“The greatest deterrent
to freedom are men and women of zeal, well-meaning, but
without knowledge or understanding.”
~Justice Louis Brandeis~

"People are so quick to defend their own agendas, but they so often fail to realize we must protect the rights of all if we are to continue to have any rights of our own."

Ranch meaning, in general, any real world dwelling probably not involving full care board. Kind of a rural voice of real horse owners, trainers, traders, auction owners, rodeo contractors, etc.. all of us who have taken a verbal beating and called greedy ass hats. Back at the Ranch contributors, moderators, subjects, and so on, are pro-horse, pro-owner, and pro-slaughter.
Back at the Ranch was formed by a group of like minded horse / livestock owners. It is a place for us to try to educate, a place to vent our frustrations with the current equine industry, a place to share humor and snark, and in general try to open the eyes of the public who seem to be anti-agriculture.We do have a section for comments of course, and if you would like to email us you can do so directly or through the contact us form. We like to hear from our readers. I hope you enjoy reading our blog as much as I enjoy managing it.
Ranch Manager

Sunday, October 11, 2009

HR 503 - Discuss Away…I Don’t Think the Issues Can Be Summed in Discussing One Bill……But…..

We recently had a request to discuss HR 503. I have no desire to do that. I have been discussing it and all its variables to death since this was current information.
H.R. 503, A bill to amend the Horse Protection Act to prohibit the shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling, or donation of horses and other equines to be slaughtered for human consumption.
This item is from the 109th Congress (2005-2006) and is no longer current. Comments, voting, and wiki editing have been disabled, and the cost/savings estimate has been frozen.

