- The Washington Times - Monday, September 19, 2005

Horses are not raised to be eaten

I’m writing in response to the Thursday editorial “Save the horses.” I am an American who can appreciate the sentiment behind this piece. I am among many who have been writing to our legislators for two years in an effort to ban horse slaughter in our country.

Your editorial is correct in stating that horses are not raised for food in this country. There are no regulations stating what horses can be treated with as there are with cattle, poultry and pork. My own horses are routinely dewormed using a product labeled “Not for use on animals raised for food.” This same statement appears on the phenylbutazone tabs (the aspirin of the horse world) I give my older horse. Meat laced with these products can cause side effects in humans, such as cancer.

The veterinary groups opposed to a ban on horse slaughter, most notably the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), have been using scare tactics to try and sway our nation’s lawmakers. Their baseless claim that horse abuse and neglect will rise is easily disputed by facts. One only has to examine the trend of the horse slaughter industry in the 1990s to see this.

In 1989, more than 340,000 horses were slaughtered for export, while last year there were only 66,000 horses slaughtered. The horse meat business is not about “saving horses from neglect” as the AVMA would have people believe, it’s all about the overseas demand for their product. That demand went down in the 1990s, but is now on the rise again. Suddenly it’s trendy to be seen eating horse meat in Europe again.

Americans do not approve of the foreign-owned horse meat business operating on our soil. I hope the Senate will support the Ensign?Byrd amendment to the agriculture appropriations bill.


Malibu, Calif.

Respect must be mutual

Ariel Cohen’s “Gaza synagogues burned by mobs” (Commentary, Friday) was thought-provoking. In May, Arab mobs looted and killed wantonly, spurred by a rumor (published in Newsweek magazine, later determined to be unfounded) that a U.S. soldier handled a Koran inappropriately. Then last week, as Mr. Cohen described, Palestinians desecrated Jewish synagogues clearly marked as holy places.

Religious tolerance must be mutual: Muslims cannot in good faith demand respect for their religious beliefs and actions if they are not willing to demonstrate respect for the beliefs of others. Peace in the Middle East will not be realized until Muslims respect and tolerate others as they wish to be respected and tolerated themselves.


Silver Spring

Katrina and the federalist debate

The scapegoating going on about the situation in New Orleans (“Recriminations… and scapegoating,” Commentary, Thursday) today in many ways harkens back to the debates at the founding of our country and to the adoption of our Constitution: The Hamiltonian and Jeffersonian points of view, the Federalist and anti-Federalists, slugged it out and the result was a combination of both ideas.

Hamilton’s position of a strong central government mostly prevailed and was reinforced by the Civil War, but the basic idea that the individual state is the cornerstone of the republic remains.

Thus New Orleans and the state of Louisiana, being closest to the situation and most knowledgeable of local conditions bear the primary responsibility for the safety and contentment of their citizens.

If an unforeseen situation overwhelms them, they may ask neighboring states or the federal government for help, but federal intrusion unbidden by the governor would be anathema in our form of government.

Would you really want the federal government to invade the state at will, unbidden by the governor to enforce whatever it wanted? A citizen has far more influence with the state government than he has with the federal government. Part of the reason that the National Guard is under the control of the governor is to keep the federal government at bay.

The mayor did not follow his own emergency plan nor did he use his proper authority to evacuate people. The governor actually impeded the federal government from entering the area in a timely manner. Both these officers were elected by the people affected; they were the people’s choices. Sometimes people choose badly.


San Francisco

A ‘modest declaration’ not without merit

It is true that the 2005 world summit outcome adopted by consensus at the end of the largest gathering of world leaders in history is a modest declaration (“U.N. world summit pledges avoid setting concrete plans,” World, Saturday). As a U.N. resolution its nature is determined by the U.N. Charter and 60 years of practice of the world organization. It is a nonbinding set of recommendations and its implementation is fully dependent on the political will of 191 member states.

However, beyond its obvious moral specificity, the outcome has the merit of reaffirming in clear words that our common fundamental values, including freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, respect for all human rights, respect for nature and shared responsibility, are essential to international relations.

In the absence of an ambitious and detailed plan of action, this set of values should be the guiding light of national and international policies for all U.N. members.

If there is genuine consensus to give tangibility to universal values, success may be expected in addressing development, disarmament, nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, as well as global crises, like those generated by terrorism, poverty, pandemics and environmental degradation. Is there true political will to translate that consensus into reality? That seems to be the crucial question of the day.



D.C. vehicle registration

I am writing in response to Deborah Simmons’ column on Friday (“Chutes and ladders in D.C.”, Op-Ed). Miss Simmons states that candidates for public office in the District of Columbia should emulate those in Richmond and if elected “do away with the annual motor-vehicle sticker shock.” Now I would like to supply the correct facts about the District in this area.

The District requires, and has for many years, that personal automobiles be inspected just once every two years and offers the option of a two-year renewal for the registration of such vehicles.

While an individual, for whatever reason, may currently choose a one-year registration option, this is being changed — a change that has been discussed publicly — to mandate a two-year registration period that will be synchronized with inspection renewals. Except for driver’s licenses, which are subject to renewal every five years, District car owners will have a single date every two years by which they would need to complete their business with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

As chair of the council committee with legislative oversight of the DMV, I have pushed for greater convenience, and am pleased we have made progress. Perhaps the city of Richmond is emulating us.


D.C. Council, at large

Chair, Committee on

Public Works and the Environment


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