I spoke with Janis Sontany and she really needs help to get HB3386 passed. The agriculture committee for the most part is not wanting to deal with this. They are going to need to hear from us or they are going to basically blow it off. Please call the people on the committee and tell them how you feel. Is it ok to look the other way while horses and other livestock are allowed to starve? We protect dogs & cats but not horses? Tell them how you feel. If you know members of the press ask them to come Tuesday, March 16th at 9am on Capitol Hill Room 28. If you can, show up yourself. I’m going and so are other horse enthusiasts and people who care enough to speak for these animals that cannot speak for themselves.
I grew up learning that Tennessee was not only home to “Music City” but that it was “horse country” as well. Growing up in New England, I read about it in school text books and saw pictures of rolling grass pastures full of horses. That’s one of the reasons I moved here. As a musician/songwriter and an equestrian, music and horses are two huge interests of mine and Middle Tennessee offered both. My partner & I purchased a horse farm in 1998 and there are currently 15 horses under my care here at Avalon Farms.
From the history of the Thoroughbreds at Belle Meade Mansion to the $260million+ Walking Horse Industry to the thousands of stables and backyard horse owners in every equine discipline, Tennessee horse lovers and businesses are big business for Tennessee. We should be setting the standard for folks around the country. With all this we have no law to protect them from neglect. A person in Tennessee can starve them, lock them up without care or water until they die and expect no more than the equivalent of a traffic ticket. A slap on the wrist…
Now, a bill is being introduced to the agriculture committee (HB3386) to make it a felony to starve these and other farm animals. Rep. Janis Sontany is introducing it after witnessing for herself, the 84 starved horses from Cannon County in November. She came down to the fairgrounds where many of us were volunteering to feed them and care for them under the supervision of the National Humane Society. I held horses for the farriers that voluteered their time to trim feet. I saw hooves with frogs completely rotted away from standing in their own excrement. I saw feet with shoes that had been left on for months and growth so long that they could barely walk. I saw many horses so underweight that from my own experience I know it would take a year or more to bring them back to a healthy condition if they survived at all.
Together we can put a stop to this or at least help make it where offenders are punished for cruel treetment like this. It really is going to take us all speaking out to stop the senseless suffering of these magnificent animals. Pick up the phone, email the members of the committee. Tell Janis Sontany thanks for standing up for these wonderful creatures and let her know she’s not alone in this fight. You can reach Janis at JANIS SONTANY
53RD LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT
32 LEGISLATIVE PLAZA
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE 37243-0153
PHONE (615-) 741-6861
FAX (615) 253-0325
Pass this along to everyone you know.
Thanks, Val Reynolds/Avalonfarms@hughes.net
The members of the House Agriculture Committee are: Committee OfficersStratton Bone, Chair (615) 741-7086 firstname.lastname@example.orgDale Ford, Vice Chair (615) 741-1717 email@example.comWillie Butch Borchert, Secretary (615) 741-6804 firstname.lastname@example.org MembersEddie Bass (615) 741-1864 email@example.comChad Faulkner (615) 741-3335 firstname.lastname@example.orgCurits ;Halford (615) 741-7478 email@example.comJohn Litz (615) 741-6877 firstname.lastname@example.orgSteve McDaniel (615) 741-0750 email@example.comFrank Niceley (615) 741-4419 firstname.lastname@example.orgJohnny Shaw (615) 741-4538 email@example.comTerri Lynn Weaver (615) 741-2192 firstname.lastname@example.orgJohn Mark Windle (615) 741-1260 email@example.com