Letters (4/25-5/2)

mail icon 2Prevent Horse Slaughter

The USDA is likely to approve a horse slaughtering plan in New Mexico in the next two months which would allow equine meat suitable for human consumption to be produced in the U.S. for the first time since 2007. A super secret new law passed by Congress, and sadly signed by President Obama will use tax payer money on the inspection of freshly slaughtered horse meat. Please write to our Congress people and tell them you support The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. ASAP.

At this time horses “discarded like garbage” are shipped every day to Canada. There the “horse meat men” waiting on the other side of the border to take these horses to their deaths…denying them food and water…and dragging the horses to the slaughterhouse by wrapping wire around their legs.

And please reflect on where this abundant “supply” or horses come from…horse breeding industry…thousands of horses that do not meet “standards.”


Breeding of horses for the Racing Industry; and the “show” industry creates a vast surplus of unwanted horses…Behind the “elegant” facade of Saratoga and HITS lies the hellish world of unwanted horses.

Wendy Wynberg


Towns Can Stop Fracking

Last week Hudson Valley United Against Fracking held a press conference expressing the area’s opposition to hydrofracking. Much of the antifracking movement urges the governor and the legislature to pass a statewide ban. The pressure on the state level is supported by the growing number of local bans. As more and more actual territory becomes New York Frack-Free Zones, a statewide ban comes closer to reality.

In January, Woodstock asked the state to criminalize fracking. Yet fracking is not criminalized within Woodstock. The zoning ban passed by Woodstock earlier states, essentially, that fracking is not an appropriate land-use for the town. Which leaves open the question of whether it’s ok somewhere else.

At that Town Board meeting, I represented Rochester Defense Against Fracking. We asked that Woodstock adopt an additional ban based on the civil rights of individuals to have clean water, clean air, and to retain the value of their property. This is a Community Bill of Rights Ordinance (CBRO). A CBRO states that hydrofracking is not legitimate anywhere — just as burglary is not all right in one place but ok somewhere else. It states that it is so poisonous to the water, the land, the health of people and to all living things, that it is prohibited as a violation of inherent civil rights.

Almost 200 towns over the Marcellus Shale are now using unchallenged CBROs against hydrofracking to protect their residents. A CBRO does not stand or fall based on international, federal, state or county law. It does not have to be sent to the County and registered with New York State. It does not depend on Home Rule. These ordinances stand on the right of each locality to protect its residents from illegal activity, and define hydrofracking as such an activity.

This is very different from asking the state legislature or the governor to ban fracking. It actually sets aside a concrete area where it is criminalized.

Think of the issue of slavery. It was once legitimate to ask, “Is slavery a property rights issue or is it a civil rights issue? Do municipalities ban it under property laws, and say, ‘It’s ok somewhere else but not here?’” Or do they declare it inherently harmful and invoke police powers to prevent slave ownership in their jurisdiction? Social change comes about when people decide that there are some activities so damaging that even though legalized, they need to be redefined. Slavery was redefined as a criminal act, town by town, and then state by state.

A land-use ban does not affect a town’s right to pass a CBRO. Having the power to control zoning does not strip the residents of a municipality of the right to be protected from criminal activity. It does not strip their town of their police powers to protect them.

We in Rochester Defense Against Fracking maintain that our towns can stop fracking in our state. Our towns have the right to protect us. We call on Woodstock and the towns of Ulster County to use this right and create a foundation for a statewide criminalization ban on hydrofracking by creating such bans right where they are. We welcome anyone interested in a CBRO in their town to contact us: 845-626-7355; dahlia@wildblue.net or see www.rdaf.org

Judith Karpova


There are 2 comments

    1. wendy

      November 18 2011 Omnibus Bill
      “resident Obama on Friday signed an omnibus spending bill needed to keep the government operating through Dec. 16, but which keeps pizza as a vegetable in school lunches and opens the door to a return to possible horse slaughter plants in the United States.

      Congress had passed the funding bill late Thursday.
      As far as horse slaughter plants, every year since 2005 the Agriculture Department appropriations bill has included a provision defunding USDA inspections of horse meat for human consumption. That has kept horse slaughtering plants from operating in the United States.

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