Guest Commentary: EWA Vice President Vicki Tobin Responds to Wyoming’s Rep. Sue Wallis
CHICAGO, (EWA) – Thank you for not being embarrassed to publish the rantings of Sue Wallis. With your large readership, the horse world can see in print just how desperate and off the deep end Wallis has gone.
Why not go all out: Op Ed: Slaughter Bans Would Increase Horse Suffering, Kill Jobs, Destroy What’s Left of Equine Businesses and Families, Bring on the Apocalypse, Bring Wall Street to Its Knees, Increase Global Warming, Start World War III, Bring on the Bubonic Plague, A Tsunami and the Doppelgangers, will rise.
Wallis starts her propaganda by completely ignoring that the amount of horses being slaughtered is the same as when the domestic plants were in operation. Perish the thought that common sense would prevail and she would realize that anything that is occurring cannot be attributed to the lack of slaughter. There can be no cause and effect if one of the factors has remained constant.
In her zealous quest to discredit HSUS, she has lied again. We didn’t follow HSUS, they followed us. HSUS did not become involved until AFTER the 1949 law in Texas shut down the plants. Their diligent legal team had the closures escalated and thus began HSUS’ involvement. Wallis is so enamored with Rick Berman [coined Dr. Evil by 60 Minutes] and his HumaneWatch that it has clouded the little bit of judgment she has. When will she realize that constantly attacking HSUS is not going to make Americans embrace horse slaughter? The strategy is old and tired and has run its course. HSUS’ support is as strong as ever.
The opposition to horse slaughter by horse owners, exists with or without HSUS. People are capable of forming their own opinions and don’t need HSUS or anyone to tell them what to support or not support. Unlike her small group of followers, we research and then decide whether to support an initiative. We don’t follow anyone blindly. We have disagreed with HSUS and others on issues and to continue to portray equine advocates as lemmings that aren’t capable of formulating an educated opinion is not only a lie but an insult to the horse community. We are not radical anything and all the name calling and lies won’t diminish what we have accomplished without funding or the knowledge and professionals we bring to the table. EWA is a 501c4 and have yet to ask for or collect one penny. We don’t work for HSUS, they don’t fund us and we don’t have Big Ag and the AQHA lining our pockets and donating to legislators to support our bills.
Wallis does not represent horse owners; she represents a foreign meat industry that she is trying to force down the throats of people that want no part of it. If she gets her way, horse owners will be forced to pay for a national passport system so the owners of 2% of the horse population can dump their horses. She is going to force costly regulations down the throats of the entire horse industry. She is going to bring the pollution, stench and violations of every regulation back to local communities that house the plants. She will take away valuable state and local resources to constantly battle with the plants to get them to follow regulations and then spend tens of thousands in court when they refuse to pay their fines. Who is going to pay for all that? The taxpayers, that’s who.
Wallis makes it sound like she wants to open a spa for horses. But those of us that have had the plants in our communities have experienced firsthand that it is nothing but death and destruction. And dare anyone to fine them or try to shut them down. One court battle after the next until they just about bankrupt the communities. And all because Wallis refuses to address the root cause of excess horses.
With the decades of killing horses, isn’t it obvious that slaughter does not control the population but encourages the exact opposite? Why on earth would the abusers change their behaviors when the dumping ground is available for their next batch of culls?
She slams educated legislators that can run circles around her and aligns with legislators that don’t understand the law.
If they did, they would understand that the courts have already ruled th at f
ees for inspections is a violation of the federal meat inspection act and yet, she and Lummis, keep trying to slip in amendments that are against the law. She ignores food safety laws by writing her own and hoping nobody will notice. The EU and FDA are strengthening food safety laws, not laxing them.
She complains of “all the horse suffering” and then opposes the very legislation that will end it and calls it ill advised.
Take note that she has no data to back any of her rantings. I for one would like to the data on how she arrived at the conclusion that the legislation is universally opposed by every segment of the horse world. Really? One of the largest exporting countries of horse meat, Canada, has proposed their own legislation to end
horse slaughter. Italy, one of the largest importers of horse meat is doing the same. Belgium, another large consumer has seen two major grocers remove and refuse to sell US horse meat. She won’t mention that one because it would require her to discuss food safety.
BTW, if there is such overwhelming support, why don’t slaughter proponents let the legislation go to the floor for a vote? Instead, they stall and block them every session.
The latest stall tactic was the call for the GAO report that took well over one year to produce and resulted in a report with no data, conflicting recommendations and pages full of anecdotal comments, gossip and conversations that were used to form opinions. How much did that farce of a report cost the American taxpayers?
Only Wallis would praise the abysmal record of regulation enforcement. The transport issues alone put that comment in the “say what?” category. Only Wallis would continue to declare undercover videos fake that were authenticated by the Canadian government. Only Wallis would continue to repeat over and over again that horses are livestock but fail to mention that calling them livestock does not make them food animals. Only Wallis continues to completely ignore food safety and that the meat she wants to feed foreign consumers would be banned for sale by the FDA in the U.S. Only Wallis would exploit Native Americans and try to portray their support as if it represents the Native American population in general when the “Tribes” that support her are a minute percentage of the Native American population.
She doesn’t understand that the horse industry does not produce meat. The horse industry is involved in activities that require live horses. The live horses bring $39 billion in revenue compared to 3 cents on every $100 earned from horse slaughter. Horse slaughter is no more than a rounding error on the horse industry’s balance sheet.
Almost every business in the US has had to downsize. Thousands upon thousands of businesses have shuttered their doors or are a mere shadow of their former market share. None of this has anything to do with the plants closing. The economy tanked after the plants closed and to think that the worst financial crises in US history since the Great Depression wouldn’t impact the horse industry is beyond stupid.
Killing horses is not going to put money in the pockets of consumers so they can afford to buy and care for horses. Killing horses isn’t going to bring American jobs back and would restore only the 30 or so jobs that were held by American citizens between the three plants.
And in case she has forgotten, slaughter is for food production. It is not the place to send excess or unwanted animals of any species. Regulations require that the animal be raised and regulated as a food animal. She refuses to acknowledge the recent EU report that revealed residues of banned substances in US horses and that each horse had falsified paperwork stating
the horse was drug free.
She claims pro-horse groups trying to help horses are begging for money but when she constantly begs, it’s not begging. What happened to her Horse Act of 2009? She said she was going to build a plant in Cheyenne, then a mobile plant, then it was in Platte and now it’s in 5 states. She’s a moving target with frequent organization name changes – United Orgs of the Horse with a donate button that went to United Horsemen’s Front so a deduction that shouldn’t have been deductible, became deductible. It was a mutual benefit then a 501c3 that lobbies full time. And then UHF changed to United Horsemen and was in Oregon but then was moving to Wyoming. First she was going to feed the toxic meat to children and prisoners in WY, then she was going to slaughter for zoos and now, multi species. John Holland, at no charge, advised her two years ago that a plant could not be financially supported for zoos and finally the light bulb came on and she says it doesn’t “pencil.” How much did it cost her taxpayers for that study
She’s making everyone dizzy.