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Eckhoff: Texas Mayor Kicks Slaughter Tail

Posted on January 10, 2012 at 11:40 PM

Vickery Eckhoff, blogger for Forbes Online, has batted another home run in her latest article, "Texas Mayor Paula Bacon Kicks Some Horse Slaughter Tail". She begins:

"Every small-town mayor is bedeviled by something. For Paula Bacon of Kaufman, Texas, it was Dallas Crown, which slaughtered horses next door to her friend Mary Nash’s 40-acre farm off Highway 175.

"Dallas Crown was shuttered during Bacon’s last term in office after a 20-year legal battle over environmental violations that constantly overwhelmed the city’s wastewater plant with horse blood and discharge. But news that horse slaughter plants may be returning to the U.S in 2012 has Bacon speaking out about what one horse slaughter plant with 46 non-unionized employees can do to a small town of 6,700 hard-working people."

Read more at Forbes Online...

Horseback: Wallis Leaves United Horsemen

Posted on January 2, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Press release from United Horsemen published on Horseback Magazine, January 2, 2012:

Wallis Steps Down From United Horsemen Post to Focus on “Business of Humane Horse Processing” in New Years Day Announcement

HERMISTON, OR (United Horsemen) – We have some big changes to announce, with more to come in the coming days and weeks. You already know that we are working hard every day to make a real difference for horses, and for horse people. Now we are reorganizing our leadership, streamlining our organization, implementing new systems and programs, and cementing our many close relationships with allies and partners across the country.

Read more at Horseback Magazine...

Long: EWA's "War Horse" Assault on Pols

Posted on December 31, 2011 at 11:00 AM

From Horseback: Equine Welfare Alliance Launches "War Horse" Assault on Three Troubled Political Careers

By Steven Long
December 31, 2011

Billboard Plea to Save Horses Up In 24 Cities Coast to Coast

HOUSTON, (Horseback) – The Chicago based Equine Welfare Alliance launched the most sophisticated assault yet against the return of equine slaughterhouses with a 90 screen breakout ad to be shown within 10 minutes of the opening credits of Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse.” The ad campaign will target three Washington politicians who pushed the cancellation of a prohibition against funding horse slaughter inspectors. The targeted ads will run in the districts and states of Georgia Republican Rep. Jack Kingston, Sen. Roy Blunt (R) Missouri, and Wisconsin Democrat Sen. Herb Kohl.

Read more at Horseback Magazine online...

Eckhoff: Lobbyists Work Through Holidays

Posted on December 25, 2011 at 6:55 PM


On Forbes: "Lobbyists Work Through Holidays To Block Humane Legislation"

By Vickery Eckhoff
12/23/2011

Vickery Eckhoff identifies key legislators and lobbyists working to dismantle provisions that protect animal and horse welfare:

"Lobbyist Charlie Stenholm has been working hard since before Thanksgiving. First, there was his Opinion piece in The Washington Times blasting proposed legislation protecting circus elephants, tigers and zebras from abuse—something that would hurt his client, Ringling Brothers.

"Then, there was the push to get horse slaughter inspection bans reversed, which was accomplished a week later by three U.S. lawmakers who quietly revised a long-overdue spending bill behind closed doors."

 

Read more on Forbes...


Eckhoff: How Many Congressmen?

Posted on December 23, 2011 at 10:35 AM

From Vickery Eckhoff, Forbes Contributor: "How Many Congressmen Does It Take To Screw A Horse?"


In her 12/21 blog post for Forbes Online, Eckhoff succinctly outlines recent legislative tactics designed to get horse slaughterhouses up and running in this country again. In answer to the question "How many Congressmen does it take to screw a horse?" she responds:

"Only three. This is the number it took to remove language from an agriculture appropriations spending bill on November 18, reversing a five-year ban on horsemeat inspections. The culprits? Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA). Their strategy? The old closed-door-session-on-Capitol-Hill trick.

"This was of course executed at the last moment, allowing Kohl, Blunt and Kingston to hold up the appropriations bill until a government shutdown loomed. The tactic worked as planned, forcing President Obama to sign, despite a 2008 campaign promise to ban horse slaughter and the export of horses for slaughter. And the best part: hardly a word of media coverage was leaked for a good ten days."

The public media is also notable for its slack handling of the horse slaughter issue. Rather than doing any apparent research whatsoever, journalists grab sound bites from agriculture lobby press releases and report them as news. Eckhoff nails it:

"The press had ten days to research (flaws undermining the legitimacy of the GAO report, horse-slaughter industry activists in Congress blocking legislation like the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act in one session after another, food safety issues), yet somehow managed to tell only the pro-slaughter story. Why did they marginalize both the issues and concerns of a majority of Americans? Because they—the 70% against horse slaughter—don’t have lobbyists who speak for them through the media."

Follow Eckhoff's series on horse slaughter for real research, real questions, and real information.