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7.20.06-Legislation update

Pending legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives has seen some recent action.

First let’s just clear up what legislation we’re talking about.

In the House, it’s H.R. 503, a resolution “to amend the Horse Protection Act to prohibit the shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling, or donation of horses and other equines to be slaughtered for human consumption, and for other purposes.”

In the Senate, it’s S. 1915, aka the Virgie S. Arden American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.

It’s the House legislation that we must talk about though. H.R. 503 hit the floor of the House where Ed Whitfield (R-KY) “asked unanimous consent” for the bill to be referred to two committees, mind you H.R. 503 spent over 18 months in committee before making its way to the floor; only to be re-referred to a different committee.

The resolution was referred back to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, where it spent the 18 months, in the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection. Finally, it had its day on May 18, 2006 when, for the first time since its Feb. 2005 introduction, it saw the floor of the House in the form of introductory remarks. In addition to revisting the above committee the resolution was also referred to the Committee on Agriculture.

The Ag Committee doesn’t have the legislation on its online schedule of hearings, this up through the 31st of July. However, the Energy and Commerce Committee does have it on the docket for a 2:00 p.m. July 25 hearing before the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection.

These hearings are webcast (requires Real player) and this link will become active 10 minutes prior to the hearing.

The Senate version of the bill is still stagnant in the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, where it has languished since Oct. 2005 and its introduction.

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