As the sale of the historic Wounded Knee site looms with several offers on the table for owner James Czywczynski, the Oglala Sioux Tribe has moved to seize the land using eminent domain, according to a report by Brandon Ecoffey, the managing editor
of Native Sun News.
In addition to this development, a petition on a Care2 website claims that one of the parties interested in purchasing the site wants to build a horse slaughtering plant and has garnered more than 38,000 signatures. According to Denise Mesteth, Tribal Land Office Director, the tribe is intending to seek recovery of the Wounded Knee site through eminent domain, however the claims that the tribe would allow a horse slaughterhouse to be built on or near Wounded Knee were false.
“That isn't right; it is definitely a misleading petition. It is amazing how rumors get around. This may have been an effort to hinder the eminent domain move,” said Mesteth.
On May 16, the council voted 14-0 to file in federal court to seek the land owned by Czywczynski. While eminent domain is an action where a government utilizes its power to seize the private property of an individual or group of people for use by the state, some tribal law experts say this might be an exercise in futility. But Mesteth says, “It’s all we’ve got.”
Speaking under the condition of anonymity, a federal Indian law attorney in Washington, D.C. told Ecoffey that the likelihood of eminent domain working for the tribe in the case of Wounded Knee was low. “It would be very hard for me to see the tribe pull this off,” the source said. “If this was truly a viable option for tribes then it would be extremely easy for tribes to consolidate their land bases. They could simply seize whatever they wanted from non-members within the confines of the reservation,
provided they pay just compensation. Who determines what just compensation is?”
Czywczynski told ICTMN he is waiting for a specific buyer to purchase the land for the benefit of the tribe. “There are others that are waiting to buy this property, but I am waiting for this person who is buying it for the benefit of the tribe. I want the tribe to have this property,” he said.
Mesteth did confirm that there is a submitted initiative by tribal members to consider a horse slaughterhouse, but it would not be built on the site of Wounded Knee even if it were approved. She also said any possibility that the tribe would build on Wounded Knee were unfounded and that the tribe was putting measures in place to protect the site.“There was a move on the council floor this Tuesday [May 28] to create a three-mile radius buffer for all additional development in the area of Wounded Knee,” she said. Mesteth says the creation of a horse slaughterhouse is only an initiative that was presented to the tribal council and that any such thing would need to be presented to all of the tribal districts and approved before anything moved forward.
“We are not saying any of this will happen, the plan is not to use horses on a reservation and they are not going to just pick them up off the range and take them to the slaughterhouse, they will buy from the sale house,” she said. Mesteth says, because there are no slaughterhouses in the United States because they have been outlawed since 2007, it would create a revenue opportunity for the tribe.“There is only one in Mexico and one in Canada. The market is high now because I guess there is a foreign market for horse meat, although I wouldn’t eat it. All this said, it will bring jobs and some kind of revenue to our reservation,” she said.
The controversial horse-drawn carriage trade in New York City continues to be the subject of debate and has become an issue in the mayoral contest, which will be decided in November.
Since 2006, every online poll has shown between 75 and 80% of respondents favor a ban of this inhumane and unsafe business. New Yorkers and tourists alike are saying “Enough!” It is the politicians who are holding things up. And if the powers that be do not see fit to do anything about ending operations, at least they should acknowledge and do something about all the horses who get used up.
A new study conducted by the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages shows that over the past eight years, there was a turnover of at least 529 carriage horses who did not have their license renewed by the NYC Department of Health (DoH), the agency charged with oversight of these animals. The only reason horses come off the registry is when they are sold or died.
Some 200 horses are registered with the DoH annually. For 529 to have no accountability is deeply disturbing. This averages out to 71 horses a year over 7 ½ years. The NYC Administrative Code – Section 17-329 does not require the names of buyers if the horse is sold outside New York City as most are and the DoH does not maintain documents or a database containing a list of horses who are no longer in the system.
Not all horses are as fortunate as one named Billy, a former NYC carriage horse. After being sold to a kill buyer at New Holland in Pennsylvania, he was rescued/repurchased by the Coalition in 2010 and is now living out his golden years in peace—appropriately renamed Bobby ll Freedom—at Equine Advocates Sanctuary in Chatham, NY. It is very possible a horse could go either directly or indirectly to the auctions, which are frequented by kill buyers who supply slaughter houses. The Equine Welfare Alliance reports that 176,223 US horses were sent to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico in 2012 where their meat was processed to be sent overseas for human consumption.
A BILL THAT COULD HAVE HELPED:
In 2011, the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages asked Council Member Melissa Mark Viverito to sponsor a bill, Intro 670, that would require that carriage horse owners abide by certain rules when selling their horses – i.e. to be accountable for the horses’ fate. The owner would be required to sell or donate his or her horse to a private individual or sanctuary with a contractual agreement that the animal would be kept as a companion animal, not be sold or employed in another carriage
business. The horses could not be sold at auction. The DoH would require complete records. The press conference for
the proposed legislation was canceled the night before by Speaker Christine Quinn and the bill subsequently died. Quinn has been a staunch supporter of the carriage trade and has ultimate power in the City Council. Bills do not go anywhere without her support.
