Cruelty to Animals Roundup: Shame on Montana, Schweitzer, Rolex, and NBC

Governor allows horse butchering; Kentucky event kills another equine athlete.

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By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

When I blogged earlier I was assuming Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer would veto a bill that encouraged the construction of a horse slaughterhouse in his state. Instead, last week, in a little-noticed move, he allowed the bill to become law. Shame on Governor Schweitzer, who can now take the heat for Montana's new nickname:

Slaughter-tana.

HELENA - Gov. Brian Schweitzer on Friday let a controversial bill encouraging the construction of a horse-slaughtering plant in Montana become law without his signature.

"The governor made his opinion on this bill known; the Legislature did the same," said Schweitzer's spokeswoman, Sarah Elliott. "No action was taken, and the bill has now become law."

Elliott was referring to Schweitzer's attempt to get the Legislature to amend House Bill 418, by Rep. Ed Butcher, R-Winifred.

In an amendatory veto, Schweitzer asked lawmakers to strip the bill's provisions giving the horse slaughter industry special protections by eliminating the right of citizens to file environmental appeals over projects

Both the House and Senate rejected Schweitzer's suggested amendments by large margins.

Also, the cruelty continues in three-day eventing as another equine athlete died last month negotiating the ridiculously difficult course:

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -A veteran horse died while competing at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. A news release said Kingpin, ridden by Mike Winter, fell Saturday while negotiating Fence 10 and died at the scene.

Shame on all riders, coaches and league officials who sanction the production of courses made purposefully dangerous for horses and riders alike. At least the riders go into the sport knowing and accepting the dangers. Horses are just trying their hearts out for owners. Shame, too, on NBC for broadcasting Rolex later this month.