Let’s double up our efforts in Washington for our horses

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Join us in doubling up our support of two bills pending in the U.S. House of Representatives (1) against horse slaughter and (2) against horse soring.

Double Up with Us.

If you have been following us you know we have been very busy in State legislatures across the U.S.

We are now working on bills pending in Washington D.C. that could significantly impact the health and safety of our horses.

Here are two ways you can truly influence legislation and make your voice heard. One involves cutting edge technology. The other is as old as Ma Bell herself.

Please take action by endorsing the following bills with your Representative in Washington.

• H.R. 113 against horse slaughter (the SAFE Act)

• H.R. 1847 against horse soring (the PAST Act)

We need to get at least a majority of the House to co-sponsor these bills — 218. Ideally, it would be highly advantageous to get 2/3rds so we can use a special procedure to bust them out of the Committees they are in and onto the floor for a vote.

We cannot continue to sit back and accept defeat as a given because of who is in office, or might be working against us, or that these are animal bills and not as important as the ones that impact human lives. They are important. Very important. The way we treat animals impacts their lives and the humans involved.

1. Sign up with POPVOX and endorse these two bills. That’s the cutting edge technology.

Legislators and their staff use PopVox. That means that they will see what you think and count your endorsements and oppositions.

And you will be able to follow the bills, see what others are saying, how many are who’s for or against them, a map showing support and opposition around the country, and more.

Or . . .

2. Telephone your Representative and ask them to co-sponsor these two bills. Yes, you heard us right. Call!

Calls are having more impact right now in Washington D.C. than any of us can recall and we’ve been at this nearly 15 years.

If you know your Representative call (202) 225-3121 for the U.S. House switchboard operator.

When you are put through, be sure to give your name and address to the person answering your Representative’s phone so they can identify you as a constituent. They may not ask! If you want a reply from your Representative you must request that too. It is not automatic.

Find your Representative here »

Whether via POPVOX or via the telephone you will get quicker action. Letters take forever. Automated pre-formulated messages often aren’t counted, or batched together and counted as one. Don’t waste your time.

And speak from the heart. That is what your legislators really want to hear. It may take a bit more time than a point and click message, but aren’t our horses worth the extra effort, especially considering how much is at stake with both of these bills?

From what we hear, some of you are doing both! We love it.

According to D.C. lawmakers who spoke at a rally last night, they are hearing from constituents in record numbers and they want more, not less — more. So let’s bring it on.

Remember these are bipartisan issues.

Double Up with a Donation

We have a dollar for dollar matching gift campaign going on right now that will help us put more boots on the ground in Washington D.C. visiting and talking with key legislators and their staff about these bills.

We have a big presence. Help us keep it and make an even bigger one.

Thank you so very much.

THE HORSE FUND
Visit Our Popvox Page


RELATED READING AND ACTION

If you wish to take further action, please see all the horse related bills pending in Washington »

Like to help out as a volunteer? Go here »

See also Help Us Get 2/3rds of the House to co-sponsor the PAST Act »

OTHER BILLS

While you are on PopVox or speaking with your Representative’s Office you may wish to support another bill, H.R. 1406, the Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act of 2017. This Act was introduced “To amend the Animal Welfare Act to prohibit the slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption”.  It is sickening to think we need to prohibit this but sadly we do.

ARTWORK
Horse by Bob Langrish. Image created by Vivian Farrell.

Take a stand with us on horse legislation pending right now in Washington

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Here is where The Horse Fund stands on horse legislation pending right now in the nation’s capital. We invite you to please join us.

THE 115th CONGRESS (2017-2018)

H.R. 113 — ENDORSE

THE SAFE ACT — Outlawing the slaughter of U.S. horses at home and abroad.

Committees: Referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce » Subcommittee on Health; Referred to House Agriculture Committee »  Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture (or essentially “four committeed”.

Co-sponsors: 86 (as of this writing).

