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Beating a Dead Horse, Legislative Version

By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The sponsor of a bill seeking to attract horse slaughter facilities said the bill likely will not pass this year.
Rep. Andy Holt said that chances were not good for the bill to pass, but he remained committed to bringing the industry to Tennessee.
The Senate version of the bill was taken off notice last week and Holt took it off the schedule for the House floor on Monday. He said an amendment that would require hefty deposits for anyone to mount a legal challenge to the facilities was removed from the bill, but he was also working on adding animal treatment guidelines.
“I am not into rushing stuff through,” he said. “We want to make sure all the interested parties have a chance to express their grievances with these bills.”
Holt said he wants to add protections for the horses and horse owners.
“The amendment we are working on right now actually sets up guidelines for animal treatment and for the procurement of these animals,” he said.
Holt, a Dresden Republican, has said his bill would create a humane way to cope with unwanted horses that are sometimes left to starve. But Democratic Rep. Janis Sontany of Nashville said slaughterhouses are seeking a different population of horses.
“They don’t want old or sick horses for slaughter,” she said. “They want healthy horses.”

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