Cyber Campaign Targets Missouri Slaughter Bill

Some horse slaughter opponents are using social networking sites to urge the defeat of Missouri legislation that would allow horse processing plant development in that state.

Introduced by Rep. Jim Viebrock, HB 1747 would establish plant operation and meat inspection regulations for horse processing plants. The bill also requires plant operators to pay registration and processing fees to underwrite meat inspection costs.

The Missouri House of Representatives passed the HB 1747 in March. It was tabled in the Senate's Agricultural Food Product and Outdoor Resources Committee, but its language was incorporated into SB 795, a comprehensive agriculture bill, Viebrock said.

This past weekend, postings appearing on Facebook called on horse slaughter opponents to sign an online petition demanding that Missouri lawmakers oppose the senate bill. One posting threatened to boycott the state if the legislation succeeds. Similar postings appeared on Twitter.

Viebrock is already hearing from bill opponents. "I've been getting threatening emails," he said.

Viebrock expects the senate to either vote on SB 795 or refer it to conference committee within the next five days.

"The bill is alive and well and is moving," he said.

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