Learn more and take action »  Or go straight to POPVOX and add your voice »

H.R. 1338 — OPPOSE

HORSE PROTECTION AMENDMENTS ACT

Introduced in the House on March 2, 2017 by:

Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-4-TN)
2301 Rayburn House Office Building
(202) 225-6831
https://desjarlais.house.gov/

No Summary. See https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1338/text »

Committee(s): House Energy and Commerce » Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection

Co-Sponsors: 10 (*Originating Co-Sponsors)

Rep. Barr, Andy [R-KY-6]* 03/02/2017
Rep. Black, Diane [R-TN-6]* 03/02/2017
Rep. Blackburn, Marsha [R-TN-7]* 03/02/2017
Rep. Comer, James [R-KY-1]* 03/02/2017
Rep. Duncan, John J., Jr. [R-TN-2]* 03/02/2017
Rep. Fleischmann, Charles J. “Chuck” [R-TN-3]* 03/02/2017
Rep. Guthrie, Brett [R-KY-2]* 03/02/2017
Rep. Roe, David P. [R-TN-1]* 03/02/2017
Rep. Rogers, Harold [R-KY-5]* 03/02/2017
Rep. Palazzo, Steven M. [R-MS-4] 03/17/2017

OPPOSE H.R. 1338. The intention of this piece of legislation is to weaken the PAST (Prevent All Soring Tactics) Act by putting inspections in the hands of the abusers in the gaited horse community. The co-sponsors are all proponents of Big Lick competitions and therefore the egregious cruelty that goes hand in hand with it.

See Roy Exum: “Our Horses vs. DesJarlais“; The Chattanoogan; July 27, 2016.  See alsoAHC Opposes Horse Protection Act bill introduced by DesJarlais” on their website.

— Alternatively SUPPORT H.R. 1847 (see below or go here).

H.R. 1804 — Under Review

RACE HORSE COST RECOVERY ACT OF 2017

Introduced in U.S. House on March 30, 2017 by:

Rep. Andy Barr (R-6-KY)
1427 Longworth House Office Building
(202) 225-4706
https://barr.house.gov/

This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to modify the accelerated depreciation allowance for race horses to allow a three-year recovery period for any race horse. (Current law limits the three-year recovery period to race horses placed in service before January 1, 2017, and race horses placed in service after December 31, 2016, that are more than two years old when placed in service by the purchaser.)

Committee(s) — House Ways and Means

Co-Sponsors: 0

• H.R. 1805 — Under Review

EQUINE TAX PARITY ACT OF 2017

Introduced in U.S. House on March 30, 2017 by:

Rep. Andy Barr (R-6-KY)
1427 Longworth House Office Building
(202) 225-4706
https://barr.house.gov/

This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code, with respect to the preferential tax treatment of gains and losses from the sale of depreciable property used in a trade or business, to eliminate “horses” from the definition of “livestock” (thus making the 24-month holding period requirement for livestock inapplicable to horses and allowing horses to be treated as capital assets subject to the existing 1-year holding period requirement).

Committee(s) — House Ways and Means

Co-Sponsors: 0

Comment: Isn’t it rich? While Kentucky State lawmakers rush a bill through reducing the status of Kentucky horses from that of a domestic animal to a livestock animal,  you have a U.S. Representative from Kentucky sponsoring a federal law that would “eliminate ‘horses’ from the definition of ‘livestock’ ” in the Internal Revenue Code. Which is it boys and girls?

Why can’t these brainiacs get together and give horses their own, unique and significant classification and build from there, not only elevating and protecting horses but also building in financial incentives for those who do so. Takers, anyone? —Editor.

• H.R. 1806 — Under Review

TO AMEND THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE OF 1986 TO ALLOW THE EXPENSING OF RACE HORSES

Introduced in U.S. House on March 30, 2017 by:

Rep. Andy Barr (R-6-KY)
1427 Longworth House Office Building
(202) 225-4706
https://barr.house.gov/

No written summary. Go here to read the Bill’s full text »

Committee(s) — House Ways and Means

Co-Sponsors: 0

H.R. 1847 — ENDORSE

THE PAST ACT — Closes the loopholes in the Horse Protection Act that will eliminate Big Lick animal cruelty.

