Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Reuse, Recycle, Render: Proposed Oregon law makes horse abandonment a felony

The Oregon legislature is considering a bill making it a felony to release a horse into the wild. Here's an Oregonian article on that.

Proponents have suggested alternatives to wilde release, such as hay banks to assist those who can no longer afford the care of their horse. What the legislature is missing is the real problem: Oregon is in a rendering crisis.

Urban legislators with a disconnect from the farm have to ask this question: now that there are no rendering operations left in Oregon, what are farmers and horsemen supposed to do with old, infirm, and unwanted livestock? If you are renting a horse stall, you may not have land for burial.

A .45 and a backhoe or irresponsible abandonment shouldn't be the only two answers. Instead, Oregon should stay true to its environmental roots: Reuse, recycle, render.

Until the legislature deals with our rendering crisis, the problem of horse abandonment will continue. Adding another criminal law only serves to make politicians look tough on crime and does nothing to fix the underlying problem.

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