Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Animal Haters Agree: The USDA will Break the Law, Circumvent Congress and Push Illegal Horse Slaughter: The US Moves One More Step Away from Democracy

Foreign-Owned Companies Have More Say than the Majority of US Citizens, Congress and the Laws of the United States.

I just received this update.


I could go off on this all day. Foreign companies without a right to vote have more say than even members of congress. This issue came to light via the despicable issue of horse slaughter, but it is not only exclusive to animal rights. As I mentioned, even animal haters will have to agree that this is much larger than animal rights and directly effects and touches on politics and issues of democracy. The facts couldn’t be more clear. I wrote about this issue back in 1-15-06 at:

http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/01/

horse-slaughter-by-foreign-companies.html.

Please read it for more information.


Essentially, a bipartisan effort backed strongly by a majority in both houses and actually signed into law banned horse slaughter. Well, it seems that the three foreign-owned companies who capture and slaughter horses from the US on US soil, and who have no say in the democratic process, used their money to pay off the USDA which helped them find a way to circumvent a law.


Again, this is a law signed and supported by a large majority (U.S. House of Representatives voted 269-158 and the U.S. Senate voted 69-28). It is the USDA who then helped foreign-owned companies find a way to break the law and subvert the will of US citizens, both houses of congress and the American process of supposed democracy. Well, I think we can all safely now agree that democracy no longer exists in the US (if it ever did), and that yes, it matters not where the companies or donors are from, it is they who have the say.


Here are a few paragraphs taken from the article below. I did this in order to pull out the important parts to help get to the idea of the issue. The full article is below.

“Last year, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 269-158 and the U.S. Senate voted 69-28 to stop the slaughter of horses, effective March 10, 2006. On November 23, 2005, the slaughterhouses petitioned the USDA to establish a "fee-for-service" inspection system for horse slaughter in lieu of federally funded inspections, which Congress voted to end.”

"It is beyond our imagination in the U.S. Congress that the USDA would flout its mandate and spend tax dollars…to circumvent this law," said Representative John Sweeney (R-NY). "Even our most hardened opponents knew that the purpose of the amendment was to stop horse slaughter—there was never any question about that. It's disturbing that an agency like USDA feels it is appropriate to obstruct a law passed by an overwhelming, bipartisan majority in Congress when their sole mission is to implement the law."

"The USDA is playing games and ignoring the directives of Congress while the lives of America's horses, who have served us faithfully and provided us with companionship, are at stake," said Michael Markarian, executive vice president of The HSUS. "By granting this eleventh-hour bid by the slaughterhouses to re-write the law, the USDA is thumbing its nose at Congress and trying to substitute the judgment of foreign gourmands for the judgment of our elected lawmakers."

"Why is the USDA acting in defense of three foreign-owned horse slaughter plants engaged in a brutal trade?" asked Chris Heyde, deputy legislative director for the Society for Animal Protective Legislation. "The barbarity America's horses currently endure must be stopped as Congress has stated loud and clear. Congress sought to shut down the slaughter of American horses, not merely change the method by which inspections are funded."

“In a letter to USDA, 40 members of Congress wrote: "The agency must cease inspection of horses for slaughter. Failure to do so constitutes willful disregard of clear Congressional intent on the part of the USDA. The agency has absolutely no authority to circumvent a Congressional mandate and effectively rewrite an unambiguous law at the request of the horse-slaughter industry."

Article:

USDA Announces Its Decision to Make End Run Around Congressional Horse Slaughter Ban

http://www.hsus.org/press_and_publications

/press_releases/usda_end_run_horse_slaughter.html

February 7, 2006

WASHINGTON – Animal protection organizations today blasted the U.S. Department of Agriculture for announcing its intention to allow private inspections at three horse slaughterhouses, bypassing legislation that blocks inspections to shut down the horse slaughter operations.

USDA specifically announced it will issue an interim final rule tomorrow, granting the three horse slaughterhouses' emergency rulemaking request for voluntary, fee-for-service inspection of horses for slaughter. The USDA's rule will allow these European-owned companies—two in Texas, one in Illinois—to continue butchering tens of thousands of horses for foreign menus each year in direct circumvention of the recent Congressional amendment banning the use of federal funds to inspect horses destined for slaughter for human food.

"It is beyond our imagination in the U.S. Congress that the USDA would flout its mandate and spend tax dollars…to circumvent this law," said Representative John Sweeney (R-NY). "Even our most hardened opponents knew that the purpose of the amendment was to stop horse slaughter—there was never any question about that. It's disturbing that an agency like USDA feels it is appropriate to obstruct a law passed by an overwhelming, bipartisan majority in Congress when their sole mission is to implement the law."

Last year, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 269-158 and the U.S. Senate voted 69-28 to stop the slaughter of horses, effective March 10, 2006. On November 23, 2005, the slaughterhouses petitioned the USDA to establish a "fee-for-service" inspection system for horse slaughter in lieu of federally funded inspections, which Congress voted to end.

"The USDA is playing games and ignoring the directives of Congress while the lives of America's horses, who have served us faithfully and provided us with companionship, are at stake," said Michael Markarian, executive vice president of The HSUS. "By granting this eleventh-hour bid by the slaughterhouses to re-write the law, the USDA is thumbing its nose at Congress and trying to substitute the judgment of foreign gourmands for the judgment of our elected lawmakers."

In a recent letter to Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns calling on the USDA to deny the plants' request, lawyers for The Humane Society of the United States, American Humane Association, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Society for Animal Protective Legislation, and Doris Day Animal League animal welfare groups pointed out that the fee-for-service proposal "would not only thwart an unequivocally expressed Congressional directive, it would also violate the Federal Meat Inspection Act's requirement that the United States Department of Agriculture, not private facilities, fund horse slaughter inspection."

"Granting this petition sets a damning precedent," said Holly Hazard, executive director of the Doris Day Animal League. "In circumventing the clear intent of our legislators to cease certain federal programs and simply buying the services of the executive branch without any policy directive from Congress, special interests have thwarted democracy."

"Why is the USDA acting in defense of three foreign-owned horse slaughter plants engaged in a brutal trade?" asked Chris Heyde, deputy legislative director for the Society for Animal Protective Legislation. "The barbarity America's horses currently endure must be stopped as Congress has stated loud and clear. Congress sought to shut down the slaughter of American horses, not merely change the method by which inspections are funded."

In a letter to USDA, 40 members of Congress wrote: "The agency must cease inspection of horses for slaughter. Failure to do so constitutes willful disregard of clear Congressional intent on the part of the USDA. The agency has absolutely no authority to circumvent a Congressional mandate and effectively rewrite an unambiguous law at the request of the horse-slaughter industry."

In light of this end run around Congress's clear mandate to halt the slaughter of horses, the animal protection groups continue to lobby for the passage of H.R. 503 and S. 1915, a permanent ban on horse slaughter for food, introduced by U.S. Reps. John Sweeney (R-NY), John Spratt (D-SC), and Ed Whitfield (R-KY) in the House, and U.S. Senators John Ensign (R-NV) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) in the Senate.

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