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 »

 

 

 

Supporters of Kentucky SB 139 respond to their critics in Blood-Horse article

FRANKFORT, KY — Kentuckians please take action.

In an article posted online by the Blood-Horse [1] it states:

A Kentucky bill that would uniformly designate horses as livestock has been approved by both houses of the legislature and now awaits the signature of Gov. Matt Bevin.

Once the legislation (SB 139) becomes law, it would provide the groundwork for state lawmakers to move forward on related tax reforms that have the potential to save horse industry participants millions of dollars.

We reiterate. They need not change the horse’s status in Kentucky from a domestic animal to a livestock animal in order to accomplish this. They could have done the reverse.

Instead of demoting the status of the horse Kentucky lawmakers could have elevated it recognizing the contributions of the horse industry to the Commonwealth by giving the participants the tax breaks they seek.

This also from the same article:

Currently the sales taxes on horse feed and supplies generates about $18 million annually. All other livestock are exempt from sales tax on those same necessities.

Whose pockets are these millions coming out of? And this in a State that is routinely listed as one of the ten poorest in the US.

The Blood-Horse continues:

Sen. Robin Webb, an accomplished horsewoman from Carter County, sponsored the bill, which she said provides badly needed consistency across all statutes.

Sen. Robin Webb. Source: The Paulick Report.
Sen. Robin Webb. Source: The Paulick Report.

This statement is particularly rich. Webb is accomplished alright, accomplished in not only committing horse abuse but also publicly sanctioning it.

Webb was cited for horse soring violations, a particularly heinous type of abuse meted out to Tennessee Walking Horses [2]. She was called the “Big Lick Queen” in a Lexington-Herald Leader article [3]. Webb “even defended the horrifying tape that showed Jackie McConnell, who is now a felon, beating and torturing horses.” [4].

No, we do not want someone like Sen. Webb setting the standard for horse cruelty in Kentucky or anywhere else.  Kentucky lawmakers are surely aware of Webb’s background.

Here’s another look into how the notorious Webb thinks from the cited article:

“ . . . some animal rights groups have tried to position the legislation as a backdoor to permit horse slaughter.

“That is not what this bill is about,” she said. “There are other livestock animals that are not raised for food, like alpacas or llamas. Whatever else is being said is just rhetoric to sensationalize and raise money.”

Classifying an animal as livestock does not mean they will be slaughtered for food but they can be slaughtered for food. That opens the door.

Here is another interesting question. Why are kill buyers with feedlots in Kentucky who supply slaughter plants with horses happy about SB 139? But that’s only hearsay and can’t be relied on.

Kentucky Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne of Oldham County was noted as saying in the article:

Osborne also stressed the bill in no way opens a door for horse slaughter nor weakens any horse protection laws. He said the same day SB 139 was approved unanimously, the legislature also passed HB 200, which would make it easier for local officials to intervene and remove horses in abuse and neglect cases.

HB 200 was written to, “Amend KRS 525.130, relating to cruelty to animals in the second degree, to allow a court to order an offender to pay restitution for the upkeep of a horse involved in the offense and terminate the offender’s interest in the horse involved in the offense.” [5]

Getting a court order is very difficult as we have seen in past horse abuse cases across the country concerning all breeds but particularly in Tennessee and Kentucky. We will be testing this at once should it become law and see if it actually helps.

Then there’s these individuals from Kentucky Equine Education Project:

KEEP chairman Corey Johnsen. “Many KEEP members have been instrumental in getting this legislation to this point, but we owe particular recognition to Frank Penn for being a tireless leader and advocate on this issue from the start.”

“Having horses and equines included as livestock in Kentucky law has been a key policy priority for KEEP since its founding over 12 years ago,” said Penn, a KEEP board member and chairman of the organization’s Equine Sales Tax Equity Task Force. “I applaud the Kentucky legislature for their unanimous support of SB 139 and recognizing horses’ rightful place along side other agriculture commodities in Kentucky.”

The horses’ rightful place along side other agriculture commodities in Kentucky. You get the drift, right?

If Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signs SB 139 into law, we are ready to take immediate action to test these ideas.

We will see what their motivation truly is. Perhaps they will prove us wrong. Nothing would make us happier.

In the meantime, if you are a Kentucky resident please take action. Do not delay! See below.

[1] https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/220493/livestock-designation-for-horses-vital-for-kentucky
[2] http://www.kentucky.com/news/business/article44397153.html
[3]http://www.chattanoogan.com/2013/1/23/242756/Roy-Exum-Senator-Just-Like-Lance.aspx
[4] See also 3.
[5] https://legiscan.com/KY/bill/HB200/2017

KENTUCKIANS CONTACT GOVERNOR MATT BEVIN
Tell Him You OPPOSE SB 139 Becoming Law — VETO SB 139

Online Email Form

http://governor.ky.gov/Pages/contact.aspx

Twitter @GovMattBevin

Phone/Fax
Main Line: (502) 564-2611
Fax: (502) 564-2517​
TDD: (502) 564-9551

TRACK SB 139
https://legiscan.com/KY/bill/SB139/2017

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Google search result. Unattributed.

Uncommonly good comments on Kentucky bill 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

Comment Source: http://www.paulickreport.com/news/the-biz/kentucky-senate-agriculture-committee-passes-bill-designate-equines-livestock/

TAKE ACTION

Keep the momentum against this bill going. Track SB193 here.

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Google search result. Photographer not cited.