Since that time, more than 116 horses – who would have been protected had it passed – have fallen off the rolls to uncertain fate.So where do we go from here? If the powers that be do not see fit to do anything about shutting down this inhumane and unsafe business, at least they should acknowledge and do something about all the horses who get used up. But will they?
Do they care enough about these horses or will they continue to delude themselves into thinking it is a viable tourist attraction.
>> Read More
Iowa Voters Strongly Oppose Slaughter of Horses for Human Consumption According to New Research. 71% of Iowa voters are opposed to the slaughter of U.S. horses for human consumption, and 76% do not want a horse slaughter plant in their community.
"Iowa voters affirm what we learned in New Mexico and Missouri and what we discovered through national polls as well – an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that our horses deserve more than to be shuttled off to a gruesome death and served abroad as a toxic delicacy," said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations.
"With 71 percent of all registered voters in the state opposed to the slaughtering of American horses, opening a slaughterhouse in Iowa would be a tragic mistake, as voters have clearly stated that they would not support such a facility. Using precious tax dollars to enable the inhumane practice of horse slaughter on U.S. soil is irresponsible, and we urge legislators to take note and enact a permanent ban on horse slaughter."
Read Full ASPCA Press Release
Senator Mark Hass (D-Beaverton) has introduced Senate Bill 835 after seeing a video from 2012s Big Loop Rodeo in Jordan Valley. Activist group SHARK (SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness) from Geneva, Illinois filmed and released the video last year. It documents a bucking horse that broke its leg as well as several horses falling violently to the ground during the event. The Bill would outlaw 'horse-tripping', something opponents claimed wasn't happening here in Oregon before the gruesome video was released.
Last year, those same opponents were able to stop the attempt to ban the practice. The act, performed at rodeos for entertainment, involves roping a galloping horse by the neck and legs, causing it to fall. The Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo has been hit with tons of backlash from the public which might help to explain the treatment of a SHARK volunteer at the rodeo
on May 18th.
"When Fahnestock refused, the deputy took the camera and started to handcuff him. Fahnestock pulled away from the deputy, apparently lunging for the camera, and deputies then handcuffed him," said Johnson. Fahnestock was released on bail on Sunday. There is good news for animal activists and Oregonians who are disgusted by horse tripping. Bill 835 passed the Oregon Senate with a vote of 22-6. Rep. Val Hoyle’s (D-West Eugene/Junction City) asked for a “rodeo bill of rights”
amendment that would allow for roping a horse around the legs if they needed to protect people at a rodeo. A longtime
rider testified that she had never encountered a time where a horse needed to be roped around the legs to protect others and that it would only serve to frighten an unruly horse further. A Work Session is scheduled for May 30th.
A CAVALRY SOLDIERS PRAYER
Please God let not the slashing fray
End our lives this coming day
Before my chance to make amends
To pledge my love to kin and friends
Please stay the hand that targets horse
My faithful friend on many course
He asks for naught, his heart is true
Brave warrior horse, both grey and blue
Give angels wings to horses here
Who tarry on and show no fear
No sabre, shot nor cannons roar
Should still the hearts who can’t give more
Lay down the steeds in pastures green
Where smoke and fire are never seen
Quiet ears and eyes that know such hell
Till in your heavens they may dwell
Yon sunlight gleams on metal bright
Assurance of yet another fight
Please God I bow my head and pray
End not our lives this coming day.
-Robin Shields, 6th Ohio Cavalry
May 2013 Missouiri Horse Slaughter Poll Result
Rains Natural Meats, located in Gallatin, Missouri, is one of the applicants that filed with the USDA to open a horse slaughter facility. As a proactive initiative, the ASPCA commissioned a Lake Research Partners survey in MO which showed that opening a horse slaughter plant in Missouri goes against public opinion.
Results reveal that 70% of Missouri voters are opposed to the slaughter of U.S. horses for human consumption and that 75% do not want a horse slaughter plant in their community. The statewide survey reveals that Missourians overwhelmingly oppose horse slaughter regardless of their political affiliation, gender, geographic location or whether they live in an urban or rural area.
Please keep the pressure on legislators to support the SAFE Act, which will put a nationwide ban on horse slaughter and prevent horses from being exported across US borders for butchering. Click here for ASPCA’s SAFE Act action alert:
View full Lake Research Partner Poll Results
Source: Senator Marchione Press Release
New York State Senator Kathleen A. Marchione advocated for passage of her legislation, Senate Bill S.4615, that would protect New York horses from slaughter. Senator Marchione delivered heartfelt remarks in supportof her horse protection legislation during a press conference held in Albany this afternoon that also featured remarks from Assemblywoman Deborah Glick and Assemblyman James Tedisco, both of whom are championing the Assembly companion bill (A03905) to Marchione’s legislation.
