Last week, the House of Representatives narrowly passed the Farm Bill, by a vote of 216-208, including the dangerous and overreaching "King amendment," which threatens to repeal dozens of animal protection laws. It could nullify not only measures relating to animal welfare—like farm animal confinement, horse slaughter, puppy mills, and shark finning—but a wide range of other concerns including food safety, child labor and the environment.
Please make a brief, polite phone call to your U.S. Representative at(202) 224-3121. You can say: "As a constituent concerned about preventing cruelty to animals, I would like you to please help to remove the King amendment from the final Farm Bill and oppose this attack on states' rights." You can also take further action by using the HSUS automated letter ➜ http://bit.ly/1bGa3QD
Gardenhire said HSUS used Ag Gag "As a great fundraising tool".
Senator Gardenhire apparently has no knowledge with what happens to Tennessee Walking Horses that is caused by some trainers. The goal for years has been "blue ribbon no matter the cost." I wish the HUS would print photos of many horses hoofs that have been soared so people could see what the senator supports. The senator is like the president, to take away this terrible tragic act of cruelty he puts up a smoke screen. He sees this like the former Secretary of State with so "What does it matter now?" It seems Senator Gardenhire favors this cruel, cruel treatment of horses just to win a blue ribbon.
I have been a Republican for years and this is one of the times it is hard to admit that I am. When the senator comes up for re-election I will put in extra effort to try to defeat him, I might go as far as voting for a Democrat before voting for a person with no feelings or standards on cruelty. Might I suggest senator that you and those who support your view get a bottle of "oil of mustard" and coat your ankles with it and don't remove it for several days. You then will know the truth what the horses go through.
Anyone with common sense knows this bill is to give protection to those who abuse the show horses. I believe anyone who denies this is not smart enough to be stupid. One last thing, I will ask the Republican office holders I know if they support Gardenhire and if so then I can no longer support them. Our newspaper and news media should ask each of our elected officials, senators and representatives, if they personally support this atrocious bill and list them with their stand.
N. D. Kennedy Sr.
Source: The Chattanoogan, by Roy Exum
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam did the right thing when he vetoed an Ag-Gag bill that the Tennessee Legislature had approved on Monday. If approved, the bill would have violated the U.S. Constitution. Similar laws have failed in 11 states this year because they also are travesties to justice -- punishing the reporter instead of the criminal, and greatly hamper law enforcement efforts. So what do the crooks do now? It’s real easy.
The U.S. House Agriculture Committee will meet Wednesday in Washington to “mark up” the Farm Bill. This is where those on the committee have five minutes in which they can change certain parts of the bill by offering amendments if they are approved by committee.Believe it or not, there are some evil people on the Agricultur committee.There are two of these amendments creating a great stir among animal welfare groups.
The first is totally outlandish. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) wants to take away the state’s right to regulate how their food is prepared. His plan would eliminate all local and county ordinances. Wayne Pacelle, the president of the Humane Society of the United States, told me over the weekend, “The King Amendment is a threat to every consumer and to every animal in agriculture.”
Here is an example: This morning a “dirty lick” horse trainer, Larry Wheelon, will be hauled before a court in Maryville, Tenn., for aggravated animal abuse. King’s amendment would supersede state laws and Wheelon would really love that because he and others like him would have far weaker laws than Tennessee’s new felony to slip past. As it stands Wheelon is looking at one-to-five years in prison, but – under existing federal laws – animal abuse is still a misdemeanor. (There is another bill pending that would greatly enhance the federal Horse Protection act.)
The King Amendment would effectively overturn every voter-approved animal welfare effort in the country. It is unknown whether Rep. King is any kin to author Stephen King, but the Iowa Congressman is more horrifying. Imagine no state laws for environmental protection, workers’ rights, animal welfare or public health. The action is so far-reaching it is deplorable that it would even be introduced. King has spent 10 years trying to block any and all animal welfare laws. He even opposes laws that would include pets in disaster planning. Obviously driven by “big ag” money – the food industry – King’s amendment would – what! – allow horses to be slaughtered for food, encourage extreme confinement for chickens, pigs and calves; the list goes on and on.
The second amendment being considered is closer to home. It is illegal in 49 states to be a knowing spectator at an animal fight, but only 43 states outlaw cock fighting. Drive in any direction from Chattanooga and within the hour you can see where fighting roosters are being housed. That’s because there is money to be had from fighting dogs and chickens.
You would think that when NFL quarterback Michael Vick served 18 months in Leavenworth it would serve a deterrent, but, no, shallow people still attend dog and chicken fights and an amendment by James McGovern (D-Mass) would make it a
felony to “knowing attend or knowingly cause a minor to attend an animal fighting venture.” In other words, who is going to attend an animal fight if they face over a year in prison. The idea, of course, is if Congress dries up the crowd, the same thing happens to the money. Sadly, cowards still have a lust for blood money, but the more that can be done to discourages the creeps, the better it is for a civilized society.