H.R. 503 would amend provisions of the Horse Protection Act of 1970 related to the slaughter of certain equines. The bill would establish a pilot program in Kentucky and New York to prohibit certain activities associated with the slaughter of horses or other equines for human consumption. Due to exceptions included in the bill, this prohibition would not directly affect current equine slaughter activity in those or other States. The bill also would require the Secretary of Agriculture, subject to availability of appropriated funds, to compensate equine owners for any economic loss due to such prohibitions. In addition, the Secretary would be required to assume responsibility for any equine-in any State-that is unwanted by an owner. [This summary and cost estimate refer to an early version of the bill. See comments below for more information.] Cost per average household: $1.75.
This was taken from the http://www.washingtonwatch.com/bills/show/109_HR_503.html . I only brought this up to show the estimated preliminary cost per household to pass this thing when we started down the road to where we are now. Again 41 Mustangs seems kind of relevant.
More recent information is available at http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-503
1/14/2009--Introduced.Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009 - Amends the federal criminal code to impose a fine and/or prison term of up to three years for possessing, shipping, transporting, purchasing, selling, delivering, or receiving any horse, horse flesh, or carcass with the intent that it be used for human consumption. Reduces the prison term to one year if the offense involves less than five horses or less than 2,000 pounds of horse flesh or carcass and the offender has no prior conviction for this offense.
This website lists the last action on this bill as March 16, 2009 when it was referred to none other than the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.
http://maplight.org/map/us/bill/79783 reports that the following organizations have taken a stance on this bill:
Oppose: American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Veterinary Medical Association
Support: Veterinarians for Equine Welfare, Animal Welfare Institute, National Horse Protection League, Habitat for Horses, American Horse Defense Fund, Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota People
I was kind of confused once again. It happens to me often when I start researching the horse slaughter issue. I could have sworn the list of those opposed to HR 503 and in support of the "Support the H.O.R.S.E. Act" - The Humane and Optimal Restoration and Sustainability of Equines per the website http://www.unitedorgsofthehorse.org/ included the above mentioned Native American Tribes. I didn’t find it there although that is an interesting website discussing many things which John Holland and Vicki Tobin are adamantly trying to tell us are not statistically happening. My personal favorite is the mare with her brand skinned off. I am sure she wasn’t abandoned on purpose someone is just making that up.
I did find a website http://www.ncai.org/ncai/resolutions/doc/DEN-07-100_with_sigs_amended_dc.pdf document seeking an amendment to HR 503 by the National Congress of American Indians to allow the tribes to slaughter horses on the reservations.
The National Indian Congress is in support of an AMENDMENT to HR 503 not HR 503 itself.
The word amendment must have gone unnoticed to those maintaining the Maplight website. This is an excellent example of the lack of comprehension skills, misinterpretations, or just plain it LOOKS better my way double speak which is so common. Have I mentioned how much that bothers me? Read it correctly, print it correctly, provide sources documenting your facts or don’t come to the party. Hmm, maybe I have mentioned how much those little “misconceptions” bother me.
The link to this and much more information is available at http://www.amillionhorses.com/links.htm .
This site also has a link to a sight outlining the AMVA requirements for operating rescues. There is a link to a website on how to use the body score system to determine a horse’s condition. These were mentioned as things we needed to educate people about….so educate away….It’s all there for anyone who would take the time to look, I assume the people needing “educating” can look as well as I can. Apparently not, judging by some of the photos and comments outlined in the previous blogs.
And back to the website http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-503 related bills are listed as:
Other Legislation with the Same Title
The list below shows legislation in this and previous sessions of Congress that had the same title as this bill. Often bills are incorporated into other omnibus bills, and you may be able to track the status of provisions of this bill by looking for an omnibus bill below. Note that bills may have multiple titles.
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-727 Introduced
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-6598 Dead
Crowd-Sourcing Users tracking this bill are also tracking...
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-305 (16 users)
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-727 (15 users)
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=hr111-191 (2 users)
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-1054 (3 users)
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=hr111-355 (1 users)
http://www.govtrack.us/users/questions.xpd?topic=bill:h111-80 (1 users)
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-529 (4 users)
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-1055 (3 users)
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-1579 (3 users)
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-1076 (3 users)
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-1018 (9 users)
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-2480 (2 users)
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-556 (4 users)
Subject Terms
This bill is related to other bill and resolutions in these subject areas as identified by the Congressional Research Service:
I am at a loss as to how some of these are even remotely relevant to the horse industry. I think it may be an insight on the type of people driving the “popular” sentiment factor in this debate but……
discuss away….read away……..
If we believe all being passed around the anti-slaughter forums in regard to EU passport system to be implemented in April 2010 HR-503 or any other anti-slaughter legislation is a moot point. Any discussion of it here or in Washington is a waste of time. Wasting time here isn’t such a big deal but wasting time in Washington tends to waste taxpayer money. Therefore in the interest of the federal deficit and many other pressing issues I wish Vicki, Alex, John, and the like would clue these people in so they can stop lobbying legislation which will soon be meaningless.


  1. Isn't it amazing how one thing takes you to another and next thing you know you've spent hours going down a confusing winding path that really leads to no where! The more I have read and researched these horse related bills that end up in the oddest departments the more I wonder about the sneakiness in Washington. Slipping items into legislation where you would least expect them, congressmen and senators not actually reading the bills they are voting on...ughg it can be scary when you think about it. I'm sure that horse related legislation is not the only items that are slipped in the back door and passing because others weren't paying attention.

  2. Okay, so here we have it. HR503. Where shall we start?

  3. this bill is a waste like you said and it is a waste to even talk about it... It will do nothing to stop slaughter because there will always be a way around it. But what the heck. Lets spend money on something so that we can keep the tax payers looking for that 3ed and 4th job so that they can aford to live.
    J Doe.

  4. It was asked that we discuss it, so we put it up for discussion. You're right, it won't stop Slaughter any more than closing the plants in America did. Common sense and respect for each other would go such a long way towards coming up with a solution that everyone could live with. People who don't own horses should try to understand that while their opinions are valued, they really don't have a clear idea of everything that is involved in horse ownership. And sponsoring a horse, or donating to a Rescue or a save is nice, but it doesn't come close to owning a horse. There are those who don't understand the Equine Market, and Slaughter's place in it. And those who don't have any respect for owner's rights. They have their own feelings as to what is right, and if everyone doesn't agree, they'll find a way to legislate their agenda. Meanwhile, I don't think the horses have ever had it worse.