July 9 2012
NOTE: This article is posted here to show the cruel and utterly heartless way humans think about animals, with no respect for life or civility. The way absolute agonizing torture is discussed with complete indifference is unbelievable. Apparently one man, NJ Gov Christie, wants to ban horse slaughter. But farmers and animal “owners” share opinions on how these changes will affect them financially. No more feeding wild turkeys, and transportation fees will rise if they can’t confine pigs in torture. I’m incredulous and I’m sure you will be too…
TRENTON — A bill that would crack down on the consumption of horse meat in New Jersey has moved quickly through the Legislature. Now, a farmers group is hoping NJ Gov. Chris Christie will stop the effort to ban the slaughter of horses and the sale of horse meat for human consumption.
The fight over horse flesh is just one of several animal-related bills now before elected officials in New Jersey. At the local and state level, authorities are considering multiple measures that would provide new protections for animals or impose new limits on them.
Among those proposals are state bills to ban the crating of pigs during pregnancy and to require tiger owners to register the big cats. At the local level, Hainesport officials are considering a ban on the feeding of wild turkeys, a bird that some residents consider a nuisance. And Barrington council members last month imposed new rules for the owners of pot-bellied pigs.
Those widespread efforts to deal with animal issues are coincidental, observed Kathleen Schatzmann, New Jersey state director for the Humane Society of the United States. “But it is always good to have animal-protection regulations on the books,” said Schatzmann, whose group backs the horse, pig and tiger bills.
A different view came from Ed Wengryn, (contact info) research associate for the New Jersey Farm Bureau. He said the horse-slaughter and pig-crating bills are not needed, and could cause problems for animal owners.
The conflict over the horse bill shows what can happen when an animal beloved by one group is considered a commodity by another. The bill would make it illegal to slaughter horses or sell their meat for human consumption. It also would bar transporting live horses or meat to be slaughtered. Slaughterhouse video
According to Schatzmann, slaughtering horses is “a needless and cruel way to end the life of New Jersey’s state animal.” But Wengryn says horse owners should not be denied the value of their animal by “a ridiculous, not-needed piece of legislation.”
In either case, the measure is popular with the state’s lawmakers. Released from an Assembly committee on May 14, it cleared both chambers by overwhelming majorities and went to the governor on June 25. Christie has yet to act on the bill.
According to the Humane Society, more than 100,000 horses are shipped each year from the United States to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. It says 92 percent of them arrive in “good” condition, “meaning they are sound, in good health and could go on to lead productive lives.” The group also claims public support, saying 80 percent of Americans oppose killing horses for human consumption. “We applaud the New Jersey legislature for listening to their constituents,” Schatzmann said.
“It’s unnecessary,” Wengryn countered, saying the country has no facilities that slaughter horses. He also said the sale of meat for human consumption in other countries “is a legitimate market.” Wengryn said the proposed transportation ban raises concerns about infringement on interstate commerce. And he suggested some horse owners would abandon their animals rather than pay for disposal. But the Farm Bureau representative agreed the American public loves horses. “Nobody’s screaming, ‘Oh my God, you’re denying me my horse meat!’” said Wengryn. “If this bill said ‘hamburger,’ it would be a different story.”
The two sides also differ over “gestation crates,” which are used to immobilize swine during pregnancy. The Humane Society says the 2-foot-wide metal crates impose “extreme confinement” on pigs, making them unable to turn or extend their limbs, for instance.
But Wengryn said the state Department of Agriculture already regulates the use of the crates to prevent animal cruelty. “The use is permitted if you follow the rules,” he said. “There are legitimate uses, including to protect the animal’s health and to control disease.” Crating video
The bill last month passed the Senate 35-1 and is now before an Assembly committee.
The tiger-registration bill, which proponents say is aimed at the exotic animal trade, went to Christie last month after sailing through the Legislature. The state already prohibits private ownership of tigers as pets.
On the local level, Hainesport committee members last month gave initial approval to a feeding ban for wild turkeys. The committee is expected to consider final approval on Tuesday. A township resident, Melanie Morton, said that several dozen turkeys live in the town and that she intervened when one attacked a jogger this year. “The lady was screaming bloody murder,” said Morton. “The turkey was flying in her face and biting at her legs.” Morton said she attended the committee’s meeting last month, expecting to bring up the problem. Instead, she learned the feeding-ban ordinance was on the agenda.
And in Barrington, council members imposed a limit of one pot-bellied pig per household. The pigs must be kept as pets, spayed or neutered, and licensed, said borough clerk Terry Shannon. She said the change came after a resident with a pet pig was found to be in technical violation of an earlier ordinance that said, “no livestock, no fowl, no swine.” Someone moving to the borough also alerted officials that they’d be bringing a house hog.
“Keeping pigs as pets is becoming increasingly popular,” Shannon said.