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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Horse Slaughter Measure is Temporary

- The legislation passed by both houses of Congress to ban horse slaughter is an amendment to an annual spending bill that does not permanently ban the practice, but effectively puts the three existing U.S. plants out of business for one year starting October 1 by barring federal funding for required meat inspections. A bill to end horse slaughter permanently is waiting in the wings.

The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act is sponsored in the House by Reps. John Sweeney (R-N.Y.), John Spratt (D-S.C.) and Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) and will soon be introduced in the Senate by Sens. John Ensign and Mary Landrieu (D-La.). The Act would prohibit the transport, purchase, selling or donation of both wild and domestic horses to be slaughtered for human consumption here and abroad. [US Newswire]
Two of the plants are located in Texas, and their lobbyist Jim Bradshaw said "We're concerned for our employees, we're concerned for our vendors….We have 150 or 160 employees in this area, so it hasn't been a good day." [Dallas Morning News] But, as detailed by venerable Senator Robert Byrd, who co-sponored the bill with Republican Senator John Ensign of Nevada, they’re not too concerned about the horses who haven’t been having very good days themselves.
"Horses can be shipped for more than twenty-four hours without food, water, or rest. They can be transported with broken legs, missing eyes, or while heavily pregnant. The horses are kept in cramped conditions, in trucks with ceilings so low that they prevent the horses from holding their heads in a normal, upright position. The cramped nature of their transport often results in trampling, with some horses arriving at the slaughterhouses seriously injured or dead." [Environment News Service]
- Godolphin’s purchase of Discreet Cat takes him out of the Breeders Cup picture as he is being sent to Dubai to prepare for his 3 year old season, and Brisnet’s James Scully recalls a similar circumstance.
In 2003, Godolphin elected to skip the Breeders' Cup Juvenile with Ruler's Court (Doneraile Court), a 14-length winner of the Norfolk S. (G2), because the race didn't fit into their program of preparing the colt for his three-year-old campaign. That cost Ruler's Court a very realistic chance for championship honors because the Breeders' Cup was contested at Santa Anita (site of the Norfolk) and longshot Action This Day wound up winning the race. Ruler's Court didn't race at three due to an injury.
- A setback for Declan’s Moon, who was pointing for a return on October 14 at Keeneland.

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