How a bill becomes law

Interior of the Capitol Hill dome, Washington D.C.

Who remembers Government class or Civics? Or do they even teach them any more?

It seems a large percentage of American citizens do not know how a bill becomes law. When we started, some of us at the Fund for Horses did, but most of us had very little clue.

We were in good shape though from the beginning because the founder of the Fund for Horses worked for 20 years in the legal profession. A lawyer she worked for was the author of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and she was active from the time the bill was drafted and introduced until it became law. It was great experience for her future work in horse protection which she had no idea she would be involved with at the time.

As constituent lobbyists working for (or against) laws that impact the health and safety of horses, the more knowledgeable you are, the better an advocate you will be. Now, this does not mean you need to become an expert by any means, but it will be helpful if you have a general idea.

Action Station

If you are working on the anti slaughter and anti soring bills, please check out the following resources which we feel certain will help you a great deal. There are also loads of helpful links. Here are handy resources from our Take Action page:

• Pending Legislation (https://fundforhorses.org/advocacy-tools/pending-legislation/)

• Calling Congress (https://fundforhorses.org/advocacy-tools/calling-congress/)

• How a Bill Becomes Law (https://fundforhorses.org/advocacy-tools/how-a-bill-becomes-law/)

PopVox

POPVOX is an online constituency tool for tracking bills and contacting your Representative and Senators guaranteeing your voice will be heard and counted. We have been with them since they launched in 2010.

Visit our Stakeholder’s page at https://www.popvox.com/stakeholders/horsefund. You will find all horse legislation pending right now before Congress (there’s more than just the anti slaughter and anti soring bills), whether we endorse the bills or oppose the bills and why including detailed talking points.

Create a POPVOX account with an email and password. Weigh in on any and all legislation you want — not just those having to do with horses — and POPVOX will deliver your message directly to your legislators, guaranteed. Oh, did we mention when you sign up POPVOX identifies your legislators for you and stores it right there on your account, so you never need to look them up again! Even if they get booted out and someone else gets elected in their place.

No. We are not getting paid to promote them. We just love them. They make everything so easy. And that’s the truth.

Thank you so much for helping our horses by taking action right away.

Oh. Remember it’s the Senate version of the horse soring bill only, but both House and Senate on the horse slaughter bill. Learn more here or at POPVOX.

Or

Forgot. You can also find and contact your U.S. Representative at https://www.house.gov/ and your two U.S. Senators at https://www.senate.gov/.


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Republican cosponsors and the SAFE Act

US Capitol Dome and Flag.

Calling all Americans. Do you have a Republican Representative in the U.S. House? If so, help boost Republican support of the SAFE Act by asking your Representative to cosponsor H.R.961. Here’s why.

There are 435 voting members in the U.S. House. 218 equals a majority. As of this writing the SAFE Act has 228 cosponsorsHowever, in order to take advantage of the Consensus Calendar rule that moves a bill out of all its assigned Committees and accelerates it to a vote, we must achieve 290 cosponsors.

Here are the House Republican Representatives who have already cosponsored H.R.961 as of this writing:

Republican Party— Alphabetical

Rep. Barr, Andy [R-KY-6]

Rep. Buchanan, Vern [R-FL-16] (Originating Cosponsor)

Rep. Budd, Ted [R-NC-13]

Rep. Calvert, Ken [R-CA-42]

Rep. Chabot, Steve [R-OH-1]

Rep. Collins, Chris [R-NY-27]

Rep. Fitzpatrick, Brian K. [R-PA-1]

Rep. Gaetz, Matt [R-FL-1]

Rep. Gonzalez, Anthony [R-OH-16]

Rep. Hill, J. French [R-AR-2]

Rep. Joyce, David P. [R-OH-14]

Rep. Katko, John [R-NY-24]

Rep. King, Peter T. [R-NY-2]

Rep. Mast, Brian J. [R-FL-18]

Rep. Posey, Bill [R-FL-8]

Rep. Reschenthaler, Guy [R-PA-14]

Rep. Rutherford, John H. [R-FL-4]

Rep. Schweikert, David [R-AZ-6]

Rep. Smith, Christopher H. [R-NJ-4]

Rep. Stefanik, Elise M. [R-NY-21]

Rep. Stewart, Chris [R-UT-2]

Rep. Stivers, Steve [R-OH-15]

Rep. Tipton, Scott R. [R-CO-3]

Rep. Turner, Michael R. [R-OH-10]

Rep. Van Drew, Jefferson [D-NJ-2]

Rep. Waltz, Michael [R-FL-6]

Rep. Zeldin, Lee M. [R-NY-1]

Source: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/961/cosponsors

Take action

Is your U.S. House Representative on the list above? Good. If not, please contact your Representative and ask them to cosponsor H.R.961, the SAFE Act.