So happy together — Supporters of Kentucky State bill SB139 reducing horses to livestock status

MARCH AGAINST HORSE SLAUGHTER (KENTUCKY) — Here are quotes from the Paulick Report regarding Kentucky state bill SB139 from groups and individuals openly excited about the prospect of Kentucky horses being reduced to livestock status. There is an Action Alert for Kentuckians immediately following.

From our experience many of them are pro horse slaughter. We don’t know any of them that are against it. They haven’t publicly said so that we can find. If they have and we missed it, please let us know.

Let’s start off with KEEP and the person who put the bill together and is pushing it through.

“Securing livestock classification of horses and equine has been among the top policy priorities of the Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), since being founded in 2004.”

Per Sen. Robin Webb of Grayson County who sponsored Senate Bill 139: “Our statutes have been historically inconsistent with the designation of the horse as livestock. We have the support of AAEP, which has taken this position publicly, as well as our major horse-industry groups,” Webb told her fellow committee members before their vote, referencing the American Association of Equine Practitioners, which represents veterinarians of all horse breeds and disciplines.”

The AAEP have been pro horse slaughter as long as we have been advocating for horses. We are in our 14th year.

Agriculture commissioner Ryan Quarles, who represented Scott County as a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives, applauded the action.

“As chair of the horse farm subcommittee in the Senate, I couldn’t vote any other way on this legislation,” said Sen. Steve West, who lives in Paris and whose district includes some of the most famous Thoroughbred farms in the world. “Basically, it’s equity and fairness for the horse industry.”

Said Thayer [Sen. Damon Thayer, the Republican’s majority floor leader from Georgetown]: “I think horses are livestock, and should be treated as such in the tax code. I’m hopeful some day, when we do tax reform, we can get tax parity for the equine industry. I think this bill is a good step in the right direction.”

All about the horse industry, never about the horses. More on that coming up.

In the meantime, listen to this joker.

Said Sen. Dorsey Ridley of Henderson, whose district includes Ellis Park: “It just puts them all (livestock) in one classification. It’s an effort to make sure that horses are certainly not taken advantage of, but by the same token, it’s to protect our property. I was glad to be a part of it. It is a big thing for the Thoroughbred industry — and for all horses.”

Someone please explain to me why he and these others are so glad to see Kentucky horses reduced to livestock status? What more is going on here to make them all so joyous?

But here’s the worst of the bunch.

They is nothing benevolent about these folks. It sickens us that they use the word “horsemen” in describing themselves. They always seem to be for anything that is bad for the horse and against anything that is good. They have also been pro horse slaughter insofar as we have seen these many years.

“This legislation is a significant step for the horse industry and our membership,” said Martin Maline, executive director of the Kentucky division of the Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, which represents about 6,000 owners and trainers involved in horse racing in the commonwealth. “The livestock designation offers other important protections for everyone who owns and works with horses. We applaud members of committee, and hope Senator Webb’s bill sails through the full Senate and state legislature.”

“. . . protections for everyone who owns and works with horses.” Naturally.

If this is all about tax breaks, then why not simply prepare legislation now to bring this about?

Perhaps they are simply paving the way for this by getting the horses’s classification changed first. We simply don’t believe it.

Has it ever occurred to these geniuses that they could do something to benefit the horses for a change?

Where is their vision?

The horse industry could pave the way for a future that is kinder and more appreciative by giving horses their own unique status with all the tax perks and other entitlements they deserve — elevate their status not lower it. And still make plenty of money. Bushel loads of it.

What better place than Kentucky to set the highest possible standard for horses and reward everyone who is involved in their lives?

Simply put, it has not occurred to these people because the US horse industry including Kentucky is mired in callousness, greed and corruption. They care nothing about the horses they use. Absolutely nothing. Or they wouldn’t reduce the Kentucky horse’s status to livestock putting them more in harm’s way than ever removing precious protections.

To people of this ilk horses are just something they can grind out, use up, and destroy — preferably getting that last drop of blood money out of them on their way out.

By the way, look who else is excited about SB139 apart from the ones in the Paulick Report. Kentucky Food and Farm Files. Why is that? See http://kyfoodandfarm.blogspot.com/.

CALL TO ACTION KENTUCKY

We invite Kentucky residents to call (800) 372 7181 and leave a recorded message for your Kentucky State Representative (not your Senator this time) or use their contact form saying you OPPOSE SB139.

You must act right away. The clock is ticking. You can call or write to them online anytime day or night. How about right now?

If you need more information please go here: http://horsefund.org/ky-sb139.php.

Tip: We write down what we are going to say before we call. It is a very important issue and we want to present ourselves the best way we can on behalf of these horses. Speak from your heart as well as your head!

WHAT WE HEARD TODAY

We spoke with numerous Kentucky State Senators and Representatives today.

Nine of the 13 stated without prompting that they see how this change in status from domestic animal to livestock can pave the way for horse slaughter in Kentucky and felt this might be an underlying part of SB139’s goal, or at least a convenient byproduct. The other four when we asked them agreed with those sentiments to the letter.

All 13, even the ones who admitted they voted for SB139, stated that this change in status will negatively impact the standard of living of Kentucky horses without horse slaughter and of course definitely with it. And this in the self-proclaimed horse capital of the world.

Important! Some of them stated they voted for SB139 because they did not hear from a single constituent about it.

Get on the phone Kentuckians! Make your voices heard on behalf of the horses.

QUOTE SOURCE
http://www.paulickreport.com/news/the-biz/kentucky-senate-agriculture-committee-passes-bill-designate-equines-livestock/

IMAGE SOURCE
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