmal record when it comes to animal protection laws and enforcement. If this becomes law it may deliver a black eye to Kentucky that it may never recover from.
SB 139 passed both the Kentucky State Senate Agriculture Committee and Kentucky State House Agriculture unanimously.
We cannot find that a single negative vote was cast against a bill so insensitive to the well being of horses in the Kentucky State House or Senate although Kentuckians raised their voices in opposition to it.
The State legislator who introduced SB 139, Sen. Robin Webb (D-Grayson), and pushed it through is herself an animal abuser. In 2013 Webb was cited for violations of the Horse Protection Act for evidence of horse soring.
Another issue concerning SB 139 reducing the status of horses to livestock is that it paves the way for horses to be slaughtered in Kentucky.
Securing livestock classification has been among the top policy priorities of the Kentucky Equine Education Project since its 2004 creation. In horse circles KEEP is known to be pro horse slaughter.
A KEEP board member said, “I applaud the Kentucky legislature for their unanimous support of SB 139 and recognizing horses’ rightful place along side other agriculture commodities in Kentucky.”
Others in Kentucky’s horse industry who have cheered loudly and lustily in support of this move say it is only about tax breaks and incentives. However, they did not have to put Kentucky’s horses at risk to do this.
Kentucky lawmakers could have thought outside the box and elevated the horse’s status by giving them their own unique classification apart from other animals, then awarded members of the State’s horse industry with all the perks in the world, and at the same time set the standard for other States to follow.
However, this never occurred to any of them because they do not really value the horse at all.
All of this in a State who built its reputation on the back of the horse, is home to the Kentucky Derby and uses the horse in its logo.
CONTACT KENTUCKY GOVERNOR MATT BEVIN
State You OPPOSE SB 139 Becoming Law
Online Email Form
Main Line: (502) 564-2611
Fax: (502) 564-2517
TDD: (502) 564-9551
TRACK SB 139
In addition to the many excellent thoughts expressed on Tuesday’s Horse here are uncommonly good comments that stood out to us concerning SB139 the bill reclassifying horses as livestock.
“KEEP is just another pro-slaughter organization cloaked in the name of care and education by the racing community. Terribly disappointed they don’t value their horses enough to mandate humane euthanasia as an end-of-life protocol. AAEP is shameless. Veterinarians make a fortune off of horses and then instead of treating them to a humane death send them off to a slaughter plant … what cowards. I’d be interested to know if everyone on this thread has sat down and watched how horse is slaughtered… And if so how you could possibly justify it as a humane end-of-life. The livestock designation simply makes it easier to ship to kill and affords no protections whatsoever for domesticated Equine… Which to my knowledge is exactly what racehorses are. If KEEP had any moral compass they’d fight for a companion designation for our horses.” —SusanKayne
Read more about KEEP at So happy together: Supporters of Kentucky state bill SB139 »
“This mean a politician owns A slaughter plant?” —Bob in reply to SusanKayne
“The Senate chose to classify the horses with the word livestock so the people who gave them a lot of money can treat the horses with extreme abuse and extreme cruelty; just like they can get away with doing to the other animals, the cows and the pigs.” —Janine Hernandez
“Racehorses are domesticated. It is ridiculous for them to be classified as livestock and by doing so the racehorse virtually has very little, if any, protection for its welfare.” —Lehane in reply to Janine Hernandez
“What does this mean for horse abuse?” —ziggypop
“It gives the abusers the green light”. —Lehane in reply to ziggypop
Google search result. Photographer not cited.