Not sure who they are? Find your U.S. Representative on the House website here using your 9-digit zip code. Click on their name and you will be taken to their website where you can use their constituent contact form.

Calls are superior to the action above. Telephone the Capitol Hill switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and request to be put through to your Representative by name. Note: They will not look it up for you.

When you reach their office, be sure to ask for and speak with the Aide in charge of H.R.961, the SAFE Act, request cosponsorship and give them the reasons why. Make sure to leave your name and telephone number with them (and email address if they want it) before you hang up.

Talking points at PopVox

For talking points why the passage of the SAFE Act is so important, please see our PopVox Stakeholders page. Also, with an email address and password you can join PopVox (the voice of the people) for free and weigh in on all legislation important to you, and your message is delivered directly to your legislators, guaranteed.

Everybody

Everybody by all means, take part. Your Representative does not need to be a Republican to take action. The reason our plea is made in this particular way is that we must rally more Republican support. Every extra Republican cosponsor we achieve will be like gold.

Toxic horse meat

Surely with the coronavirus situation anyone can see how dangerous and highly immoral it is not to shield humanity from conduct that potentially threatens human health — especially with foodstuffs — situations which can be so easily avoided. Rest assured. There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that meat from American horses is toxic and not fit for human consumption. Learn more at “Ban Toxic Horse Meat”.

In the meantime, have you ever wondered why countries on the receiving end of toxic U.S. horse meat do not ban it? Answer. Horse meat sales make huge sums of money and they prize their pocketbooks above the health of their citizens. That, however, does not release us from our responsibilities and continue to send horses to slaughter for human consumption full of banned drugs proven toxic to human health.

About H.R.961

H.R.961, The Safeguard American Food Exports (the SAFE Act), is federal legislation that would prevent the horse slaughter industry from reestablishing operations in the U.S. and prohibit the export of American horses abroad for slaughter.

The SAFE Act was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Feb. 4, 2019 and referred to two committees: the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Committee on Agriculture. On March 1, 2019, it was referred to the Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture.


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Listen to BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meeting

Pinto foal.

It’s going on now. Today and tune in again tomorrow.

The horsemeat scandal and American horses

Meat in grinder. By Danielle Scott.

Do you remember the horse meat scandal of 2013? I don’t think saying it sent shockwaves around the world is much of an overstatement. Horsemeat masquerading as beef!

But should it have been, really? Accurate and reliable food labeling has long, long been a problem in many countries.

Findus was front and center of many of the horsemeat scandal reports. But so was Aldi.

“Aldi (among other food vendors) had an issue back in February 2013 with a supplier who provided them with horsemeat-tainted products, but that issue has since been resolved and did not affect consumers in the U.S.”[1]

As the story unfolded, the horsemeat scandal that affected Aldi and other food vendors in Sweden, France and the UK reportedly stemmed from their unknowingly receiving horsemeat-tainted products from the supplier Comigel, who in turn blamed the problem on a subsupplier.

Comigel CEO Erick Lehagre told French news agency Agence France-Presse that his company had been “fooled” by a French supplier. “We were victims,” he said, according to AFP.

Naturally.

The words “contamination” and “tainted” hardly covers the extent of the issue especially concerning the amount of horsesmeat found. Subsequent testing determined that the contaminated Comigel products sold by Aldi and others contained 30% to 100% horsemeat instead of beef.

WHAT ABOUT THE U.S.?

In a 2015 Money Talks News article entitled, “Horse Meat Found in Other Ground Meat Sold in U.S.”, they reported:

“Research into the mislabeling of meats has uncovered horse meat mixed in with other ground meat sold in the U.S. commercial market.

“For a study of ground meat products sold in the U.S., researchers from the Food Science Program at Chapman University in California analyzed 48 samples and found that 10 were mislabeled.

“One sample was entirely mislabeled with regard to what type of animal meat it contained. Nine samples had meat from an additional type of animal mixed in. In two of those cases, the mix contained horse meat, which is illegal to sell in the U.S.”[2]

Where did the horsemeat come from and how did it get there? European countries aren’t the only ones with serious issues. We the public cannot really safely assume that any of this has been truly rectified and not going on right now, undetected.

HORSEMEAT SCANDAL TRIAL

The Guardian reporting on the horsemeat scandal trial in January 2019, states:

“The trial of four people accused of an elaborate fraud that tricked consumers into buying ready-made meals containing horsemeat instead of beef has opened in Paris.
An international scandal erupted in 2013 when the mislabelled food was discovered by the Irish authorities in frozen burgers labelled “pure beef”.

