Thursday, May 17, 2007

Well it happened yesterday, the Illinois Senate voted to ban horse harvesting in the state, but at the same time, activity in Texas is considered positive. The Texas Senate has passed a bill change offered by Sen. Glenn Hegar that opens the door for the sale of horsemeat for human consumption as long as animals have been "tested by the commission."

Stay tuned for further developments on that..

Frank Bowman is President of Horseman's Council of Illinois and had this to share.

Most downstate democrats broke ranks and voted against the bill and most
urban republicans also broke ranks and voted for the bill. Emotions ran high
during the floor debate but in the end animal welfare issues trumped common

In another somewhat related story: What is the purpose of a county or state fair? Yes, I thought so....educating consumers about food production. Look at this development this week in California. Remember it was California that lead the nation in banning horse harvesting in 1998 and now the removal of livestock from a county fair.

Pigs, sheep, geese told to scurry from Valley Fair, drawing outrage

Anti-foie gras suit dismissed


A judge has dismissed a lawsuit by animal rights activists challenging a state grant of $420,000 to a foie gras farm in SullivanCounty. Justice Thomas McNamara concluded Empire State Development Corp. had "a rational basis" to award the grant, without special environmental review, to Hudson Valley Foie Gras to upgrade water treatment facilities and expand.

The court challenge by the Humane Society of the United States and six New York members also lacked standing, McNamara ruled. The plaintiffs had to challenge the expenditure as unlawful and not just money spent unwisely, he wrote. "The factual bases offered to support the claim do not rise to the level of illegal or unconstitutional acts."

The underlying issue is foie gras production in New York, which the Humane Society considers cruel and wants to stop. Hudson Valley Foie Gras, with three locations in rural SullivanCounty, raises 250,000 ducks annually to produce meat. Foie gras - French for "fat liver" - farms force-feed ducks to fatten their livers well beyond normal sizes.

I know most of us don't even know what Foie Gras is, but I truly believe it has the potential to impact all of us particularly given today's governmental attitude that they are better qualified to make food choices for us. We should take a really hard look at were that started. It began in NAZI Germany and should stay there. Nothing about that government that placed the life of animal above humans should be duplicated. It appears Chicago is beginning to see that. It is also interesting to note that when a colleague of mine recently spoke to the Illinois lawyer that pushed through the foie gras ban in Chicago and asked for an explanation on why he supported the banning of a food product that the veterinary community has determined not to be raised under cruel conditions, he said with a smile and a shrug that he "did it for the money." Well, there is lies another great problem.... Trent

As the foie gras turns


Mayor Daley, who found the ban nearly as ridiculous as a runway in downtown Chicago, has predicted that aldermen will repeal the outlawed delicacy ban soon. This came on the tails of Ald. Ed Burke of the 14th Ward (remember how he wanted cabbies to have a dress code?) maneuvering aldermen into voting to repeal the ban.

In perhaps one of the better sound bites this year, Ald. Ed Smith of the 28th Ward, who happens to chair the Health Committee where the ban is upheld, not only threatened to resign if the ban was repealed, he said, "My manhood, my integrity is at stake."

Only in Chicago would you find foie gras pitted against an Alderman's manhood. Be sure to tune in next time for the continuing story of "As the Foie Gras Turns."

Resource for AVMA:

Prohibiting production of foie gras in the United States would have a minimal impact on agricultural markets, but several delegates expressed concern that efforts to oppose foie gras production were just "baby steps" by groups with much more ambitious goals.

Always together for American agriculture,
Trent Loos

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