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New organization prepares to battle HSUS, PETA over horse slaughter issue

The horse slaughter debate is about to get downright contentious, now that South Dakota radio talk show host Chase Adams has joined the fray. The farm and ranch director and host of the "Five State Live!" agriculture show on radio station KBHB ha...

The horse slaughter debate is about to get downright contentious, now that South Dakota radio talk show host Chase Adams has joined the fray. The farm and ranch director and host of the "Five State Live!" agriculture show on radio station KBHB has just registered a nonprofit organization, the American Horse League Inc., to do battle with animal rights activist groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Humane Society of the United Sates.

"Somebody out there somewhere has got to be willing to step up to the plate and take on PETA and the HSUS and every single other group in the nation that threatens animal agriculture on a day-to-day basis," he says. "It's a $400 million industry, just to threaten animal agriculture."

Current status

The efforts of the American Horse League will be focused entirely on the horse slaughter issue, which has been a hotly debated issue since the closing of the only three U.S. plants in 2007. Legislative wrangling in Washington continues while the various aspects of equine death are brought into the debate.

A bill, the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009, now is making its way through the U.S. House of Representatives. Most recently, it was referred to in the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.

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According to the Congressional Research Service, a nonpartisan arm of the Library of Congress, the bill would amend the federal criminal code to impose a fine or prison term of up to three years (or both) for possessing, shipping, transporting, purchasing, selling, delivering or receiving any horse with the intent that it be slaughtered for human consumption.

Adams thinks Americans are being mislead on the important points relative to horse slaughter and intends to make public information a part of the league's mission.

"Education is a huge part of it," he says. "PETA and the HSUS basically thrive off of ignorance."

Hitting back

But the league's main goal is more direct in nature. He wants to "hit those groups like PETA and the Humane Society the same way they hit us. They hit us through lawsuits time and time and time again," he says. "Somebody needs to sue them back."

He intends to build the American Horse League into an organization that can challenge PETA and the Humane Society in open court and elsewhere.

"We'll take them on in the media and the court of public opinion, in the federal district court, state court -- wherever," he says.

He's just returned from Washington and says he made some good progress on Capitol Hill. He spoke with members lawmakers from around the country to gather support for horse slaughter.

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"I feel that we've got good, strong support in Congress and pretty good in the Senate," he says. "We're going to work on the legislative side. Our main focus, though, will be working through the courts."

That done, he now is setting out to build grass-roots support. The American Horse League will hold its first fundraiser June 14 at the St. Onge (S.D.) Livestock Co. and then will have another June 16 at the Philip (S.D.) Livestock.

Information: Chase Adams (605) 347-1730.

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