“A wider investigation found horsemeat in ready-made meals on sale in several high-street supermarkets in Britain and in pre-prepared dishes across Europe, including those used by hospital caterers and in school lunches.

“About 4.5m dishes – including lasagne, moussaka, chilli con carne and beefburgers made with horsemeat passed off as beef – were believed to have been distributed around 13 countries.[3]

13 countries!

Those in the dock were accused of:

“. . . having sold the meat as “boned beef” that had been cut and prepared in France, while allegedly knowing it was horsemeat that had been treated in Romania, Belgium or Canada.”[4]

The BBC reported:

“The four men are accused of helping organise the sale of more than 500 tonnes of horsemeat in 2012—2013 to a subsidiary of Comigel, a French company whose frozen meals were sold in more than a dozen European countries.”

Another “is also accused of selling more than 200 tonnes of horsemeat mainly in the form of beef merguez sausages.”[5]

The BBC also posted a handy timeline concerning the horsemeat scandal. Pay particular attention to 3.

HORSEMEAT SCANDAL TIMELINE

• In mid-January 2013, Irish food inspectors said they had found horsemeat in some burgers stocked by UK supermarket chains
• Up to 100% horsemeat was then found in several ranges of prepared frozen food in the UK, France and Sweden
• There were concerns that a drug used to treat horses, and which may be harmful to humans, could have entered the food chain
• Meat was traced from France through Cyprus and the Netherlands to Romanian abattoirs
Investigations suggested the adulteration was not accidental, but the work of a criminal conspiracy

The third point is a highly important one. Up to this point little to nothing was said about the horsemeat potentially being contaminated because of the drug Bute, the drug they no doubt were referring to.

GUILTY AS CHARGED

On April, 16, 2016, DW.com reported:

“A Paris criminal court on Tuesday found four men guilty of falsely labeling horsemeat as beef, handing down fines and jail time for the role they played in a Europe-wide food-fraud scandal.

“The scandal resulted in millions of industrialized beef dishes being pulled from supermarket shelves after it was discovered that they contained horsemeat despite being labeled as beef. The scam involved importing cheap horsemeat from Belgium, Romania and Canada.”[6]

TAINTED HORSEMEAT REMAINS

Meat from U.S. horses is tainted and will always be so. They are administered a laundry list of drugs which bar their meat from entering the human food chain.

Speaking of horsemeat entering the human food chain knowlingly and surreptitiously Foodwatch.org states:

“But six years after the horse meat scandal, the situation is still unsatisfactory and it is urgent that steps are taken to go much further.

“In theory, the traceability of food throughout the supply chain must be guaranteed. In reality, this is far from being the case.”

HORSE SLAUGHTER BAN

It is high time the U.S. takes the lead on this issue. It is time we take responsibility and stop being a chief supplier of toxic horsemeat dangerous for human consumption by banning the slaughter of our horses.

PENDING U.S. LEGISLATION

H.R. 961, the Safeguard American Food Exports Act of 2019 (The SAFE Act)[8], when it becomes law, will ban the slaughter of American horses for human consumption at home and across our borders.

Regardless of anyone’s personal feelings about horse slaughter (is it right or is it wrong?) it is certainly the right thing morally and ethically to ban toxic U.S. horsemeat from entering the human food chain.

The passage of the SAFE Act is designed for and will accomplish this.

TAKE ACTION

Contact your U.S. Representative today and ask him or her to cosponsor and vote H.R. 961 into law. Go here for more information.

MAKE A DONATION

Please make a donation to The Horse Fund, the publishers of Tuesday’s Horse, who are monitoring horse related bills like H.R.961 in Washington D.C., and lobbying hard for their passage. We have a tremendous opportunity this Congress to finally outlaw the slaughter of American horses. Let’s do it!
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[1] https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/outdated-full-horse-dinner/
[2] https://www.moneytalksnews.com/horsemeat-found-other-ground-meat-sold/
[3] https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jan/21/horsemeat-scandal-paris-fraud-trial
[4] See 3.
[5] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46951855
[6] https://www.dw.com/en/paris-court-hands-down-convictions-over-2013-horsemeat-scandal/a-48359348
[7] https://www.foodwatch.org/en/news/2019/horse-meat-trial-judgements-made-after-six-years-but-another-scandal-is-possible/
[8] https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/961

BANNED DRUGS IN SLAUGHTER HORSES
https://horsefund.org/resources/Banned_Drugs_Slaughter_Horses_Report.pdf (3pp)

FEATURED IMAGE
Meat in grinder. Danielle Scott.