Them On Us 1.2.13

By on December 31, 2012

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Gingery’s “Pay-to-Play” bill makes ESPN
State legislator Keith Gingery is making headlines ahead of the 62nd legislative session set to convene on Jan. 8. Gingery plans to introduce 10 bills at the general session. Not a record for him, but easily more than any other lawmaker.

Gingery’s prowess in the bill-writing department was noted in a Casper Star Tribune story last week. Local journo Brigid Mander also wrote up Gingery and his “Pay-to-Play” search and rescue bill for ESPN’s website.

Gingery is proposing full or partial charges be levied on backcountry users who need rescuing, determined at the discretion of the Sheriff’s Office. The bill would have language targeting recreators who are negligent or exhibit an intentional disregard for safety and hold them liable for monetary recompense for their own rescue.

Horse slaughter still touchy subject

An LA Times article on horse slaughter in the U.S. centered on New Mexico businessman Rick de los Santos and his growing frustration with what he calls federal stalling on his application to open a slaughter plant in Roswell, NM.

De los Santos said he has been waiting a year for USDA approval and has spent more than $100,000 upgrading his cattle slaughter plant to fit humane horse kill guidelines. He doesn’t understand why horsemeat carries such a stigma in the U.S.

“Everything that has four legs that walks can be slaughtered the same way, but we’re ready to do this humanely. We’ve upgraded our knocking chutes for giving them that lethal hit,” de los Santos told LA Times reporter John M. Glionna. “My wife says horse is on the menu all over Europe, but the moment you mention horse slaughter in the U.S., you’ve got a problem.”

De los Santos said he finally received denial of his permit application from the federal government, claiming they cited the highly-political nature of the issue. However, de los Santos’ cattle rendering plant was shut down earlier this year in February for inhumane handling of animals.

Sue Wallis, a Wyoming state representative, cattle rancher and slaughter advocate, told the Oregonian back in October that she expected four equine slaughter/processing facilities will open in Oregon, Missouri, Iowa and New Mexico before the end of the year. All are former beef or bison plants retrofitted for horses, she said. None have done so yet.

Beer maker brews up backlash in Big Sky

Not all beer drinkers share traditional Western attitudes concerning trophy hunting. Big Sky Brewery, a Missoula-based beer maker, found out the hard way that some of its customers didn’t take kindly to a photo that recently appeared on the company’s website.

The online culture clash was triggered when a picture of one of their female employees with a mountain lion she bagged was posted on their site. Of the nearly 300 online responses, a great majority ranged from turned off to appalled.

“Really, Big Sky?” wrote Facebook user Brett Kvo. “Hunting for food is one thing; killing for fun and then parading it on the Internet is another. I think I’ll take my business elsewhere …”

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