Source: KRQE, by Amanda Goodman
Horse advocates fear New Mexico's wild horses could end up in New Mexico's new horse slaughterhouse. The Valley Meat Company near Roswell passed an inspection by the USDA in April, and is still awaiting its permit in order to start operations at what would be the country's only horse slaughterhouse.
"When you have a horse slaughter facility come to your area hors theft goes right up," said Patience O'Dowd, President of Wild Horse Observers Association (WHOA). Right now, O'Dowd estimates there are about 100 wild horses roaming between Placitas, San Felipe Pueblo and BLM Land nearby, including some foals.
O'Dowd says there is a better alternative for New Mexico's wild horses. "We have to use birth control to manage these horses," she said. WHOA is pushing to be able to use PZP, a non-toxic immuno-contraceptive on the wild horses here. In the meantime though they have petitioned the Governor and the President to reinstate the horse slaughter ban which would keep Valley Meats from opening.
Source: ABQ Journal, by Reno RomoLester Frielander stands with fellow protesters outside of Valley Meat Co.
LAS CRUCES – Former U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector and horse race veterinarian Lester Friedlander, who has seen thousands of cows butchered over the years, has major reservations about plans to begin slaughtering horses in a Roswell plant.
Friedlander, a Pennsylvania resident, traveled to Roswell on Monday to lend his voice to those opposed to Valley Meat Co. owner Rick De Los Santos’ efforts to get the USDA inspections necessary to start up the nation’s first horse
slaughterhouse in six years.
He held a news conference in front of the plant, outlining his reasons for opposing it. Among his concerns is whether the horses can be humanely killed in the manner described by De Los Santos. De Los Santos took a Journal reporter on a tour of the plant recently and described the process, which involved shooting a retractable 8-inch-long bolt into the animal’s skull to destroy its brain. The horse would then be hung up, stabbed and drained of blood.
Friedlander also said that because horses are skittish and have longer necks, it is more difficult for slaughterhouse workers to effectively stun the animals with a bolt gun used on cattle. Before the last horse slaughtering operations ended in the United States in 2007, there were many examples of horses having to be shot up to seven or eight times, he said. Although Friedlander was not an inspector at any horse slaughter plants, he said he bases his statements on his background as a horse veterinarian and on research and studies on the effectiveness of using bolt guns on horses.
Congress halted funding for mandatory inspections in 2007, effectively closing all horse slaughter operations. The funding was restored for the current fiscal year, opening the door for De Los Santos’ plans. Friedlander also said he doubts the claim by De Los Santos that a USDA inspector would be near the factory’s stun box to check whether a horse is unconscious before being stabbed.
“USDA doesn’t have the luxury or the funding to put an inspector right there at the stunning block,” Friedlander said. “There’s just no inspector there.” Improper stunning could leave a horse conscious as it is stabbed and bled out. A Valley Meat Co. representative disputed Friedlander, saying the USDA had notified the company that an inspector would be located at that spot. “If you have to do it more than once, you cause intense pain, and that’s a violation of the horse slaughter act,” said Friedlander, adding that the humane slaughter law was rarely enforced in the past.
Valley Meat attorney A. Blair Dunn said that Friedlander is uninformed about Valley Meat’s specific plans and that the company is taking steps to address the concerns of its many opponents, who include Gov. Susana Martinez and most of the state’s congressional delegation. Plans to open the plant have sparked opposition from around the country.
“Friedlander is making a big deal out of what he knows and applying it to what he hasn’t seen,” Dunn said. “He doesn’t know the inside of this plant. That’s what it really comes down to.” Friedlander said three USDA inspectors are typically stationed at a slaughter plant to inspect the head and tongue, the intestines, and finally the carcass of an animal. A USDA veterinaria typically moves about a plant working with inspectors. Dunn said USDA officials informed De Los Santos that a federal inspector would be by the stun box. Dunn also argued that the Roswell factory is so compact that a USDA veterinarian would be aware of how effectively, or ineffectively, employees used the bolt gun.
De Los Santos plans to slaughter about 100 horses a day over a 10-hour period, making it a relatively small operatio compared with big beef slaughterhouses. Dunn added that De Los Santos has not ruled out an alternative method of putting a horse down – a gun to the head – before the animal is bled out. “If that (the bolt gun) is not working, they have the capability to switch to
the other. It’s whatever has the best results,” Dunn said.
As of July 1, the European Union will require a lifetime medical history for horse meat imports, in an effort to keep out substances banned from the food supply. Painkillers commonly given to race horses are banned. Friedlander contended that paperwork certifying horses are free of banned substances could be easily faked. Dunn said that is the responsibility of companies that would supply Valley Meat with animals for slaughter and, he noted, some countries where horse meat is eaten do not apply European Union standards.
Dunn said the plant passed the USDA’s inspections, and the grant of inspections could occur any time, pending a Department of Justice review of threatened litigation. Animal welfare organizations that include Humane Society of the United States intend to sue to stop the plant, saying its byproducts would threaten water sources. Dunn also said Valley Meat is negotiating with several outfits that would supply horses for slaughter.