Law of the West |

Law of the West

by John Scorsine
Peyton, Colo.

A few weeks ago, we watched as the Congress and the Senate made a huge shift in political power. But, the 110th Congress doesn’t get seated until the third of January. In the meantime, the 109th still has a lot of work in front of it. One item is the Bill to amend the Horse Protection Act; Senate File 1915.

This Bill is critical for our equine friends. Nearly, 100,000 horses are sold to slaughter houses in the United States each year to be butchered for human consumption in other countries. There is no way that this proud companion of man, who helped win the West, should ever come to rest on anyone’s dining room table.

Horses have not only carried our burdens and been our beloved work partners; they have been an integral aspect of our spiritual lives. Whether seen as Odin’s horse, Sleipnir; Prince Siddhartha’s horse, Kanthaka; a horse that allowed native American Shamans to fly; the donkey that witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus and is responsible for their cross like marking; or, the medicine hat horse of the Sioux that assured victory to its rider in battle: horses are an inseparable part of our culture and beliefs.

Senate Bill 1915 will “… prohibit the shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, purchasing, selling or donation of horses and other equines to be slaughtered for human consumption, and for other purposes …” The Bill was introduced last year by Senator Ensign of Nevada. It has 33 co-sponsors in the Senate! On Oct. 25, it was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and it expect to be voted on by the full senate before the end of the year.

If you feel as I do that horses are noble creatures that deserve our respect and compassion and freedom from the cruelty of the slaughter house, then it’s time to act. Call, write or e-mail your two Senators. Tell them that you support the bill to ban horse slaughter (S.1915), and ask them to vote “YES” for it. You can get the contact information for your Senators by going to In the upper right hand corner, in the “Find Your Senators” box, click on your state.

But, please don’t stop there. There are horses that need homes and there are horse rescue and shelter programs that need your support and time. For a convenient summary of the horse rescue groups in your state go to ” there you will find a listing of the rescue organizations in most states; or just plug “horse rescue” into your browser.

Each time I wake up I see my horses in the pasture and my Medicine Hat Stallion, Sleipnir, in his stall and run. I am reminded then that living in the West I am blessed to have the opportunity to share my home and time with these great and majestic creatures. Whether it was Lord Palnerstone, Harry Truman, or Ronald Reagan who said it, it is true, “The best thing for the inside of a man is the outside of a horse.”

With my apologies to Big and Rich, if you want to save a horse, forget riding the cowboy ” just call your Senator!

The information provided in this column is based upon general principles of law and should not be relied upon in any manner. It is not the intent of this column, its author, publisher or the Fence Post to provide legal advice to any person. You should address specific legal questions to your family lawyer. In Wyoming, the State Bar can refer you to competent lawyers in your community by calling (307) 634-7823. In Colorado, call the Metropolitan Lawyer Referral Service at (303) 831-8000. Readers in Nebraska can receive referrals from the State Bar Association by calling 1-800-742-3005.