In our last issue of the NeighSaver we asked you to “Ponder This”. The State of Oregon was rated #2 (led only by Illinois) in its animal cruelty laws with Kentucky scoring last of the fifty states. Source: Animal Legal Defense Fund 2015 U.S. Animal Protection Laws Rankings. Check out the rankings here.
Here is what we think.
The ranking for our State of Oregon is great – second in the country for the quality of its animal welfare laws. Here is the catch. As is true elsewhere, horses in Oregon are categorized for legal purposes as livestock – essentially a “crop”. So, while our laws require shelter for dogs, it does not require shelter for horses. While our laws limit the tethering of dogs, it does not do so for horses. And so it goes.
We only speak for horses. These majestic animals are not food, or “crops” except to the extent they are cruelly trucked across our borders for an even more cruel “harvest” or slaughter. Aside from being sentient, intelligent, and emotional beings, they have a huge place in our country’s history. They have been our transportation and our partners in agriculture and logging, have been in every war we have fought, are still members of many police forces, and are used for racing, rodeo, and other sports. We have never thought of them as “crops” and it is a mystery to us why they are treated as such under our laws – laws that rank second in the county! What must happen to horses in the “worst” state for animal welfare – Kentucky?