Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bill to Ban the slaughter of Horses for Human Consumption, WI


P. O. Box 7882 Madison , WI 53707-7882

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Senator Jeff Plale


Plale Introduces Bill to Prevent Slaughter of Horses

MADISON - State Senator Jeff Plale (D – South Milwaukee ) has reintroduced legislation that would ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption in the State of Wisconsin .

Senator Plale’s concerns regarding this issue arose when the Illinois legislature banned the practice in its state several years ago, forcing the closure of a horse slaughtering plant in DeKalb , Illinois . “When the Illinois plant closed, I became concerned about the possibility of relocating it just across the border in Wisconsin ,” Plale explained, “and I certainly don’t want that practice happening in this state.”

In 2007, the last three remaining horse slaughtering plants in the United States, two in Texas and one in Illinois, closed due to state law. These three plants were owned by Belgian companies and served a European market in which human consumption of horses is a more acceptable practice.

In recent months, the Illinois legislature has begun working to overturn its horse slaughter ban in order to reestablish this business in its state. Montana is introducing legislation which would encourage the construction of horse slaughter plants there. Additionally, other states are introducing resolutions which oppose HR 503, the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act, a federal bill that would ban horse slaughter nationally.

While no horse slaughtering plants have ever existed in Wisconsin , Senator Plale’s legislation would ensure that none are allowed to locate here in the future. This bill is necessary at this time because other states are introducing resolutions and legislation which are in favor of horse slaughter. “The message I want to send with this legislation is, do not even think about locating a horse slaughter plant in Wisconsin because you’re not welcome here.” Plale said.

“Horses are farm animals, they are companion animals, they’re racing animals, and they’re beautiful animals. They serve many, many wonderful purposes and food shouldn’t be one of them.” Plale continued.

Plale’s bill banning the slaughter of horses for human consumption is Senate Bill 142. It was introduced on March 31st and referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Higher Education where it is now available to be scheduled for a public hearing.

Senator Plale acknowledges that introducing the bill is just the first step. “If this is something you really care about, let your legislator know that. If it’s important to an awful lot of people back home, it’s going to become important to their legislators.”