Committee(s): Referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Co-Sponsors: 2o8 Originating Co-Sponsors; 220 Co-Sponsors as of this writing.

Read more and take action »  Or go straight to POPVOX and add your voice »

• H.R. 2032 — Under Review

COROLLA WILD HORSES PROTECTION ACT

Introduced April 6, 2017 by Rep. Walter C. Jones (R-NC-3). Co-Sponsors: 0. Referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.

Summary: This bill directs the Department of the Interior to enter into an agreement within 180 days with the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, Currituck County, North Carolina, and the state of North Carolina to provide for the management of free-roaming wild horses in and around the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge.

Sign up with POPVOX and add your voice, get notifications when something happens the bills that are important to you, read what others are saying and see a map of where support and opposition is around the country and more.

Check out The Horse Fund’s POPVOX page »

Discuss! Give us your thoughts and insights.


LEGISLATIVE RESOURCE: Congress.gov »

RELATED READING
• Why do Kentucky lawmakers appear to despise horses? »

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Horse by Bob Langrish. Artwork by Vivian Grant Farrell. © The Horse Fund.

March against horse slaughter continues at the State level

MARCH AGAINST HORSE SLAUGHTER — March 28 was Governor’s Day on Twitter. Keep tweeting.

Not on Twitter? Or want to give your Governor’s campaign on Twitter an extra kick?

WRITE ON

Contact your Governor’s Office via its website contact form and let your Governor know you are strongly opposed to horse slaughter and do not want it setting up business in your home State.

Visit the National Governors Association website and get started by clicking on your State.

If you prefer — and this is always a great idea — write and (snail) mail your Governor a heartfelt letter stating why you are against horse slaughter.

Tips on how to write a successful letter coming up in a bit. But first . . .

WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT

Perhaps you think horse slaughter is something that will never come to your State. You can never rule that out for certain.

Or perhaps there is already a law against horse slaughter in your State. These are likely to be the first States to try to return horse slaughter to US soil.

The final step for a bill becoming law is the Governor’s signature.

If there is no legal reason to impede horse slaughter from operating in your State so no legislation required, the Governor’s Office is still important.

Governors are always influential concerning what types of businesses are allowed to conduct themselves. Governors often can make sure something like horse slaughter happens or doesn’t happen.

Therefore it will be a great advantage if the Governor’s Office hears from a large number of citizens concerning horse slaughter well ahead of any legislative or business activities relating to it.

The sooner we start the better.

Former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue who looks to be the next Secretary of Agriculture is anti animal, pro factory farming and pro horse slaughter. Horse slaughter will definitely be on Perdue’s agenda.

BE PRECISE

When contacting elected officials it is highly important to be precise. Sum up what you are writing about — asking them to do — in the first sentence.

Difficult I know. We fight this too.

Then follow up with your supporting statements. End your letter thanking them with a repeat of what you are asking for.

Try to restrain yourself from inundating legislators with a lot of material and documentation.

Instead, let your recipient know that horse slaughter is a highly important issue and you have information at hand that supports your stand against it that may be very useful. When they ask for it then let them have it!

WHO ARE YOU?

Identify yourself. Make certain that your lawmakers and government officials know who is writing to them. Give them your full address so they can identify you as a constituent and provide either a telephone number or email address so they can get back to you.

Bear in mind. If you expect a reply, you must ask them for it to get it.

STATE LEGISLATORS

If you have established a relationship with your State legislators, drop them a note letting them know exactly how you feel about horse slaughter and that you wish them to be vigilant and prepared to take a stand against it.

If you do not know your State legislators, now is a great time to starting cultivating a relationship with them.

GOVERNOR’S TWITTER CAMPAIGN

Get involved. Learn how here.

THANK YOU

The production of horse meat is a predatory business causing great mental and physical anguish from the moment horses enter the slaughter pipeline culminating in a terrifying and agonizing death.

Thank you for giving your voice in defense of our horses.

Please share.

FEDERAL LEGISLATION

Coming up next. Get ready. Sign up for PopVox.com. All it takes is an active email address and password. Check out The Horse Fund’s page here. Check out HR113 on PopVox.

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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