Tennessee, which is slowly making inroads on the fact it is the nation’s epicenter for horse abuse, has just arrested its second “dirty lick” horse trainer in a year and animal welfare authorities are searching for the owners of the 27 horses now being held at a secret location. If authorities can prove that the owners of horses confiscated from Jackie McConnell and Larry Wheelon
knowingly had the horses sored, it is believed they could also be charged.
“This is all new ground,” one federal agent explained. “We are very careful to video these horses being examined and how each swab is handled,” but he indicated that both physical and scientific evidence that will be introduced in court today is “overwhelming.” Wheelon, a member of the ethics committee of the Walking Horse Trainer’s Association, has a long and colorful history of violating the federal Horse Protection Act and many of those sitting on the governing boards of the National Celebration groups have also been suspended for illegal soring and sadistic practices.
Law enforcement officials, enabled when the state legislature made livestock abuse a felony, are currently investigating other walking horse trainers, but if Steve King’s amendment gains traction, it is just like Pacelle said, “It is a threat to every consumer and animal in the country.
Two Tennesseans serve on the Agriculture Committee, Steven Fincher (R-Frog Jump) and Scott Desjarlais (R-Jasper.) Fincher just responded quickly when Philadelphia abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell was found guilty, his comments lending hope he’ll oppose the King amendment. He said, “Today’s first-degree murder conviction of Dr. Gosnell shows there is hope. Hope that we can change our culture that accepts such actions. Hope that we can save little babies that bring so much love and joy to our lives."
“The jury members put politics aside and came to the conclusion that Dr. Gosnell had murdered these innocent babies,” said Fincher. “It is my hope that folks educate themselves on what Dr. Gosnell was doing and fight in their communities to save the lives of so many precious babies.”
While one would hope he has similar views on animals, Desjarlais is altogether of a different stripe. This fall the “Dirty Lick” crowd sponsored a reception for him and it is widely known he has placed pressure on the Department of Agriculture’s efforts to curtail soring and torture. He also urged a former mistress to have an abortion, according to court records.
Now claiming that God has forgiven him, DesJarlais can ill afford the wrath of animal welfare advocates who descended on Haslam when he faltered before vetoing the Ag-Gag bill.
In an attack on animal welfare laws and states’ rights, the House Agriculture Committee is planning to consider an amendment to the Farm Bill sought by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) that could negate most state and local laws regarding the production or manufacturing of agriculture products. This provision could wipe out numerous farm animal protection laws, including those regarding factory farm confinement, horse slaughter, and shark finning, along with other laws related to environmental protection, worker safety, and more.
Now is the time for every citizen concerned about animal welfare, food safety, labeling, environmental requirements, labor standards, and other issues to TAKE ACTION. Call your U.S. Representative at (202) 224-3121, especially if he or she serves on the House Agriculture Committee, and tell them to reject the King amendment and its radical assault on duly-enacted state laws covering a broad spectrum of concerns.
You can say: "As a constituent concerned about preventing cruelty to animals, I'm calling to urge you to oppose the King Amendment to the Farm Bill, which could slash protections for animals. Please oppose this attack on states’ rights."
Animal Welfare Advocates Applaud Governor Haslam for Vetoing Ag-Gag Bill
Governor cites opinions that bill is “Constitutionally Suspect,” “Appears to Repeal Parts of Tennessee’s Shield Law” and “Makes it More Difficult to Prosecute Animal Cruelty Cases”
Animal protection groups, First Amendment advocates and newspaper editorial boards across Tennessee opposed the bill, which would criminalize undercover investigations at agribusiness operations and stables. More than 300 Tennessee clergy also spoke out against the bill, as did several Tennessee celebrities, including Priscilla Presley, singers Carrie Underwood and Emmylou Harris, and Miss Tennessee USA 2013. The bill also received national criticism from talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who invited Wayne Pacelle, the president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, on her show to discuss the issue.
Leighann McCollum, Tennessee state director for The HSUS, said: “We thank Gov. Haslam for listening to his constituents and honoring the Constitution by vetoing this recklessly irresponsible legislation that would criminalize the important work of cruelty whistleblowers. By vetoing this bill, the governor is supporting transparency in Horse Stables and our food system.”
In 2011, an HSUS investigation into Tennessee walking horse trainer Jackie McConnell’s stable in Collierville, Tenn., revealed shocking cruelty to horses. The investigator recorded horses being whipped, kicked, shocked in the face, an burned with caustic chemicals. As a result of that investigation, a federal grand jury handed down a 52-count criminal indictment and a state grand jury indicted McConnell and two others for 38 counts of criminal animal cruelty. The crimes at McConnell’s stables would have never come to light had SB 1248/HB 1191 been enacted.
Read Full HSUS Press Release: http://bit.ly/10EfyHn
HORSES FOR LIFE