South Dakota Resolutions to Promote Horse Harvesting and Slaughter

Update March 18, 2008: The legislature has adjourned. SCR 15 passed the Senate but not the House.

Update February 27, 2008: Unable to pass a law allowing the use of public funds to build a horse slaughtering facility in South Dakota, state Sen. Frank Kloucek has spearheaded an effort to pass a resolution encouraging the construction in the state of what are called "USDA-inspected horse processing" plants. 

Yes, "processing", as if horses are simply goods to be processed and sold.  The resolution, H.C.R. 1007, has now passed both the House and Senate. Click here for a copy. 

The resolution claims because of the closing of the U.S. horse slaughter houses, there will be 60,000-90,000 unwanted horses each year "that would be exposed to potential abandonment and neglect". The resolution insists horse slaughter in the U.S. is humane. The resolution cites to the Horse Welfare Coalition in support of these "facts". The Horse Welfare Coalition is a well known pro slaughter group.

First, horse slaughter in the U.S. was not in any sense humane. If you doubt that, click here and here for what really happened at U.S. horse slaughter houses. 

Second, there is simply no basis for the claim there will be 60,000-90,000 horses facing abandonment and neglect each year. Horse slaughter is not a program for unwanted or neglected horses. It is a multi million dollar a year business driven not by numbers of abandoned or starving horses but by demand for horse meat. According to the USDA, 90% of horses sent for slaughter are healthy. It makes no sense to say the numbers of horses slaughtered in the U.S. each year will be the number "potentially" abandoned or neglected upon the closing of the slaughter facilities. 

The closing of the horse slaughter facilities in the U.S. limits the businesses of stealing or buying and selling horses for slaughter. With those closings and with the passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act that will shut the borders to the transport of American horses for slaughter in other countries, there is little or no incentive to steal or buy and sell horses for slaughter. There is no support historically that slaughter facilities eliminate abandoned and neglected horses. For more information, read John Holland’s report here.   

Sen. Kloucek and his cohorts are also supporting a second resolution, S.C.R. 15, which calls on Congress to oppose efforts to stop horse slaughter and support the "harvest" of horses by re-establishing  "processing" facilities in the U.S.  More of the same.

Click here for a copy of S.C.R. 15.

Both resolutions contend U.S. zoos rely on horse meat which is just not the case. Zoos are moving away from horsemeat and very few use it anyway. Horse meat is primarily consumed as a delicacy in other countries.

Update January 29, 2008: Thanks to your emails and calls, S.B. 170, a plan to use public funds to build a horse slaughtering facility in South Dakota has been killed in Committee. There was an effort to change the language of the bill to say "horse processing" instead of slaughter, but that didn’t work.  

This bill points up the need to pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act in Congress.

Click here for information about and how you can use your power to help pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, now pending in Congress, to shut down the sale and transport of horses to other countries for slaughter.

Original report: Several state senators introduced a bill in the South Dakota legislature last week that would make a state-funded loan of up to $1 million available to anyone wishing to construct and open a horse slaughtering facility in the state.

The bill, S.B. 170, is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee at 10 a.m. MST on January 29, 2008 (Tuesday morning).

Horse slaughter in the U.S. was shut down in 2007. As Animal Welfare Institute, AWI,, points out, "The opening of a plant in South Dakota would be a huge step backwards for American horses and would have a tremendously negative impact on the state."

Click here for a copy of the bill.

What You Can Do

Click here to email members of the South Dakota Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee to let them know that you oppose S.B. 170.

Or click on their names below to email them.

Duenwald, Jay, Chair

Garnos, Cooper (cosponsor)

Hansen, Tom, Vice Chair

Hanson, Gary (cosponsor)

Kloucek, Frank (cosponsor)

Lintz, Jim

McNenny, Kenneth

Peterson, Jim

Sutton, Dan (cosponsor)

You can also call each one by calling the Capitol operator at 605-773-3821.

If you live in South Dakota, tell them and also click here to find and write or call your South Dakota legislators to let them know you vote and you oppose public funding of a horse slaughter facility in this state.

If you are not from South Dakota, you can still write or call committee members. If this bill, S.B. 170 passes, it will affect horses everywhere.

Don’t wait. Write or call now!

