On Thursday the Nevada State Assembly Committee of Natural Resources will hear (and vote) on two issues surrounding horses.
Horse Tripping SB72
The first is SB72 the bill on Horse Tripping. This bill has changed radically since it’s introduction. The bill in it’s current form simply states the obvious: “If it is against local ordinance it is against state law.” It puts a definition of horse tripping “on the books” but simply does nothing else. The ONLY aspect addressed in this bill that is not addressed anywhere is the specific prohibition of “practice” in jurisdictions where there is an ordinance against the practice… but that would actually already be addressed in local ordinance but not specifically mentioned.
Oddly the bill still has opposition from those that engage in the practice! It seems that this has become an argument based on “image,” rather than any argument about the actual act of throwing ropes to lasso the legs of a galloping horse, a practice the vast majority of Americans find as absurd.
Getting any meaningful Legislation passed on an issue that in the state of Texas was ruled animal cruelty and torture in 1994, was banned over the next decade and has not hindered the largest traditional rodeo in the nation or in any way “hurt” the ethnic community in Texas, seems to be impossible in Nevada.
After spending yesterday at the Legislature, meeting with several that have worked on this bill and also with the Hispanic Caucus, we were asked to withdraw our opposition to the bill as it is now worded. We have agreed to drop our opposition only after conversations occurred to create dialogue as to how to proceed if this current bill has no effect and horses continue to face grave injury. We were told no efforts to amend language will take place this session.
Wild Horse Resolution
The second item on the agenda is SJR1, the wild horse resolution.
We have finally seen the text of the resolution. This resolution is now a very simple one. The resolution simply allows the Department of Agriculture to consider cooperative range management of the Virginia Range horses to ease the financial burden on the state and encourage the state to promote tourism. Plain and simple and in no way is confusing jurisdictions between state and federal.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
You can write to the members of assembly that sit on the committee. It is suggested that you put a comment such as “Vote YES on SB72” or “Vote YES on SJR1” in the subject line as reading the entire body of the email may not occur.
IF you think that getting Horse Tripping defined and local ordinance supported is something you support email on SB72. (Here at WHE we have written a letter expressing our strong disappointment that the bill was cut to such an ineffective piece of legislation and chide the state for passing the responsibility to counties but that we support the passage of SB72).
IF you want the state to have flexibility to enter into cooperatives for management purposes and promote tourism opportunities send an email supporting SJR1. (SJR1 actually is in danger of NOT passing. Even though a Resolution has no real legal “teeth” of enforcement it seems that Assembly members in Nevada are so afraid to say anything positive about wild horses in light of the large livestock interests that may get them re-elected. So if you believe in SJR1 your emails, if enough come in, may really help get this one passed).
Committee Members here: http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/77th2013/Committees/A_Committees/NRAM.cfm
(If anyone has time to make a concise list post in comment section as we are heading into hearing)
Organized by Kelly Blevins: “I organized the Rally to show support and bring awareness to plight of the wild ones. To get Floridians involved and to make them aware of what is happening to our wild herds. I personal participated because I am tired of seeing BLM pulling them from the wild for no reason.”