4/1/10: KINSHIP CIRCLE
FRONT PAGE: State Legislators Target Activists…For Campaign To Stop MO Horse Slaughter Bill
READ ENTIRE STORY:
The St. Louis Post Dispatch — the daily in St. Louis, Missouri and largest newspaper in the state — asked for an exclusive. They got it…and our story about Missouri House Representatives tampering with public information and harassing Kinship Circle made the FRONT PAGE today. A cliff-notes version has been picked up by the Associated Press as well.
Ironically, some House Reps are still bouncing unread emails back to our server — even from writers who support them. Those Reps who harassed Kinship Circle left songs, neighs and menacing chants on our voicemail. Threats were made to “retaliate” to citizen emails by passing the bill.
A FEW STORY HIGHLIGHTS:
— Brenda Shoss and members of her advocacy group, Kinship Circle, unleashed a deluge urging legislators to vote against a bill that would open the door for a horse slaughterhouse to come to the Show-Me State…
— Shoss received calls at her home from offices in the Capitol, taunting her and making “neighing” voices into the phone. One caller sang a version of the theme song from “Mr. Ed.” A number of the calls came late at night.
— Some legislators programmed their e-mail systems to forward any message containing the word “horse” to Shoss. And some told the activist that they would consider passing the bill out of spite.
— The response of elected officials has left the experienced activist dumbfounded. Even when her organization got involved in the high-profile animal abuse case of NFL quarterback Michael Vick, she had never seen such a vitriolic reaction.
— The late-night, anonymous phone calls led Shoss to file a harassment complaint with the University City Police Department. The calls stopped, she said, after the Post-Dispatch started asking lawmakers about them…
HORSE KILL BILL PASSED 91 TO 61 IN THE HOUSE. WHAT DO WE DO NOW?
MISSOURIANS ONLY: Email, call or write your state Senators. NO AUTO LETTERS.
Please take a few extra steps to write a personal email and hit send…or print out a note to fax or postal mail. SEE MISSOURI ALERT AT END OF THIS EMAIL. FORWARD IT TO MISSOURI LISTS, INDIVIDUALS.
SLEAZY, UNCONSTITUTIONAL LAWMAKING
Missouri Republican Rep. Jim Veibrock had a dream to revive the “ailing equine industry.” He didn’t want pesky opponents to keep his H.B. 1747 bill from passage. So when Veilbrock’s bill went to Missouri’s Agriculture Policy Committee, members gave it a Teflon-strength shield.
As reported in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, “The committee embellished [Veilbrock’s] legislation, adding a provision to block citizen initiatives that would ‘criminalize or regulate crops or the welfare of animals.’
“Even if citizens gathered signatures and placed such a restriction (tough new rules aimed at restricting puppy mills, for example) on the state ballot — even if it were supported by an overwhelming majority of Missouri voters — the committee’s amendment would prevent it from taking effect. The slap in voters’ faces probably is unconstitutional. It certainly is insulting.”
OUR STORY IS GAINING TRACTION & APPEARS IN…
- Washington Post
- CBS NEWS
- Yahoo News
…And many more smaller papers nationwide. Just Google “Activist floods lawmakers’ inboxes; they retaliate”
MISSOURIANS: Stop The Horse Kill Bill In Your State
Not a Missourian? Forward this to a list or person who is.
The Missouri House has passed H.B. 1747 — the bill to permit horse processing for human consumption in MO.
Some Reps — in response to your emails — misused public information and harassed a benevolent, nonprofit organization. They bounced over 2000 (andcounting) unread emails from their servers back to Kinship Circle. Some left childish and menacing messages on Kinship Circle’s voicemail: singing “A Horse Is A Horse,” chanting “Brenda, Brenda, Brenda…neigh…” in reference to KC president Brenda Shoss. One just bleated some type of tribal war call.
Most alarming? Use of the word “retaliate” — as in, the House will pass this horse kill bill to get back at Kinship Circle members for sending comments. In fact, words such as “everyone here is against your organization and doesn’t like you…” or “you’ve guaranteed passage of this bill…” formed the basis for how some elected officials voted.
It is vital that MISSOURIANS now do two things:
1) CONTACT YOUR STATE REPS
Find your Reps’ email address & contact info: http://www.house.mo.gov/member.aspx
– Ask how they voted on H.B. 1747, the bill to legalize horse slaughter in MO.
-Tell them if they voted in favor of it, they just lost your vote at election polls.
2) CONTACT YOUR STATE SENATORS
Find your Senators’ email address & contact info: http://www.senate.mo.gov/
– Describe your disapproval of the House passage of H.B. 1747, to legalize horse slaughter in MO.
– Explain why the Senate should NOT pass a similar bill, using some of the talking points below.
– Tell them that their YES or NO vote on legalized horse slaughter will effect your future voting decisions.
There is no auto-letter for this. A personal constituent approach is vital to keep this bill from passage in the Senate.
TALKING POINTS – MODIFY & PERSONALIZE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE!
Sign with name and full address; if not you’ll be ignored.
— I’m dismayed by the recent passage of Rep. Jim Viebrock’s bill to sidestep federal rules that bar horse slaughter for human consumption. As your constituent, I’d like to know how you voted (or plan to vote) on legalizing horse slaughter in Missouri. Your stance on H.B. 1747, or any Senate companion bill, will influence my vote at election polls.
— I ask my Senators to oppose any bill with language that mirrors H.B. 1747 and lets horse processors operate in Missouri.
— Eyes around the nation are focusing on Missouri — to see if it will revive horse slaughter on American soil. As you know, this is not a Missouri issue alone. No equine kill plants have legally operated in the U.S. since those in Texas and Illinois were shut down in 2007. The matter of killing American horses affects concerned citizens everywhere.
While supporters insist slaughter “saves” horses from neglect and starvation, their argument fails to recognize:
— “Americans oppose horse slaughter by an overwhelming margin,” says Glen Bolger, national pollster and founding partner of the nonpartisan Public Opinion Strategies (POS). In a 2007 poll, POS found that 71% want horses preserved as part of American cultural heritage. Nearly half are less likely to vote for a Congressperson who is against a horse slaughter ban.
— Equine plants are known polluters that congest sewers and contaminate land and water.
— Rather than advocate slaughter as an alternative to neglect, lawmakers should enforce criminal prosecution. In Missouri Anti-Cruelty Statues, animal abandonment is a crime punishable by fines and jail time.
— Slaughter is NOT humane euthanasia. Methods to stun and kill cows and pigs are excruciating when used on horses. Nonetheless, these excitable, long-necked animals are subject to captive bolt pistols that often don’t render them insensible. Some remain aware while killed.
— Focus should shift from slaughter to breeding oversight and responsible care. Overpopulation stems from industries such as Premarin and Prempro (HRT drugs made from mare urine); carriage horses; riding stables, etc. that over-breed horses. Moreover, there is no documented link between closure of domestic plants and a spike in horse abuse cases. In contrast, slaughter supplies a “dumping ground” for irresponsible breeders and caretakers.
— Missouri wants to impose a U.S. market for horsemeat on a nation that doesn’t want it. The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act, H.R. 503/S.B. 727, currently before Congress, bans possession, shipment, transport, purchase, sale, delivery or receipt of any horse for the purpose of human ingestion.
— Please do not support legalized horse slaughter in Missouri.
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