Talking Points from AWI, and Compassion Index,

In addition to your own feelings on horse slaughter, here are some points to raise in your emails or calls:

  • Americans overwhelmingly oppose horse slaughter and this has resulted in the closure of the remaining foreign-owned domestic plants. South Dakota would be out of step with public sentiment if the state legislature passes S.B. 170 into law and this will reflect unfavorably on the state.
  • The overwhelming majority of horses they would slaughter come from other states, including stolen horses and horses sold under false pretenses.
  • Given that the federal American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act is anticipated to move in 2008, the loan made available via S.B. 170 would be fool hardy. The state risks pumping scarce taxpayer dollars into an industry that is likely to be shut down under federal law.
  • The FY 2008 Omnibus Appropriations bill (which funds the federal government) currently before Congress includes a provision that prohibits the use of federal tax dollars for the inspection of horses going to slaughter – without which the animals cannot legally be slaughtered. It is anticipated that like measures will be included in future spending bills, too. South Dakota could find itself with a slaughterhouse that cannot operate due to federal funding restrictions.
  • The REDI fund, through which the loan would be made, is designed to promote job growth in South Dakota. The fact is that a horse slaughter plant would employ only a handful of low-paid, unskilled workers who are more likely to be a drain on the economy than a bonus.
  • The establishment of a plant in South Dakota would have a negative environmental and economic impact on the hosting jurisdiction. Disposal of blood, tissue and other waste associated with operating a plant would likely stress pre-existing sewer systems and could even require significant public expenditure to fortify the infrastructure.

Click here for information about and how you can help pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, now pending in Congress, to shut down the sale and transport of horses to other countries for slaughter.

One thought on “South Dakota Resolutions to Promote Horse Harvesting and Slaughter”

  1. Former State Legislator draws national attention‏
    From: Darold Holden (
    Sent: Mon 12/29/08 10:17 PM
    To: David Sigdestad (; Frank Kloucek (

    by George Thompson
    Rep Dave Sigdestad draws national attention with the passage of the resolution
    A former Pierpont state legislator involved in the National Council of State Legislature (NCSL) succeeded in co-sponsoring and adopting a resolution to help the horse industry humanely dispose of unwanted animals.
    David Sigdestad along with Sue Wallis, a state legislator from Recluse, WY succeeded in getting this horse policy resolution adopted by the NCSL annual fall convention held Dec. 11-13 in Atlanta, GA.
    The NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves legislators and staffs of the nation’s 50 states, commonwealth and territories before congress and other federal agencies.
    The resolution recieved overwhelming support at the conventions and will allow NCSL to lobby for the issue on Capitol Hill as well as establish a position for state government.
    Sigdestad said he first got involved with the issue during the last session of the South Dakota Legislature. At that time he was able to get a resolution through both houses endorsing the concept of states opposing any attempts to restrict, market transport processing or export of horses and to recognize the need of human processing facilities throughout the country.
    Horse industry experts estimate there are more than 100,000 unwanted horses who annually suffer from neglect or abandonment because there are no markets for processing. They say these unwanted horses also compete with more than 32,000 wild horses that are fed and sheltered at $40 million in taxpayer expenses.
    They noted that since closing horse processing facilities in this country 35,000 animals were shipped to Canada in 2007 and exports to Mexico have tripled. They also point out that standards in foreign facilities are not held to the humane handling and euthanasia standards of this country.
    The elimination of processing facilities in the country has also meant the loss of $42 million in exports to the horse industry.
    “I worry about the fate of unwanted horses and other animals,” Sigdestad said. “Especially in tight times like these. Isn’t it better to have a place where these animals can be humanely disposed of, rather than have them abandoned?”
    Following up on his success in South Dakota Sigdestad sought the help of Rep. Sue Wallis who agreed to co-author the resolution before the national council.
    Wallis, who is the vice chairmen of the agriculture and energy standing committee at NCSL, said the resolution prompted a groundswell of support within the horse industry. “We had letters of support from horse councils nationwide. We heard from horse owners, horse rescue and recovery organizations who are overwhelmed and without options,” she said. “We heard from breed registries, professional rodeo cowboys, horse owners and many, many people who are sincerely concerned about the fate of horses and the equine industry.”
    Sigdestad and Wallis also received support from the staff at several universities who supported their resolution with scientific research. They also received endorsements from former Montana Sen. Conrad Burns and Congressmen from Washington and Kentucky who spoke in support to help bring this resolution to a near unanimous vote.
    “I am especially pleased that the strong support of this resolution will allow our NCSl staff the ability to lobby on Capitol Hill with factual, accurate and compassionate information about the horrific unintended consequences certain proposed federal actions that deprive livestock owners of private property rights and thwart state efforts.”
    Sigdestad has no doubt this resolution won’t sit well with PETA and other radical animal rights groups.
    “I going to encourage other states to pass similar resolutions. We need good human processing facilities to take sick and unwanted animals. It makes sense both from a personal and an economical perspective.” He noted the Wyoming legislature has the issue on its agenda for the upcoming session.
    “The horse people of America owe a special thanks not only to Rep. Sigdestad who first brought the issue to NCSL, and to Sen. Burns for his straight forward effectiveness, but also to the many state senators and representatives who supported the resolution at our general session. “Without question animal agriculture in the U.S. is under siege by radical animal rights organizations,” concluded Wallis. “This doesn’t win us the war, but it is a significant skirmish and we have one more valuable tool in our arsenal.”

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