Friday, November 2, 2007

Updates, Trailer Accident and Slaughter Bills

Photos courtesy of the Chicago Tribune- Photo taken byNeil Rigler.

The death toll from the trailer accident outside of Chicago, Illinois has risen. A total of 17 horses either died or had to be euthanized as a result of their injuries, leaving only 42 of the original 59. The insurance company had originally planned on taking possession of the horses and has been paying the costs of their recovery. However, Donna Ewing of the Hooved Animal Rescue and Protection Society has worked out a deal to place the horses. She hopes to place them all within the next 10 days. The cost of the animals will range from $50 to $100 and this will be paid to the insurance company.

While Ewing assures the media that the horses will not go to slaughter, her position on the issue puts a question mark on that assurance. Ewing is one of the pro-slaughter industry's biggest advocate. She has been quoted as fully supporting the "euthanasia services" that the slaughter plants supposedly provide. If anyone is interested in one of these horses you must apply through Ms Ewing's organization. Priority will be given to the volunteers who assisted with the rescue.

The pending federal bills are getting more notice after the horrific accident. HR 503 now has a total of 188 cosponsors, with the sponsor that makes 189. S 311 has 35 cosponsors, with the sponsor that is 36. The bills are not moving at this time because Congress has not yet passed a single budget (Appropriations) bill. The fiscal year began on October 1, 2007 and all budgets should have been in place before then. It is possible that instead of individual budget bills Congress may instead do an Omnibus Appropriations Bill. As many of you may remember, this combines all the bills and is so bulky most of the Congress cannot read the whole thing before they vote. This is how the Burns Amendment got passed that stripped the protections for wild horses. With all the mess going on with the budget it is hard to get Congress to focus on our bills. We NEED to keep up the calls, letters and faxes to let them know we are still here and committed to seeing the bills passed into law. To see if your Congressperson or Senators have cosponsored you can go to the Library of Congress and search the bill number. If your Senator/Congressperson is a cosponsor please let them know that you appreciate their support and ask them to please continue supporting the bills. If they are not please make sure that you don't just ask them to support the bill, but that they also become a cosponsor. There is no magic number of cosponsors needed to pass the bills, but we need as many as possible pushing for them.

We are asking for specific focus on the following Senators.
Robert Bennet - R/UT
Jim Bunning - R/KY
Richard Burr - R/NC
Robert Casey - D/PA
Saxby Chambliss - R/GA
Bob Corker - R/TN
Elizabeth Dole - R/NC
Judd Gregg - R/NH
Chuck Hagel - R/NE
Orrin Hatch - R/UT
Johnny Isakson - R/GA
John Kyl - R/AZ
Claire McCaskill - D/MO
Gordon Smith - R/OR
Jim Webb - D/VA
Please, only call these offices if you live in their state. Calls from others will not be counted or even noted. If you do not know how to reach your Sentors you can go to and find that information.

I do want to say something really quick about the number of petitions online. These are not taken seriously and nothing ever comes from them. they may be a good way to inform the public about an issue, but it does NOTHING to help the bills. Passing along this information only makes those who don't know any better think they have done something to help. Instead of signing endless petitions or passing them along pass along information about contacting Senators and Congressmen. The only time petitions are effective is when they are collected and signed in person with proper identification procedures. The signatures cannot be confirmed and our elected officials are well aware of this. They throw these things out and it makes any efforts of well meaning people worthless.

Think about the last recall petitions in your area. All signatures had to be collected in person, when they sign they have to provide identification and proof of voter registration. After the signatures are collected the staff at city hall then call each signer and verify their signature. Often times more signatures are thrown out than authenticated. The staff of your Congressperson or Senator are not going to verify the signatures and there is no positive identification collected with the signature. Don't waste your time on these online petitions.

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