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Neither DATCP or the State of Wisconsin can adopt International Standards in the form of Codex Alimentarius

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 by: Paul Griepentrog (c) copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved
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Dear Senator Decker,
Just a note to remind you that neither DATCP or the State of Wisconsin can adopt International Standards in the form of Codex Alimentarius, in so far as International Standards can only be adopted by Federal authority pursuant to the Supremacy Clause which reserves the right of international treaty to the Fed.
The bill does nothing to stop adulterated honey either dilute with corn syrup or contaminated by antibiotics.  In fact if Codex standards were effective why wasn’t contaminated Chinese honey kept from entering the country in the first place.  Where were  the FDA and USDA when this occurred.  Instead of dealing with the failed agencies which would include DATCP for allowing it into the state you seek to force Wisconsin producers to bear the burden for the failure of the aforementioned administrative agencies.   Why hasn’t DATCP ordered the removal of contaminated products?  Is it that it’s easier to burden the state’s producers than to deal with Walmart and the big chain stores?
I await your reply.
Paul Griepentrog

Letter from Sen. Decker: More

Brutality of Horse Slaughter Exposed

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The Humane Society of the United States

Shocking images of extreme suffering released by USDA

The Humane Society of the United States

Horse with bloody eye

USDA

Documents recently released by the United States Department Agriculture (USDA) contain shocking images of the extreme suffering of horses transported to U.S.-based slaughter plants.

Animals’ Angels, a Maryland-based animal protection organization, obtained the photos as the result of a Freedom of Information Act request related to 2005 violations of the Commercial Transport of Equines to Slaughter Act at the former Bel-Tex horse slaughter plant in Kaufman, TX.

Graphic Injuries and Mistreatment

The photos were taken by USDA officials charged with monitoring the horses upon arrival at the slaughter plant. While some of the photos depict graphic injuries obviously suffered in transport to slaughter (eyeballs hanging off, bruised and bloodied faces, severely injured and missing legs), others show horses who were clearly mistreated by their owners prior to being purchased for and transported to slaughter.

“For far too long, the availability of horse slaughter has allowed unscrupulous horse owners and breeders to use slaughter auctions as a dumping ground for their “excess” horses. It is time for the horse industry to take responsibility for its horses—for their entire lives—instead of hiding behind a foreign owned industry that preys on our companion animals,” said Keith Dane, director of equine protection for The Humane Society of the United States.

In its 1996 Farm Bill, Congress gave the USDA authority to regulate the transport of horses to U.S. based, foreign-owned slaughter plants. The final rule, which was not published until 2001, included a phase out of the use of double-decker trailers to transport horses directly to slaughter.

However, a loophole in the law allows horses to be transported to any other destination, such as auctions, feed lots or intermediary points, on these cramped, dangerous trailers, meant for shorter neck species like cattle and pigs. When forced to travel on these trailers, horses cannot balance properly, causing them to suffer serious injuries, and sometimes death, before arriving at the slaughter plant. Many of the USDA photos depict injuries typical of horses forced to travel on double-decker trailers—severe head injuries, gaping hindquarter wounds, and leg injuries.

Transportation Horrors  More

A Grisly End for America’s Horses

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The brutal truth behind horse auctions and the journey to slaughter

The Humane Society of the United States

 

For many horses, the journey to slaughter begins at a local livestock auction. Show horses, camp and lesson horses, race horses, backyard companions, carriage horses, pregnant horses, even wild horses can be standing in a barn or pasture one day, and the next day find themselves loaded onto a trailer, headed for the weekly livestock auction.

Many horse owners bring their horses to these auctions with the expectation that the horse will find a good home. However, the pace of the auction and the often chaotic environment gives sellers little opportunity to show off their horse’s strong points, and it gives buyers little chance to assess whether a particular horse is a good fit for them. Sellers often do not realize that middlemen for foreign-owned slaughter plants—called killer buyers—frequent these auctions, looking for young, healthy horses who will bring a good price at the slaughter plant.

Purchased by Killer Buyers

When a horse is ridden or run loose into the auction ring, the auctioneer will quickly try to run up the bidding price. Often, killer buyers can be seen standing inside the auction ring, communicating directly with the auctioneer. At many auctions, would-be buyers include not only families looking for riding horses, but also horse rescue organizations trying to outbid killer buyers for horses that they know they can rehabilitate and adopt into loving homes.

While the auction environment is stressful, confusing and dangerous for horses, once they are purchased by killer buyers, their suffering intensifies. Driven by profit, the killer buyer will cram as many horses as possible onto a livestock trailer for the long journey to a feedlot or foreign owned slaughter plant. As in the auction pens, no regard is given for the age, sex, breed or temperament of the horses. In the crowded, cramped confines of the trailer, fighting, serious injury and even death are frequent occurrences. Once the horses are loaded onto trucks, they may remain there for days at a time, with no food, rest or water.

Transport to Slaughter

While some state laws prohibit the transport of horses on double decker trailers (designed for shorter-necked species such as cattle and pigs), current federal regulations allow horses to be transported on these trucks to any destination except directly to a slaughter plant. On these trailers, horses are forced into a stooped, unnatural position, unable to maintain their balance.

Startling USDA documents obtained by the nonprofit investigative organization Animals’ Angels reveal horses arriving at U.S.-based slaughter plants with horrific injuries suffered in transport. Graphic photos depict horses with missing and dangling eyes and legs, severe head and back injuries—even horses dead on arrival. In recent years, there have been several horrific accidents involving horses being transported to slaughter on double-decker trailers.

Even in regular trailers, long distance travel without food, water, or rest is a recipe for disaster. Horses who fall down or are injured en route are considered “the cost of doing business.” Even under the transport regulations, horses who are heavily pregnant, missing an eye or otherwise injured can be legally hauled for more than 24 hours at a time.

Arrival at the Slaughter Plant

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