The Roanoke Times
June 23, 2004
letters to the editor

Goodlatte should rethink his position on horse bill   

    As a horse breeder and resident of Rockbridge County, I'm dismayed by 6th District Rep. Bob Goodlatte's position on the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, a bill currently stalled in his House Committee on Agriculture.

    He's actively campaigning to keep the industry of horse slaughter alive in the United States and is blocking a bill that would ban the slaughter, or transportation to slaughter, of American horses for human consumption.

    This legislation has an unusually high level of bipartisan support in the House. Democrats, Republicans, conservatives and liberals alike have signed on as co-sponsors. A companion and almost identical bill was also introduced recently in the Senate.

    Hearing Goodlatte's various position statements has convinced me that he has neither studied, nor understands, the issue. He merely parrots the weak and misleading arguments made by the leaderships of a few organizations, with their own agendas for keeping this business going.

    He needs to listen to his constituents and the American public, not the very few with personal interests in the business of horse slaughter.   


    Tell Goodlatte to release the legislation   

    Shame on Rep. Bob Goodlatte. Why is he keeping a bill that would ban horse slaughter from getting to the floor of the House of Representatives?

    Goodlatte, who is chair of the House Agriculture Committee, is the lone person blocking the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act from coming out of that committee and to a vote on the House floor.

    This bill would ban the slaughter of horses in the United States and their export for slaughter to foreign countries. More than half of the House supports this bill, and it would pass if it could come to the floor for a vote, but our representative is preventing this.

    Perhaps Goodlatte is appeasing the foreign-owned horse slaughter industry and other special interests that profit from the death of American horses.

    The three horse slaughterhouses in the United States - two in Texas and one in Illinois - are Belgian- and French-owned. They're protected under free-trade agreements and do not even pay export fees.

    How does killing this bill support Goodlatte's Virginia constituents and their interests? Isn't that what he's there to do? Let the House decide.

    Please let Goodlatte know he needs to let this bill through to the floor. His Roanoke office can be reached by phone at (540) 857-2672 or by fax at (540) 857-2675.